France agrees ESA budget; MEO broadband scheme
November 30, 2022
By Chris Forrester
France has agreed a significant uplift to its overall contribution to national, bilateral and civil space budgets. The sum comes to €9 billion spread over the next three years and represents a 24 per cent uplift from the current three-year programme which ended in 2022.
The budget has a key proviso that the sum must not exceed 47 per cent of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) overall programmes.
On November 23rd it emerged from ESA and France’s national space agency (CNES) that the French contribution amounted to some €3.2 billion for the upcoming year (and just behind Germany’s €3.5 billion and Italy’s €3.08 billion according to ESA.
The UK, for example, while no longer in Europe but still helps fund ESA to the tune of €1.89 billion (and 11.2 per cent of the overall sum).
The French contribution includes “up to €300 million” towards the planned EU/EC-backed broadband-by-satellite scheme. The proviso is that France receives a slice of the contracts likely to be awarded in relation to the project, which seems fairly certain.