14 thAnnual Plenary Conference - EISC SPACE AND SUSTAINABILITY 21-23 October 2012 Parliament of Poland, Warsaw, Poland

Established in 1999 as a permanent forum for interparliamentary co-operation in space between the European national parliaments interest in space policy, it aims at facilitating the exchange of information on space activities and at promoting mutual understanding of national policies through the provision of a forum for analysing the major issues at stake in the European space sector. Deputy Boguslaw Wontor, Chairman of EISC 2012 The European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) has for years been the place to unify and exchange opinions on the space policies of particular European countries. In January 2012 the Polish parliament has taken over the presidency of the 14th EISC conference. The Parliamentary Space Group will take care of its organization. I have the honour to chair this Group and am proud to be able to invite people working on broad aspects of the use of outer space to come to Poland. Following the example of previous years, during the Polish presidency of the 14th EISC, we are going to hold a seminar in spring and the main conference in autumn this year. In addition, we will organize a number of other events related to the Polish presidency of the EISC, and tighten cooperation with the European Parliament. The year 2012 is of the utmost importance to Europe as European institutions will be defining the scope of the common European Space Policy. It will concern both those aspects of the policy to be carried out within the framework of the European Space Agency Convention (ESA) as well as those defined by the EU Reform Treaty and implemented by the European Commission. Diverse activities in the field of the European space policy and, at the same time, their ultimate interdependence decide the strength of Europe’s position in the global endeavours of exploring and exploiting outer space. That is why the Polish presidency is going to make the important aspects of the strategy and plans of the European space policy, both that carried out within the framework of the ESA Convention and that implemented in keeping with EU treaties, the leading topics of the 14th EISC and of the meetings organized. While appreciating the significance and need for targeted space policies in the initiatives of particular countries, it is the aim of the Polish presidency to look at the over-all picture and  hence to invite as many representatives of European parliaments as possible to take part in EISC open sessions. At the same time, I wish to express satisfaction with the fact that in 2011 Poland entered into accession negotiations with ESA.  I am convinced that the Polish side will spare no effort to make these negotiations successful, and that the Polish parliament’s presidency of the 14th EISC conference will provide an excellent opportunity to assist in achieving  this goal. Deputy Bogus?aw Wontor Chairman of the Parliamentary Space Group