• The contribution of funds for the period 2017-2024 will amount to 1,512.3 million euros
  • Spain assumes the presidency of the ESA Ministerial Council until 2019

The Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, has announced that the Government will establish the contribution plan to ESA for the period 2017-2024 with a contribution of funds amounting to 1,512.3 million euros. This contribution, which represents an increase of 600.3 million euros compared to that approved in 2014, will finance Spain's participation in ESA's mandatory activities, as well as in optional programs that are of special interest to the Spanish space industry. .

Of those additional € 600.3 million, € 459 million is projected to finance launcher, exploration, manned and microgravity, navigation, telecommunications, Earth observation, technology and security programs; the rest will go towards compulsory contributions (141.3 million euros), which basically involve ESA's investment in science, as well as other basic and operational activities of the Agency.

At the Ministerial Council held in Lucerne, Switzerland, on December 1 and 2, Spain has assumed the presidency of the Agency until the next Council, which will take place in 2019 in our country. The Spanish delegation has been headed by the Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, and the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Begoña Cristeto.

The holding of a ministerial council in a Member State is an event of great importance in that country, given that in addition to the visibility it obtains, it increases its ability to influence by chairing all the preparatory meetings. It also represents a good opportunity to achieve a better international visualization of Spain's technological-industrial capacity in the space sector.

Additionally, the 2019 ESA Ministerial Council will be important due to its coincidence with the preparation in the EU of the following financial perspectives 2021-2027, where it is planned to include an important chapter on space activities that equals or exceeds the current one ( € 12,000 M approximately).

Thanks to public investments made and participation in space projects at ESA, Spain has developed an important industrial fabric in the last 15 years. It is one of the few countries with the capacity to design, manufacture and operate complete satellites. Contributions to ESA are governed by the so-called geo-return principle, which implies that all the funds contributed by Spain return to the Spanish industry in the form of contracts. Since 2000, Spain has obtained more than 2,236 M € in Agency contracts, and the Spanish space sector has significantly increased its turnover: from 230 to 750 M € between 2000 and 2015.

As regards space infrastructure, Spain has one of ESA's five major centers of activity, the European Center for Space Astronomy (ESAC), in Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid), which is the scientific headquarters of the Agency astronomy and planetary exploration missions

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