Norwegian candidate for the ESA Director General position


The Norwegian Government has proposed Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, current DG of the Norwegian Space Agency, as candidate for the ESA Director General.

– I believe Mr. Hauglie-Hanssen’s combined background from space and other industries, as well as public service together with proven achievements in international space cooperation over many years, makes him a very well suited candidate, Iselin Nybø, Norwegian minister of trade and industries says.

Norway´s relation to ESA and the EU Space Programmes

Norway has a strong reputation in ESA. As a member state, Norway has been emphasizing the importance of prioritizing the best interests of the ESA community. There is consensus in ESA (found at the ESA Ministerial Meeting in 2019) to keep the organization as a independent intergovernmental organization cooperating closely with, but remaining independent of the EU. Norway has an well-established and long-term relation with the EU. The agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) remains the main vehicle for the Norwegian partnership with EU, gives Norway full access to the Internal Market, with the same rights and obligations. Norway is a fully participating member of the EU Space Programmes Galileo and Copernicus, and operates under a Security Agreement with the EU covering these activities. Norway is hosting satellite ground stations that are important for the performance and robustness of the services, including PRS. Norway´s geographic location is suitable for supporting space activities and services, and is an asset for our partnership with the EU and its space programmes.

ESA appointment process

Anna Rathsman (Sweden), Chair of the Council at the ESA Council, is responsible for the appointment process of the new DG. According to the ESA Convention (ESA’s founding document), the process of appointing the DG implies an open vacancy announcement and a designated recruitment committee led by Rathsman. The appointment of the new Director General is expected in December 2020.

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