The last ESA Council meeting at ministerial level, held in Toulouse on 20 October 1995, asked the Agency to review its industrial policy and the system for calculating the scale of contributions to its mandatory programmes. A resolution adopted at that meeting addressed industrial policy matters in a specific chapter focusing on three topics:
* correction of overall industrial return imbalances; here the Ministers appreciated the efforts already made to improve the situation and invited ESA's Director General to take measures to reduce residual imbalances;
* improvement of procurement procedures; here the Ministers stressed the importance of these procedures to cost-effectiveness and the competitiveness of European industry, and invited the Director General to make increased use of competitive tendering and financial incentives or penalties for contractors;
* the review of the Agency's industrial policy; here the Ministers, underlining the importance of industrial policy to the future of ESA, decided to set up a Council Working Group to analyse and evaluate the Agency's current industrial policy and to propose adaptations, and invited the Director General to submit a proposal to Council at ministerial level.
After a year of work by representatives of ESA's Member States and the Director General to comply with the various requests, the Ministers are now about to meet again to discuss the Director General's proposals for adaptation of the Agency's industrial policy, clearance of past return imbalances, and reform of the system for calculating the scale of contributions to the Agency's mandatory activities.
The half-day meeting, a follow-up to the Toulouse ministerial meeting, will be held at ESA Headquarters in Paris, starting at 14:00 hrs on 4 March 1997. A press conference/briefing will be organised, at the same address, on 5 March at 10:00 hrs.
Media representatives wishing to attend this press briefing are kindly requested to complete the attached accreditation form and return it to the ESA Public Relations Division in Paris (Fax: + 33.(0) 22.214.171.124.90).