"ESRO enjoyed its first big success in 1968 with the launch of ESRO 2B, an astronomy survey orbiter that was delivered to orbit utilizing a Scout rocket from the Western Test Range in California. But the establishment of a European launch vehicle, which was eventually named Europa, didn't progress as hoped. Several nations collaborated on the vehicle, with the United Kingdom developing the first stage (based on the “Blue Streak” ballistic missile), France the second stage, and Germany the third. Europa experienced many growing pains, cost overruns, and a lack of focus. Successive rocket stage failures eventually doomed the program."
What isn't mentioned is that there were 2 countries that had developed space programs with a launch capability by 1971 in the same time period as they were trying to develop Europa. The French had the Diamant launch system, and in the same period the UK developed the same Blue Streak missile technology, used on the Europa first stage, into the Black Arrow rocket. Both countries had successfully launched satellites by 1971. The Europa launch system was your obvious european politically driven mixture of technology from UK, France and West Germany with the divisions causing confusion and poor communication between the engineering teams. Result was it failed, got scrapped and the Ariane launch system was developed and put together by the French, which makes sense as they had the most experience and success with their own launch vehicle. The UK dropped their space launch capability and decided to focus on what would become ESA, making them the only country to have developed a national satellite launch capability and then to have dropped it.