• The contribution of funds for the 2017-2024 period 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 ESA contribution plan for the 2017-2024 period 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 the one approved in 2014, will finance the participation of Spain in the mandatory activities of the ESA, as well as in the optional programs that are of special interest to the Spanish space industry .

Of those additional 600.3 million euros, it is expected that 459 million euros will finance the launcher, exploration, manned and microgravity, navigation, telecommunications, land observation, technology and security programs; The rest will go to mandatory contributions (141.3 million euros), which essentially involve ESA's investment in science, as well as other basic and operational activities of the Agency.

In 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 General Secretary of Industry and SMEs, Begoña Cristeto.

The holding of a ministerial council in a Member State is an event of great importance in that country, since in addition to the visibility it obtains, it increases its capacity to influence when presiding over all 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 for its coincidence with the preparation in the EU of the following 2021-2027 financial perspectives, where it is planned to include an important chapter related to 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. The contributions to ESA are governed by the so-called geo-return principle, which implies that all funds contributed by Spain return to Spanish industry in the form of contracts. Since 2000, Spain has obtained more than € 2,236 million in Agency contracts, and the Spanish space sector has significantly increased its turnover: from € 230 to € 750M between 2000 and 2015.

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

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