Space.com has a long article on the results of the European government meeting that set out forthcoming European Space Agency (ESA) budgets: http://www.space.com/spacenews/spacenews_summary.html
- Core science budget will get 3.5% annual increase, which is not expected to keep up with inflation. Impact on ESA's ability to launch future science missions depends on the actual inflation rate.
- Replacement copies of the Kopernikus/Sentinel Earth observation satellites will be built, ensuring continuous measurements as the initial satellites in the system age. This is very big news for the Earth observation community.
- Preliminary approval was given to an expanded ExoMars mission. ESA is looking to fund 850M euros with another 200M euros needed from international partners such as Russia or the United States. This apparently will require some scaling back of the current 1.2B euro plan.