The President of the Republic of Finland, acting under authorisation from the Finnish Parliament, has notified the European Space Agency of ratification of the Agreement on his country's accession to the ESA Convention (see Press Release Nr 09-94 of 22 March 1994). Finland will thus become a full ESA Member State on 1 January 1995.
Finland, which acquired the status of an associate Member State on 1 January 1987, was already participating in ESA's Earth Observation and Telecommunications as well as in the science programmes.
As we approach 1995, which will be a very eventful year for ESA (Euromir 95, Ariane 501, the launch of ERS-2, the ISO and SOHO, the Council meeting at ministerial level), the accession of a new Member State, bringing the total to 14(*), shows a growing interest in European space activities on the part of more countries and enables ESA to "strengthen its position at a time when space programmes are taking on a world dimension", as ESA Director General Jean-Marie Luton put it when the Agreement was signed.
This further addition to ESA's membership is a sign of European countries' confidence in the Agency.
(*) The other thirteen Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada is a cooperating State.