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At the Ministerial Council in 2012 decisions were taken on the Agency’s mandatory activities for 2013–17.

All Member States contribute to the mandatory activities, which include the Scientific programme and the Basic activities.
Ministers approved the Level of Resources for mandatory activities for the period 2013-2017. The approved funding reflects the unanimous agreement by MemberStates to maintain the scientific and technological excellence of mandatory activities during a time of budget constraints.

In the science programme, ministers supported the continuation of new missions and the continued implementation of Cosmic Vision 2015–25. Within this new subscription period (2013-2017), the science programme will launch Gaia, the mission that will map our Galaxy and catalogue a billion stars, LISA Pathfinder, which will redefine the understanding of time and space, and BepiColombo, ESA’s mission to Mercury. The implementation of new missions such as Solar Orbiter, Euclid and Juice will proceed.

The basic activities include technology research, development and transfer. These will focus on preparing the future by studying and developing cutting-edge technologies, strengthening the available technical assets, creating the conditions for competitiveness and job creation in the space sector, and the preservation of scientific and environmental data from space missions. ESA Member States invest in optional programmes according to their national priorities and interests.