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N° 10–2015: Hungary accedes to ESA Convention

24 February 2015

Hungary signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention on 24 February 2015. Upon ratification, Hungary will become the 22nd ESA Member State.

The signing ceremony took place at the Palace of Arts in Budapest with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General. For Hungary, the Agreement was signed by Ákos Kara, Minister of State for Infocommunication and Consumer Protection, Ministry of National Development, and in the presence of Fruzsina Tari,Head of the Hungarian Space Office, also from the Ministry of National Development.

Other government officials, Ambassadors and representatives of several embassies of the ESA Member States and several representatives from Hungarian space sector attended the ceremony, including Előd Both, Chairman of United Nations Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the Hungarian Aerospace Technology Platform, the Hungarian Space Cluster, the Hungarian Association for Geoinformation and the Hungarian Astronautical Society.

Hungary has a long history of cooperation with ESA; it was the first central European state to sign a Cooperation Agreement with ESA in 1991. The country also became the first European Cooperating State (ECS), signing the ECS Agreement on 7 April 2003 in Budapest.

Hungary has an extended tradition in space activities and actively participated in the Interkosmos programme, sending into space the first Hungarian cosmonaut, Bertalan Farkas, on 26 May 1980. The country’s contribution to the Plan for European Cooperating States covers fields such as space science, Earth observation, life and material sciences and space technology.

Hungary has also taken part in several ESA educational activities, including ESA radar courses, student parabolic flight campaigns and the European Student Moon Orbiter project, for example. Hungary’s first satellite, MaSat-1, a cubesat-type satellite, developed and built by students at the Technical University of Budapest, was launched on the Vega rocket maiden flight in 2012.

Following the conclusion of the ratification process by the Hungarian Government and once the ratification instrument is deposited with the Government of France, Hungary will become officially the 22nd ESA Member State.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, have acceded to the ESA Convention and will  soon become new ESA Member States.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

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