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Slovenia formally applies for full membership of the European Space Agency

Today at the Space Summit in Seville, Spain, Slovenia presented a formal request for full membership of the European Space Agency (ESA). The request for membership, which follows the official decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia last Friday, was submitted today to the Director-General of ESA, Josef Aschbacher, by State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, Matevž Frangež, and the head of the Slovenian Space Office, Tanja Permozer, on the margins of the ESA ministerial meeting.

This step marks the beginning of an approximately one-year period when the ESA authorities and working bodies will examine Slovenia's readiness for full membership. With the adoption of the Slovenian Space Strategy last week, Slovenia fulfilled the final formal step before submitting its application for membership.

The final decision on membership will be made by the ESA Council in 2024.

  • Slovenia from space on planet Earth at night with bright city lights.

    The Slovenian Space Strategy 2030, under the slogan "Small on Earth, Big in Space", sets out policies and activities to increase the competitiveness of the Slovenian space industry and to establish leadership in space areas where Slovenian stakeholders excel. Photo: tom.griger/

»With the adoption of the Slovenian space strategy, we are fulfilling the final milestone necessary for the initiation of formal procedures for full membership of the European Space Agency. It opens up opportunities for Slovenia to accelerate the development of our space sector. This is not only an opportunity to strengthen space research but also to develop breakthrough innovations that can revitalise the Slovenian economy,« stressed State Secretary Matevž Frangež.

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In recent years, Slovenia has built a promising space sector consisting of more than 40 small and medium-sized enterprises.

They managed to take a leading role in individual niche space areas, especially in the field of Earth observation, the development of innovative technologies, new materials and three Slovenian satellites, including the satellite Skylabs Trisat-R, which is also an important European achievement at an orbital altitude of 6000 km above Earth.

Space sector businesses represent a promising breakthrough ecosystem, and participation in ESA space programmes ensures the financing of innovation and activities in space and space applications that can be applied on Earth.

Slovenia's full membership of ESA represents an opportunity to strengthen the importance of the space sector in Slovenia and to increase responsibility for joint European efforts. In ESA,  the Member states consider Slovenia an excellent example of the next full member due to its successes in the space sector.

Author: Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport

Date: 6. November 2023

Time to read: 2 min