Press Release

Finland Becomes Eleventh ESO Member State

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2004
Filed under , ,

Finland has become the eleventh member state of the European Southern
Observatory (ESO) [1].

The formal accession procedure was carried through as planned and has
now been completed. Following the signing of the corresponding
Agreement earlier this year (ESO PR 02/04), acceptance by the Finnish
Parliament and ratification by the Finnish President of the Agreement
as well as the ESO Convention and the associated protocols in June [2]
and the deposit of the instruments of accession today, Finland has now
officially joined ESO.

ESO warmly welcomes the new member country and its scientific
community that is renowned for their expertise in many frontline
areas. The related opportunities will contribute to strenghtening of
pioneering research with the powerful facilities at ESO’s
observatories, to the benefit of Astronomy and Astrophysics as well as
European science in general. ESO also looks forward to collaboration
with the Finnish high-tech industry.

For Finland, the membership in ESO is motivated by scientific and
technological objectives as well as by the objective of improving the
public understanding of science. The Finnish Government is committed
to increasing the public research funding in order to improve the
quality, impact and internationalisation of research.

Membership in ESO offers unique facilities for astronomical research
which would not otherwise be available for Finnish
astronomers. Finland is also very interested in taking part in
technological development projects in fields like ICT, optics and
instrumentation. For young scientists and engineers, ESO is a
challenging, international working and learning environment.

Finland has already taken part in the educational programmes of ESO,
and as a member this activity will be broadened and intensified. In
Finland there are also several science journalists and a large
community of amateur astronomers who will be very happy to take part
in ESO’s outreach activities.

The full text of this press release, with all weblinks, is available


[1]: The ESO member States are now Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the
United Kindgdom.

[2]: The ESO Convention was established in 1962 and specifies the
goals of ESO and the means to achieve these, e.g., “The Governments of
the States parties to this convention… desirous of jointly creating
an observatory equipped with powerful instruments in the Southern
hemisphere and accordingly promoting and organizing co-operation in
astronomical research…” (from the Preamble to the ESO Convention).

Press Contacts

Richard West


Garching bei M=FCnchen, Germany

Tel: +49-89-3200-6276


Pia Ekqvist

Tiedottaja – Press Officer

Opetusministerio – Ministry of Education

Helsinki, Finland

Tel: +358 (0)9 1607 7484

GSM +358 (0)400 669 675


SpaceRef staff editor.