Italy and France Agree to Deepen Cooperation on Launch Vehicles & Other Areas

ROME November 26, 2021 (Italian Space Agency PR) — The Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, and the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, signed the “Treaty for Enhanced Bilateral Cooperation” at the Quirinale, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and of the Italian and French delegations.

The agreement known as the Quirinal Treaty also gives specific attention to space cooperation between Italy and France, as stated in article 7. [see below]

On the sidelines of the bilateral agreement, an Italian-French Agreement on launchers was also signed. Vittorio Colao, Minister for Technology Innovation and Digital Transition, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, agreed on the conclusions of the high level group on space matters they initiated last September.

The ministers acknowledge that the space sector is key for European competitiveness and constitutes a prerequisite for the strategic capabilities of both States. Europe’s autonomous access to space must be preserved and reinforced.

The Italian-French agreement on launchers signed today by the Ministers concludes three months of intense negotiation. It consolidates the cooperation between Italy and France on launchers, built on the future launchers Ariane 6 and Vega C, in order for Europe to fully play its role as leaders in a sector ongoing major evolutions.

This agreement lays the foundation for increased competitiveness of both liquid and solid propulsion thanks to industrial optimisations and strengthened cooperation agreed by the working groups. It also plans for additional technological developments that will enable to position Ariane on the emerging market of mega-constellations and acknowledges Italy’s ambition in Earth observation.

Quirinal Treaty
Excerpt (via Google Translate)

Article 7
Space

  1. The Parties recognize the importance of their bilateral cooperation in building a Europe of space, which constitutes a key dimension of European strategic autonomy and of the economic development of Europe. They promote the coordination and harmonization of their strategies and activities in the field of exploration, the use of outer space for peaceful purposes and Europe’s autonomous access to space.
  2. In order to improve their capabilities to operate jointly in space, the Parties develop and promote the bilateral cooperation at industrial, scientific and technological level, in particular within the framework of the European Union and of the European Space Agency.
  3. Through their cooperation, the Parties aim to strengthen the European space strategy and to consolidate the competitiveness and the integration of the space industry of the two countries. In the area of ​​access to space, they argue the principle of a European preference through the development, evolution and coordinated, balanced use and sustainable development of the institutional launchers Ariane and Vega. The Parties reaffirm their support for the European launch base of Kourou, strengthening its competitiveness and its openness. In the field of orbital systems, they mean encourage and develop industrial cooperation in the field of exploration, earth observation and telecommunications, navigation and related land segments.