New Member States
ESA will soon have 22 Member States. The national bodies responsible for space in these countries sit on ESA’s governing Council: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Canada also sits on the Council and takes part in some projects under a Cooperation Agreement. Other EU states also have Cooperation Agreements with ESA, such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania and Malta. Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia are participating in the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS).
The Czech Republic formally became ESA's 18th Member State on 12 November 2008. Romania became ESA's 19th Member State on 22 December 2011, and Poland exchanged Accession Agreements with ESA in September 2012. The latest to join are Estonia, which signed the Accession to the ESA Convention on 4 February 2015, to become the 21st Member State, and Hungary, which signed on 24 February 2015, to become the 22nd Member State.
As can be seen from this list, not all member countries of the European Union are members of ESA and not all ESA Member States are members of the EU. ESA is an entirely independent organisation although it maintains close ties with the EU through an ESA/EC Framework Agreement. The two organisations share a joint European Strategy for Space and have together developed the European Space Policy.