Skip to main content
Defence Industry and Space
News article19 April 20242 min read

European Commission signs Collaboration Arrangement with ESA to address critical global challenges through space

Timo Pesonen  and JA

Today, Director-General of DG DEFIS, Timo Pesonen, together with Director General of the European Space Agency, Dr. Josef Aschbacher, signed a Collaboration Arrangement on ESA Accelerators.

The European Commission and ESA have joined forces to leverage the use of space to address critical global challenges such as climate change, digitalization, crisis response, and the protection of critical infrastructure.

The collaboration between the Commission and ESA will foster reciprocity, transparency, and cooperation, leveraging their complementary capabilities and competence. The focus is on three key areas: 'Space for a Green Future' (S4GF), 'Rapid and Resilient Crisis Response' (R3), and 'Protection of Space Assets' (PROTECT).

The Commission, with the support of EUSPA, supports the evolution of space-enabled operational services to foster the green and digital transitions, security, and resilience in the European Union. In the context of the European Green Deal, Space technology, particularly Earth Observation missions and data, plays a pivotal role in fostering the green transition by providing solutions for decarbonization, climate change mitigation, and adaptation efforts.

With the the EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence, the EU aims to strengthen its strategic posture and autonomy in space and defend its interests in and from space. 

The collaboration aims to enhance the European capacity to guarantee strategic autonomy in the protection of assets in space and on the ground by 2030, in line with the EU's space traffic management principles.

This is a testament to the commitment of the European Commission and ESA to drive innovation and sustainability, aiming to pave the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

Timo Pesonen said: “This partnership will propel us forward in leveraging space technology. The EU Space programme, and our EU space flagships, already provide tangible solutions to urgent societal needs here on the ground. With this collaboration arrangement we commit to reinforce our cooperation in the development, demonstration and integration of space-enabled technological solutions responding to major environmental and societal challenge. We will work together to leverage our complementary capabilities and resources, building on the respective strengths, expertise and competences of each institution.''

Dr Josef Aschbacher said: “ESA is working closely with the European Commission to develop a joint ambition for space in Europe and in the interests of European citizens. ESA’s technical expertise perfectly complements the European Commission’s political mandate in developing flagship space programmes that address the needs of European citizens and businesses. ESA and the European Commission have agreed that in a spirit of reciprocity, transparency, information-sharing and cooperation, we will work together in close cooperation with stakeholders to develop the three accelerators. Strengthening ESA–EU relations is a professional mission of mine, and part of ESA’s Agenda 2025 that I released at the beginning of my mandate as Director General of ESA.”


Publication date
19 April 2024
Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space