On 21 November 2012, ESA concluded a successful two-day Council meeting at ministerial level in Naples, Italy. Ministers from ESA’s 20 member states and Canada allocated €10 billion for ESA’s space activities and programmes for the years to come.
Ministers focused the investments on fields with high growth potential or with a direct and immediate impact on the economy such as telecommunications and meteorology. They approved ESA’s level of resources for 2013-17, the proposals for the domain of Earth Observation and confirmed Europe’s commitment to the exploitation of the International Space Station (ISS).
Ministers adopted the following four Resolutions:
- First, “On the role of ESA in sustaining competitiveness and growth” political and programmatic highlights of the Council;
- Second, “Level of Resources for the Agency’s Mandatory activities 2013–2017” which cover the science programme and basic activities;
- Third, the renewal of the contribution of ESA Member States to the running costs of the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana;
- and Fourth, the “Political Declaration towards the European Space Agency that best serves Europe.”
The last Resolution initiates a process for the further evolution of ESA. The objective is to capitalise on the competences and the achievements of ESA while taking full benefit of EU policies. The process will ensure the continued success of ESA as the research and development space agency for Europe, Member States and the EU. The Resolutions will be made available on ESA’s website.