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The joint European Union –European Space AgencySpace Council revived after eight years on Romania’s own initiative

on 30 May 2019

Gathered on 28 May 2019 in Brussels, the ministers responsible for space issues from the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA) member states adopted the resolution „Space as an Enabler”. The EU-ESA Space Council, the main instrument for the harmonisation of space policies in Europe, gathered for the first time in the last eight years at Romania’s own initiative. Ministers responsible for space issues from the European countries participated at the reunion, with Romania being represented by the Minister for Research and Innovation, Professor Nicolae Hurduc and the President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso.

The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) initiated at the working level the reestablishment of this council within ESA and took the necessary steps to include this action on the programme of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The implementation belongs to a group of experts and diplomats from ROSA and from the Representation of Romania to the European Union, which succeeded to conclude Romania’s leadership action at European level.

Through a constant strategy over the last two decades, ROSA participates to international space missions, develops applications in the economic and social areaswith added value and high adoption, and generates national capacity and infrastructure. Currently, nine Competency centres in niche space areas are functional and over 85 Romanian industrial, research and academic entities work directly with the European Space Agency (ESA), at the highest quality and stability requirements demanded byspace missions. At ROSA level, coordination is done by highly-trained specialists with international recognition, five of them being members of the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

The success of this action stands as clear proof of the important role that scientific, technical and industrial relations play in international cooperation. Especially in the space field, but also in other high-level infrastructure sectors, international cooperation represents the achievement of a common goal with maximum quality. Breaching technical, ethical or financial rules has an impact on all participants and cancels out the investments in specialists, time and financial resources that weremade. The stability and recognition of the organisations involved is the necessary condition.

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Romania, through the Romanian Space Agency, is recognised and represented at international level for its outstanding national capacities and possibilities. This year alone, ROSA concluded a regional cooperation agreement with the Hellenic Space Agency, signed an SSA agreement (Space Situational Awareness) with USSTRATCOM, the United States Strategic Command and was admitted as a full member in ISECG (International Space Exploration Coordination Group), a group of 17 space agencies that coordinates global programmes for space exploration.

Furthermore, a number of important conferences was organised, in fields such as space applications in agriculture, in collaboration with the United Nations, „The international conference on space solutions for Sustainable Agriculture and Precision Farming”, safe satellite communication with ESA, „Industry Workshop for Secure Satcom for Safety and Security”, events to be followed later this year by the “ScyLight Workshop on optical communication” with ESA, the 8th regional Copernicus conference “Space for a Safe Society and Sustainable Growth” and the 8th edition of the “Conference on Space Systems as Critical Infrastructures” with the International Academy of Astronautics.

Prior to the Space Council, on 13 February 2019, ROSA organised the event „Space as Enabler” together with the Permanent Mission of Romania to the International Organisations in Vienna, in the framework of the 56th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), in front of 92 states from all continents and 40 observer organisations.

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