EOcafe: ESA Post-Ministerial – What now?

ESA Post-Ministerial – What now?

Thursday, 20th April 2023, 16:00 CEST

The last ESA (European Space Agency) Council Ministerial Meeting took place on 22-23 November 2022 in Paris. ESA has put forward bold objectives for space for the next three years and beyond to increase European autonomy, leadership and responsibility. Ministers backed this ambitious vision with a decision to increase ESA’s budget by 17% compared to the last Ministerial meeting back in 2019.

Ministers agreed to devote €2.7 billion to ESA’s Earth Observation programme, including funding for FutureEO, (ESA’s Earth science, research and development programme harnessing innovation and developing pioneering missions), while fostering innovative ways of using Earth observation data. They also committed to developing further the continuity of the space component of the Copernicus programme based on newly identified needs. More than ever, ESA is looking to work with the Earth Observation downstream industry to develop new ideas and inspiration, for technology innovation and for preparing future operational missions.

However, almost 6 months after the Ministerial meeting, the changing landscape may have a significant impact on the sector. The €750M funding gap for Copernicus, due to the loss of the UK’s contribution, could reduce the programme’s ambitions for future years, despite the EU’s increased ambition for environmental/climate[1] and security/defence purposes.[2]

Keeping in mind the deadline of June 2024 to find an alternative for the missing contribution, a lot of actions remain to be done to shape future activities. Looking ahead, the next Space Summit 2023, (which will be held under the auspices of the Council’s Spanish presidency in November) will be the opportunity for European leaders to envision the next steps and decide on priorities to untap the space sector’s enormous potential while creating jobs and boosting innovation for the industry.

In this EOCafe, our host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) will discuss with our special guest Simonetta Cheli (Director of ESA Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESRIN) the outcomes of the last Ministerial meeting, the impact of the changing landscape and how to consolidate the strong relationship between ESA and the industry.

Some of the topics which they will be addressing during this EOcafe are:

  • ​Which are the outcomes of the last ESA Ministerial meeting?
  • What are the priorities for EOP following the ministerial?
  • What steps are possible to fill the funding gap for Copernicus?
  • How might the proposals contained in the EU Space Strategy on Security and Defence impact the EO sector?
  • How can we consolidate the strong relationship between ESA and the EO Downstream services industry?

Registration: The webinar is open to ALL. Registration is free but compulsory. Please click on the following link or on the button to register.

Registration link

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but is encouraged to facilitate better interaction between the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).

If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Natassa (Natassa.Antoniou@earsc.org).

[1] With the Green Deal, the European Union aims at becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

[2][2] The Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on a Space Strategy for Security and Defence, JOINT(2023)9 was published on 10/03/2023.

Author: EARSC

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