The European Commission's space research and development activities will be carried out in conjunction with the research activities of Member States and those of the European Space Agency (ESA) so as to improve complementarity between different actors and to build a joint governance.
Relations between the EU and ESA are currently based on a Framework Agreement which entered into force in May 2004. The Framework Agreement created the ministerial-level Space Council that provides guidelines to support the achievement of its objectives.
The Space Dialogues between the Union and the United States of America and Russia, the two major space faring nations, forms the basis for the establishment of strategic cooperation in space partnerships such as the International Space Station or launchers, and collaboration in cutting edge space RTD projects.
The implementation priorities of space research and innovation under Horizon 2020 will be developed in consultation with stakeholders from European space industry, SMEs, academia, and technology institutes, represented by the Space Advisory Group and important partners such as ESA and national space agencies. As regards the participation in international undertakings, the research and innovation agenda will be defined in collaboration with international partners (e.g. NASA, ROSCOSMOS, JAXA).
The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is primarily responsible for space research funding.