Vue d'un blob au microscope
© CRCA/CNES/CNRS Photothèque/DUSSUTOUR Audrey, 2021

Europe and international

CNES is a pivotal player in space cooperation and a partner of choice renowned worldwide for its know-how and expertise.

90% of CNES's space missions are with partners

60+ partnerships with countries and international organizations


Go-to partner

The agency’s international partnerships fall into three categories:

  1. European partnerships with the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA), and bilateral partnerships, through which we intend to remain a prime player.
  2. Historic and foundational partnerships with leading space powers, in particular the United States, Japan and India, which are central to projecting CNES’s international reach.
  3. Partnerships with other space powers like the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Singapore and Brazil, whose ambition is to transform their societies and economies through space, offering CNES opportunities to support French industry and engage actions to serve France’s diplomacy.

These projects developed all over the world provide opportunities to share our know-how, advance knowledge and promote French science and engineering expertise.

Le rover Perseverance scanne la planète Mars avec SuperCam
Perseverance rover scans the planet Mars using SuperCam, a French instrument © CNES/DUCROS David, 2021

CNES and Europe

Created in 1975, the European Space Agency (ESA) executes Europe’s space policy for the benefit of its member states and for the European Union through the Copernicus and Galileo programmes.

ESA funds many ambitious science programmes such as JUICE to explore Jupiter’s icy moons, EUCLID to map dark matter in the universe, and soon PLATO to study planetary systems in the Milky Way.

France is playing an active role behind this success as a major contributor to ESA, and as the chief instigator behind Europe’s space strategy and the EU Space Regulation.

CNES’s contribution to ESA:

  • €1.174bn in 2022
  • 18.4% of ESA budget
  • 2nd largest contributor behind Germany

The ESA Ministerial Conference of 22-23 November 2022 in Paris reaffirmed Europe’s ambitions in space, with the agency’s 22 member states voting a record budget of €16.9 billion over three years. This envelope aims notably to develop independent access to space, with the maiden flight of Ariane 6 among the top priorities.

3 recent partnership examples