Membership, Associate Membership and Pre-accession Arrangements of CERN, ESO, ESA, and EUMETSAT

in International Organizations Law Review
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Although there is abundant literature on membership of international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union or the WTO, membership issues concerning European scientific organizations are rarely looked upon. This can be explained by the focus of the legal community on political and economic organizations. The introduction of the article clarifies why separate European scientific organizations were needed and how the scientific community created European cooperation on a sectoral basis, sometimes aided by US scientists. The scientific organizations maintained themselves as independent organizations notwithstanding the absorptive capacity demonstrated by the dynamics of the European Union. The article argues that the four European scientific organizations developed a similar but not identical legal practice regarding admission of new member states and membership obligations. CERN and ESA are the two conceptual models for the development of legal solutions to membership questions which contributes to the formation of a similar law pattern of European scientific organizations. Treaty amendment has been avoided and legal practice is developed by the plenary organ, the Council. Legal similarities offer the advantage to states, as members of the four scientific organizations, to understand better the particular nature of scientific organizations and their operations. The article pays attention to recent expansion of membership as a complex issue which reinforced the adoption of similar legal solutions and the introduction of a pre-accession policy with increased membership conditionality.

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  • 42)

    During the 1970s and 1980sRomania was an active member of the Soviet Union’s Interkosmos program. The first agreement between ESA and Romania was signed in 1992 a second one (a five-year Framework Cooperation Agreement) in 1999 including the possibility of Romania to join some ESA programs and in 2006 the signing of a European Cooperating State Agreement.

  • 80)

    N.‘Austria’s Possible CERN Withdrawal Rattles Physicists’Science15 May 2009 p. 869.

  • 89)

    On 21 November 2011ESA invited ten EU member states to attend ESA’s Council: Bulgaria Cyprus Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. Eight of these states had already signed cooperation agreements with ESA. See ESA Council Rules of Procedure Rule 23: “The Council decides by unanimous decision to grant observer status to non-member states and international organizations.”

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