The European Space Agency (ESA) has 17 foil member states: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada, Hungary and the Czech Republic also participate in some projects under co-operation agreements.
ESA employees are drawn from across the member states, ideally in proportion to the contribution of each state.
At 6 June 2007 there were 201 UK nationals employed by ESA:
‘HC’ band (programme director): 1
‘A’ band staff (senior managers, technical and administrative): 155
‘B’ band staff (administrators, technicians, secretarial): 33
‘L’ band staff (translators): 3
‘F’ band staff (young graduate trainees): 9.
The ‘ideal’ figure for UK employees in the period 2007-10 and based upon the UK's contribution to the agency should be 256.