by Claudiu Mihai Taiatu, LL.M.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization created by the ESA Convention. ESA law interaction with the European Union (EU) is essential for supporting the increasing role of Europe on space activities at global level.

The cooperation between ESA and the EU was formalized through the 2004 “Framework Agreement”. Another key element for the cooperation between ESA and the EU is the Financial Partnership Framework Agreement (FFPA) signed on 22 June 2021, in relation to the EU space programme and the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027.

The principle of fair geographical return and the preference clause are part of ESA’s industrial policy and the main elements to differentiate ESA’s procurement rules from the EU’s procurement rules.