Poland should become the 20th ESA member as soon as in 2012, Polish government officials announced, which is at least one year earlier than previously indicated. The negotiations with ESA will begin on the 28th of November.
In June 2011, Prime Minister Donald Tusk signed a degree allowing the beginning talks with the European Space Agency. On the 22nd of November Poland was appointed as one of 10 new observers of the agency’s council and on the Warsaw EURISY 2011 conference on the following day another announcement was made. Poland will start the negotiation process in Paris next Monday, November 28th.
So far, the Czech Republic and Romania already became new ESA member states. Poland is visible in ESA programs through the the PECS Programme, which allowed new countries to start advanced cooperation with the agency. For example, the PECS funding partially allowed the creation of Poland’s first satellite, PW-Sat, which is going to be launched on the maiden Vega flight.
Lately Kosmonauta.net has received a letter from parliamentarian Julia Pitera, which gives first detailed insight into the proposed Polish budget for ESA. A maximum spending of 36 milion Euro is seen to be feasible in the nearest future, depending whether the emerging Polish space industry could take advantage of such spending. In addition, some major foreign companies, such as Astri Polska (related to EADS Astrium) have lately entered Poland and others might soon follow. At the same time, several new companies are formed, which might result in increased activity of Polish space industry in the near future.