Hungary's accession to the European Space Agency, ESA, has again reached an important milestone. The Accession Agreement signed in Budapest on 24 February, was announced by the Government in the government decree published in the latest issue of the Hungarian Official Journal.

Scientific and technological development based on space activity may become one of the most important engines of value creation in the coming decades. The Government is implementing the task to convert the recovery experienced in the past years into permanent growth in cooperation with the higher education institutions and market participants.

DownloadPhoto: ESA

Further legislative changes required by full-fledged membership are expected to be made by the beginning of November, 2015. Thereafter, Hungary may join a wider range of ESA’s scientific, educational and industrial programmes than before. Through the advantages of ESA membership, Hungarian space industrial enterprises and research institutes engaged in high technology will be able to keep their current leading position in the region. Growing opportunities may contribute to the creation of new work places and help keep the highly qualified technical graduates from leaving the country. By 2020 employment in the sector may increase even fivefold.

The Hungarian specialists may participate in each board session of the European Space Agency, for the time being, until the entry into force of the accession agreement, as observers. ESA consistently applies the principle of geographic reimbursement, at the time of accession, all the industrial tenders of ESA become open to the companies of the joining country. For several years, the organisation will help the industry of the new member state by assistance programmes to ensure that it receives reimbursement in proportion to its contribution. Recently, preparations for establishing a catch-up programmes working group to control the process have been started.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organisation with 20 member states, the most important tasks of which include, in addition to scientific research, developing space technology in a targeted way, catalysing the growth of the space industry and establishing and utilising space-based infrastructures (satellite navigation, telecommunications, meteorology, etc.). The annual budget of ESA is approximately EUR 4 bln.

(Ministry of National Development)