PARIS (ESA PR) — The Estonian flag is now flying at ESA sites alongside those of ESA’s other Member States, after Estonia officially became ESA’s 21st Member State on 1 September.
The Agreement on Estonia’s accession to the ESA Convention was signed on 4 February 2015 by Jean-Jacques Dordain, then ESA Director General, Anne Sulling, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications responsible for Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship, Ene Ergma, Member of Parliament and Head of Estonian Space Committee, and Sven Jürgenson, Estonian Ambassador in France.
Following this signing, the process of ratification by the Estonian government began. This process was concluded last month, as of 1 September, Estonia deposited its instrument of ratification of the ESA Convention in Paris, becoming an official ESA Member State. Estonian delegates will participate in the various Committees and Programme Boards as full Member State from the Council meeting of 21–22 October onwards.
Estonia’s cooperation with ESA started with the signature of a Cooperation Agreement on 20 June 2007 in Tallinn. Estonia strengthened its cooperation with ESA through the European Cooperating State Agreement signed on 10 November 2009.
The last six months have been busy ones for the European Space Agency (ESA) on the diplomatic front, with the space agency welcoming two new full member states and deepening cooperation with four other nations.
Estonia and Hungary joined ESA in February, increasing the number of full member states to 22. Their accession to the ESA Convention completed a lengthy four-step process under which their involvement in the space agency gradually increased over a series of years.
The process begins with a cooperation agreement which allows a nation to begin working with ESA on a formal basis. Financial commitments during this stage are low. The next step is to become a European Cooperating State (ECS), which allows the nation to participate in ESA procurements and to participate in most of the agency’s programs, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme.
PARIS (ESA PR) — Estonia took a step further in its relations with ESA by signing the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention on 4 February 2015, to become the 21st ESA Member State.
The signing ceremony took place at the ESA Headquarters in Paris with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Anne Sulling, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications responsible for Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship, Ene Ergma, Member of Parliament and Head of Estonian Space Committee, and Sven Jürgenson, Estonian Ambassador in France.
Estonia becomes the fifth European country to sign the European Cooperating State Agreement with ESA. The signed agreement strengthens Estoniaâ€™s relations with ESA and defines the legal basis for developing a Plan for European Cooperating State (PECS) Charter, describing activities, projects and budget for Estonia’s cooperation with ESA.