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N° 29–2018: Ministers endorse vision for the future of Europe in space

25 October 2018

Chaired by the Spanish Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque, ESA’s Ministers in charge of space activities today successfully concluded an Intermediate Ministerial Meeting (IMM18) at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain. The Intermediate Ministerial Meeting is a milestone on the road to ‘Space19+’, ESA’s next Council at ministerial level which will be held in November 2019 in Seville, Spain.

Ministers in charge of space matters in the ESA Member States were presented with ESA’s proposal for the future of Europe in space, which will be submitted to them at Space19+.

This proposal contains a roadmap for ESA and EU to continue finance and implement space programmes in Europe in a sustainable and efficient way, it also lays out a vision for the internal functioning of the agency to fit the change of paradigm in the space sector, and last but not least, it contains ESA Director General’s proposal of space programmes to be carried out by the Agency after 2019. 

This programmatic proposal is all-encompassing in that it addresses all aspects of space activities: science and exploration, applications, access to space, operations and R&D, including the emerging field of Space Safety and Security. This latter pillar is dedicated to the protection of our infrastructure by tackling challenges such as space weather, planetary defence from near Earth objects and space debris – with both mitigation and remediation aspects. In addition, further to cybersecurity, it proposes to enable the further use of space technology for concrete applications in the domain of safety and security on Earth (for example,  maritime safety and security – including autonomous shipping, disaster management, border security and support to air traffic safety through satellite communication). 

The most important decisions facing Member States at Space19+ will be: 

With respect to programmatic content: 


With respect to a solid ESA-EU partnership built on common developments:


With respect to policy and regulatory aspects: 

IMM18 paves the way for these important decisions at Space19+. 

The adopted resolutions will be made available on ESA’s website


In the margins of the meeting, two signatures also took place.



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 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

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

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. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

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. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 5369 7299



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