A Closer Look at ESA’s Budget

Credit: ESA

ESA’s table showing subscriptions for the space agency’s new three-year, 14.4 billion euro budget lists countries alphabetically. While that is certainly diplomatic, the order makes the figures a bit difficult to analyze.

So, I did a little reordering of the table. The results are below.

ContributorSubscriptions
(Millions of Euros)
Share per Contributor
in %
Germany3.29422.9
France2,66418.5
Italy2,28215.9
United Kingdom1,65511.5
Spain8525.9
Belgium8165.7
Switzerland5423.8
Netherlands3452.4
Norway2842.0
Sweden2441.7
Austria1901.3
Poland1661.2
Czech Republic1501.0
Luxembourg1290.9
Denmark1280.9
Canada1140.8
Finland1100.8
Portugal1020.7
Hungary970.7
Greece840.6
Ireland810.6
Romania440.3
Estonia90.1
Slovenia5<0.1
TOTALS:14,388100.0

Unsurprisingly, the subscriptions largely follow the size of the countries’ economies. The big four contributors — Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom — account for 9.895 billion euros or 68.8 percent of contributions.

When Spain and Belgium — the only nations that exceed 5 percent apiece — are included, the figures increase to 11.563 million euros to 80.4 percent.

Eighteen nations account for 19.6 percent of the budget. Eleven of them will contribute less than 1 percent of the budget each. The amounts contributed by the 18 nations range from 542 million euros from Switzerland to 5 million euros from Slovenia.

Canada, which is an ESA cooperating state, will contribute 114 million euros to the budget. That is a higher amount than eight European nations.

Slovenia is the only other country on the list that is not a full member of ESA. It is an associate member, a status that usually precedes full membership.