Slovenia signed an Association Agreement with ESA on July 5, 2016. This agreement will allow direct Slovenian participation in ESA optional programs, with Slovenian delegates attending relevant ESA subordinate bodies. Dedicated access to agency facilities and services will be provided to Slovenia’s national space projects.
ESA’s Director General, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, and the Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, signed the agreement in an official ceremony at ESA Headquarters in Paris.
The first Cooperation Agreement, signed in 2008, was followed by the European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement in 2010. The joint review of the five-year implementation of the ECS Agreement in September 2015 confirmed the success of various Plan for ECS projects involving Slovenian entities in ESA’s programs, especially in Earth observation, life and material sciences, and space technology activities.
During these years of cooperation, ESA supported and participated in several space-related conferences and workshops in Slovenia. The 6th ESA Training Course on Radar Remote Sensing was held September 7-11, 2015 in Maribor with the cooperation of the University of Maribor and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
More recently, ESA organised an Info Day in Ljubljana on March 23, 2016 and an Earth observation workshop on June 8, with a view to identifying future participation of Slovenia in Earth observation activities.
The institutional interface for space in Slovenia is the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. The country is very active in research, technological development and innovation, with a longstanding tradition in astronomy and space science.
Slovenia will become an ESA Associate Member following ratification of the Association Agreement. The most recent Associate Member of ESA was Finland in 1986.