Parliament endorses amended association agreement with ESA

Ljubljana – The National Assembly has passed a bill ratifying an amended association agreement between Slovenia and the European Space Agency (ESA), another step towards Slovenia becoming a full member of ESA. The agreement will result in fresh opportunities for Slovenian companies, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said.

In October, the minister signed a set of amendments to the association agreement, saying he expected cooperation with ESA would deepen and open new opportunities for Slovenian companies.

Slovenia has been an associate member of ESA since 2016, and so far eleven Slovenian companies have signed cooperation contracts with ESA on the basis of the agreement.

The contracts are worth EUR 7 million in total, Počivalšek said at the time, expressing his expectation these figures would soon go further up.

ESA has 22 member states, while Canada, Latvia and Slovenia have associate membership status. Several more countries have signed a cooperation agreement, which is the first step toward accession.

Slovenia’s association member status expires in December 2021 and the country needs to decide a year before that on future cooperation with ESA.

One option is fully-fledged membership as soon as the existing agreement expires and another the signing of an amended association agreement with a so-called programme for new member states. Slovenia decided for the latter option, with the goal being full membership in 2024.

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