ESA Ministerial Council: the meeting in Naples on November 20 and 21

The Neapolitan capital still the leading protagonist of space policy scenarios after the success of the International Astronautical Congress

Priorities and plans for the future: these are the issues posed to the attention of the space leaders during the next ESA Ministerial Council, which will open in Naples on 20th November.

The heads, which propose to develop a shared plan to promote awareness, support a new and competitive Europe and initiate services based on technologies from space, will have as its theme the anti-cyclical research and development of the sector in regard to the crisis.

"We will take a new direction - said the number one of the ESA, Jean-Jacques Dordain, last July at the Farnborough Air Show - it's the right time to change towards growth and competitiveness. ESA is moving in this direction. - concluded Dordain - We are in a period of success and great missions".

The two day event was to take place at the Royal Palace of Caserta, but following a safety inspection which denied its use, ESA and ASI mutually decided to move the seat of the forthcoming meeting of the Council to the nearby city of Naples, at the Overseas Show exhibition centre, where the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) was held just a few weeks prior.

The event will host the Ministers in charge of space activities in the 20 ESA member states but space will also be given to European countries that are not yet members and organizations such as Eumetsat, the European Science Foundation, the European Agency for Defence, the European Maritime Safety Agency and the European Union, that will be working as observers. Canada will participate on the basis of a cooperation agreement on some ESA programs.