Press Release

EU welcomes Canadian Space Agency officials

By SpaceRef Editor
July 6, 2004
Filed under ,
EU welcomes Canadian Space Agency officials

On 14-15 June 2004, high-level representatives from the European Union and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), including CSA President and former astronaut Marc Garneau, met in Brussels to discuss further expanding already strong co-operative ties.

Since 1979, a far-reaching co-operation agreement has existed between Canada and the European Space Agency (ESA). Canada and members of its space industry have actively participated in many ESA programmes, especially in the areas of earth observation, satellite communications and the development of generic space technologies.

Canada participates directly in European Space Agency (ESA) programmes, activities and decision-making. This means Canadian companies bid for and receive contracts on the same basis as their European counterparts. In June 2000, the Canada-ESA co-operation agreement was renewed for an additional ten years.

The Canada-EU Joint Political Declaration of 1996, which includes numerous sectoral co-operative agreements, has already allowed for Canadian-European collaboration on a variety of scientific and technological projects. Furthermore, under the current Canada-EU Agreement on Scientific and Technological Co-operation both sides have agreed to expand their collaboration in the space sector.

The Canadian space programme

Canadian space activities include:

  • Space science;
  • Earth observation, including the Radarsat programme and participation in the ESA, ENVISAT and ERS Satellites;
  • Participation in the International Space Station (ISS);
  • Satellite communications;
  • The Canadian Astronaut programme, having sent eight astronauts into space, including current CSA President Marc Garneau;
  • Participation in the GALILEO programme, bridging the digital divide;
  • Participation in the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative and the International Polar Year 2007.

EU-Canada exchange

The June 2004 meeting in Brussels provided the opportunity to exchange information on:

  • Progress on European Space Policy, including the 2003 White Paper, the new EU/ESA working relationship and upcoming initiatives;
  • Progress on the European Space Programme;
  • Current opportunities for collaboration under the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for RTD (FP6);
  • Perspectives for FP7;
  • Collaboration with Canada within joint EU-ESA programmes such as GMES and the GALILEO satellite radionavigation programme;
  • The future of European Space Policy;
  • Ways to increase collaboration in the space sector, including the setting up of a task force on Canada-EU co-operation and a possible space collaboration agreement.

Positive message

As one of Europe’s key partners, Canada has been invited to make a contribution at the international Space Conference, now being organised by the European Commission, to be held on 17-18 February 2005 in Brussels. Also discussed was a proposal for a space workshop in connection with the GEO-5 meeting in Ottawa in November 2004.

More information

SpaceRef staff editor.