The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) have signed an Administrative Arrangement that aims to provide a structured relationship and a mutually beneficial cooperation between the two agencies through the coordination of their respective activities.

The cooperation will, in particular, aim to explore the added value and contribution of space assets to the development of European capabilities in the area of crisis management and the Common Security and Defence Policy.

"I am convinced that an increased dialogue and coordination between the space and defence communities is of mutual interest and will allow European space programmes to better support Europe's security and defence needs," said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain. "Reinforcing the cooperation between EDA and ESA will allow us to further develop the security dimension of the European Space Policy in coordination with other EU stakeholders."

"The signature of this Arrangement will allow us to consolidate our already close and fruitful working relations with the European Space Agency," said EDA Chief Executive Claude-France Arnould. "I am looking forward to exploring further synergies between the needs of the defence community and ESA activities to the benefit of our respective Member States."

Building on their specific complementary roles and activities, ESA and EDA are already cooperating on a variety of subjects, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Satellite Communication in support of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), and Space Situational Awareness, as well as critical space technologies.