The Croatian government has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) on cooperation for peacekeeping purposes at the Ministry of Science and Education on the 19th of February 2018.
The signatories, the Croatian Minister of Science and Education Blaženka Divjak and the head of the Office for International Cooperation at ESA Frédéric Nordlund, as well as the representative of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) Tajana Kesić Šapić, emphasized the breadth of cooperation and its economic side.
‘’This agreement will accelerate the networking of Croatian scientists and economy in Europe, the development of areas from meteorology and environmental protection to satellite navigation and robotics’’, explained Divjak and expressed her hope that the agreement signed on the day of birth of Nicolaus Copernicus would bring ‘’the Copernican revolution in the relationship between science and economy’’.
Kesić Šapić pointed out that the agreement is an opportunity for stronger development in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics known as STEM, because 90 percent of the European Space Agency’s contracts are with European companies, including 550 suppliers from 24 countries, thus many Croatian companies have already expressed their interest.
Nordlund also expressed his satisfaction with the signing of the agreement by saying that Croatia was already a member of the European Space Family because it participated in making decisions in projects such as Galileo and Copernicus, thus, by this agreement the country would achieve stronger cooperation with ESA members.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization with 22 member states: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an associate member.
Canada participates in some projects within the framework of a cooperation agreement. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Croatia have agreements on cooperation with ESA.
Around 2,200 people from all member states including scientists, engineers, IT professionals and administrative staff work for ESA.
The ESA budget for 2017 amounted to 5,75 billion Euros. This international organization invests in each member country through industrial agreements for space programs, whilst the amount is equivalent to the contribution of each country.