ESA and the Community of Ariane Cities sign hosting agreement
In a ceremony held at ESA’s Headquarters in Paris this morning, 29 June, ESA representatives and the Community of Ariane Cities signed an agreement for the hosting of the office of the community’s General Delegation by ESA.
The Community of Ariane Cities (Communauté des Villes Ariane - CVA) is an Association of those European cities that are home to Ariane industries. Its objective is to contribute to the economic, cultural and educational development of the cities and their citizens, to ensure cooperation among them in cultural, industrial, technological, commercial and tourist issues, and to promote the image of and the know-how present in the cities. Major space industries are also members of the CVA, together with the French national space agency (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales - CNES), and ESA is an honorary member. The association counts 34 members.
Arianespace has hosted the office of the CVA’s General Delegation at its premises in Evry, south of Paris, since the foundation of the CVA, in 1998. In the near future, the office will move to ESA’s head office in central Paris.
ESA’s Director of External Relations and of Security Office, Mr. René Oosterlinck, gave a speech welcoming the CVA’s General Delegation office to ESA Headquarters and thanked Arianespace for its key role in the creation of the Association. He also paid tribute to the dynamic city of Barcelona which has been hosting the presidency of the Association since 2005.
Mr. Oosterlinck stressed the important role the CVA plays in bringing the European space programme to its European citizens, particularly its youth. The "Night of the Astronauts", organised in Barcelona on 21 March 2006, was a good example of the fruitful cooperation between ESA and CVA.
The President of Arianespace, Mr. Jean-Marie Luton, recalled the history of the CVA and the involvement of Arianespace as a founding member. He expressed his satisfaction in seeing ESA take on this responsibility, and reiterated the relevant role the CVA plays in education and outreach, and in the general promotion of space and of the European launcher sector.
The Vice-President of the CVA, Mr. Luis Gómez, outlined CVA’s educational and outreach activities. He underlined the success of the presidency while held by the City of Barcelona, citing the important addition to the CVA of two cities, Madrid and Zurich, and the industries EADS-Casa Espacio (Madrid) and Contraves Space AG (Zurich).