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On July 13, 2012, the 19 member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) approved the entrance of Poland into the ESA Convention as its 20th member.

The next step for Poland in its process for membership into the ESA is for the Director General of the ESA, Jean-Jacques Dordain, and the Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, to sign the Accession Agreement.

Further, Poland will conduct its own ratification process over the next several months. Once completed successfully Poland will become the 20th member state of the ESA.

It is expected that Poland will become an ESA member sometime in the period from late 2012 to early 2013.

The press releases from the ESA ("ESA Council approves the accession of Poland") states, "Poland will participate as of today [July 13, 2012] as an observer in ESA Council. Poland has been a European Cooperating State since the signature of its ECS agreement in April 2007."

And, "The Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) Charter was signed in April 2008 in Warsaw. More than 42 PECS projects are under way in Poland, with a total budget of €11 million."

Currently, the ESA has 19 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Not all member countries of the European Union (EU) are members of ESA, and (vice-versa) not all ESA member states are members of the EU.

Even though the ESA is an independent organization, with no direct ties to the EU, it does maintain a close working relationship with the European Union.

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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