The Esrin dossier of ESA (European Space Agency) analyzed by Francis Walsingham with moves and maneuvers by Tabacci
Everyone remembers the barbina figure of last November: Italy – to which everyone imagined the ESA General Management would go – managed to miss this historic opportunity that has not occurred since 2003. Italy was the only country to present two candidates: one indicated by the Conte2 government, the other presented himself alone with unprecedented institutional rudeness and not too veiled criticism in Europe. The selection committee considered both unsuitable without including them in the final short list.
Has anyone learned their lesson? Did we realize that a more or less ramshackle and not very relevant political lobby in Europe is not enough for the top international posts, while professionalism, proven and not boasted managerial skills are worth? It does not seem so, according to many insiders.
A few weeks ago, after a turn from a potential savior of the Conte3 government to a die-hard fan of Prime Minister Draghi, the president of the Democratic Center Bruno Tabacci received the delegation to Space from undersecretary to the presidency of the Council: "" A parliamentarian with great political experience ", Remarked Formiche di Paolo Messa on the day of the news.
For history and character, the man immediately activated himself by moving on a broad spectrum, meeting all possible interlocutors in the sector.
Fasting on the subject and even less informed of history, after some meetings with the new director general of ESA, the Austrian Joseph Aschbacher, Tabacci is convinced that he is handling the subject and that he is clear about the future that Italy will have in ESA; in this making use of the precious collaboration of the current president of the ASI whose skills are now common heritage in the sector.
Hence the brilliant idea: we are the third contributor country, we have only one direction, Estec in the Netherlands, even Esrin touches us almost by divine right, ignoring, or preferring to ignore, some problems: it is practice in ESA that a director of a center, except for a single case in history, it is never of the host country for obvious reasons of expediency; Italy voted for Aschbacher but it is one of the 18 countries that did and cannot claim any favorable treatment; candidates from other countries have very high level curricula and managerial skills in the sector.
But Tabacci is clear on what to do: a few days before the deadline for submitting applications for participation, he informs various people at the institutional level that he has already chosen the government candidate: Professor Roberto Battiston, former president of the ASI ousted by the Conte 1 government . In addition, not even waiting to know, after the submission date has expired, the possible presence of potential candidates with better skills in the specific subject of Earth Observations.
Not a few perplexities on the part of many sector analysts: the candidate has various weaknesses that do not seem to have been taken into consideration: not least his professional leap by introducing himself, in order to stay on the scene, even as an expert in statistical and forecasting models on infections and intensive care for Covid.
He is a high-energy physicist, he deals with cosmic rays, he has no competence in Earth Observations (institutional role with Esrin's connected services; as a manager, many insiders do not remember his particular successes as president of Asi. Some examples: the Primo Miglio fund in which he had committed the ASI with 10 million euros ended up in a soap bubble and the Agency's board of directors had to cancel the initiative; the Amaldi foundation, which he created by appointing himself as president in clear conflict because prohibited by Statute of the Agency, gasps ( as written by Alessandro Da Rold of the newspaper La Verità ; here the version of the foundation ).
Added to this is the story of the last two years of the “candidate for everything”: not qualified in ESA and in the two attempts to select the Cnr president he was always soundly excluded from the short list, ranking in medium positions, surpassed by many candidates evaluated as the best.
In the face of these facts, can your candidacy for Esrin be justified? Who advises Tabacci on these issues? And the minister of the University and Research, Maria Cristina Messa, formally vigilant minister on the ASI, has any idea of what is happening?
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/innovazione/esa-esrin-e-non-solo-tutte-le-manovre-spaziali-di-tabacci-e-battiston/ on Wed, 05 May 2021 04:39:35 +0000.