13 February 2014. ESPI Report 47 "ESA Enlargement. What Interested Countries Can Do to Prepare Themselves for Ultimate Accession - With a Special Focus on the CEE Region" elaborates on the process to facilitate the participation of new member states in ESA. It addresses the lengthy and complex transition from non-member to member state, and identifies measures aspiring states can take to help their industry and scientific organisations achieve “happiness within the ESA family”.
The release of the ESPI study was accompanied by an evening event in ESPI (link to the related webnews here), where a presentation of the report was provided in the frame of a more general discussion platform aimed at giving emerging space countries ideas for how to effectively engage more with space.
About the study: The study on “ESA Enlargement” draws on a workshop entitled “ESA Enlargement – What interested countries can do to prepare themselves for ultimate accession” organised by ESPI on 23 March 2012. Based on the discussions and findings of this workshop, the report first aims at addressing the difficult transition from non-member state to member state and examining the current supporting framework provided by ESA in the enlargement process. An in-depth analysis of the boundary conditions contained in the ESA Convention, in particular the provisions of Article XIV and XXII as well as the more recent supporting instruments introduced by the Agency is provided and the socio-economic and political benefits and costs of the enlargement are subsequently discussed.
The focus is then shifted to an analysis of the current status of recent and possible future ESA member states, namely the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland on the one side and on Estonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia on the other. The section provides a comparative analysis of the respective institutional frameworks, policies, budgets and capabilities. The chapter also examines the relationship of the countries with ESA and provides some considerations on the complex ESA-EU relationships and on the role the EU can play in promoting ESA enlargement.
A specific chapter is dedicated to the potential instruments ESA and aspiring member states could use to ease the process of adaption to the Agency. The possibility of setting up new mechanisms of support or specific measures directed to candidate states, including measures these states can take to help their industry and scientific organisations survive in the competitive environment in ESA, is therefore analysed and discussed. Finally, a list of concrete recommended actions to undertake by the aspiring countries, ESA and the EU, is provided.