The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a leading intergovernmental astronomical organisation in Europe, and the most effective astronomical observatory in the world. ESO provides astronomers with state-of-the-art research equipment. The observatory is financed by Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Italy. Annual contributions by the member states amount to a total of 140 million euro, and the organisation employs over 700 staff in Germany and Chile. ESO’s central headquarters is located in Garching near Munich, Germany and house the scientific, technical and administrative centres of the organisation.