External Relations

External Relationships


The ESSC participates in various advisory committees of the European Space Agency and sits with an observer status in the ESA Council of Ministers of ESA Member States.

In the 2001-2003 period, the ESSC participated as an observer to the meetings of the EC-ESA Joint Space Strategy Advisory Group (JSSAG), and it contributed substantially to the definition of the science aspects of Europe‚Äôs future space policy. The Committee maintains regular contacts with relevant units of the European Commission / European Union, and has regular contacts with MEPs in the European Parliament. 3 members of the Committee, including its Chairman, sat in the European Commission's Framework Programme 7 Space Advisory Group. The situation is being re-assessed for the new framework programme, Horizon 2020.


The ESSC has a permanent relationship with the Space Studies Board of the US National Academies - National Research Council. The Chair of the SSB is an ex officio member of the ESSC.


The ESSC, together with the SSB, have initiated discussions in 1998 with corresponding structures and officials in Japan, aimed at trying to develop similar relationships with the Japanese science community. A first meeting between the ESSC, the SSB, and the Space Research Committee of the Japan Science Council took place on July 15, 1998. As a second step a European-US-Japanese workshop took place in Tokyo on 19-21 May 1999; a joint report from this workshop was published by the U.S. National Academy Press.

Contacts were also initiated with scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences during the July 2000 COSPAR meeting in Warsaw and have continued since then. The Head of the Chinese National Space Science Centre, Professor WU Ji, attended the last ESSC plenary meeting by teleconference.

An informal gathering between the ESSC (Europe), SSB (USA), SRC-JSC (Japan) and CSSAR-CAS (China) was organised by ESSC during the COSPAR 2004 General Assembly in Paris. The 2006 General Assembly held in Beijing on 16-23 July also provided the occasion of several such interactions. 

Top of page

Chief Executive