At its meeting in Paris on 23 March 1995, the ESA Council reached a positive consensus on Europe's participation in the International Space Station. In letters to NASA's Administrator Daniel Goldin and his counterparts in the other Cooperating Agencies, the ESA's Director General, Jean-Marie Luton, reaffirmed Europe's determination to be an active partner in this international cooperative venture.
The ESA Council also accepted the proposal submitted by the Director General as the basis for preparing the final decision to be taken by the European Ministers at their Council meeting on 18-20 October next in Toulouse, France.
Europe's contribution to the International Space Station would thus include provision of the Columbus Orbital Facility (COF) (the pressurized laboratory to be attached to the core of the Space Station), as well as the provision of logistic services by Ariane 5 and the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and of Station orbital manouvering capabilities by the ATV.
At the end of the Council meeting, ESA's Director General stated : " I am confident that the progress necessary to finalise the European commitments and to bring this process to a successful conclusion is being made and that this will enable Europe to play a major role in this ambitious and important international programme".