Paris, France, September 06, 2023. The annual meeting of the A&A Board of Directors was held in Heraklion, Greece on May 31st and June 1st 2023. During this meeting, the A&A Board, the governing body of the journal, made several key decisions. These included defining long-term scientific policies, establishing publishing guidelines, and appointing new Scientific Editors. Additionally, the Board recommended approval of the journal budget to the ESO Council and took other actions to maintain and develop A&A's status as one of the premier peer-reviewed journals in the field.

The A&A Board also has the authority to approve the accession of new Sponsoring Bodies. In 2023, the A&A Board has unanimously approved the requests made by the Astronomical Society of Ireland and the Sociedad Uruguaya de Astronomía (the latter requesting observer status as an initial step). Consequently, Ireland became a new A&A member country on July 1st, 2023, while Uruguay was granted observer status as of July 31 2023.

The A&A Board of Directors extends a warm welcome to astronomers from these new member countries. These astronomers can immediately benefit from free publication in the Journal. The accompanying map shows the current geographic reach of the countries in the A&A Agreement, reflecting that in addition to the core members in Europe, there is an increasing interest worldwide in joining the Journal.

"The spirit of openness is very characteristic for how A&A is maintained, developed and expanded. We are absolutely thrilled to support these two new member countries by providing an opportunity to publish top-quality research results in a fully Open Access journal." - said Arūnas Kučinskas (Vilnius University, Lithuania), the newly elected Chair of the A&A Board.

Established in 1968 as a journal of astronomers for astronomers, Astronomy and Astrophysics has enjoyed continuous growth and development. Currently ranked in Q1 by the Scimago Journal Ranking with an impact factor of 6.5 as published in the latest Journal Citation ReportsTM published by Clarivate in June 2022, the journal publishes over 2,000 papers annually from authors worldwide. In 2022 it transitioned to Open Access under the Subscribe to Open model. With the continued support of subscribing libraries, A&A has been published in open access since 2022, with first authors from sponsoring countries not required to pay page charges.