The European Space Agency (ESA) has initiated the development of a system for Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA), which will allow European astronauts to work in space. The key element in this development is a space suit. The envisaged European space suit will use more advanced technologies compared with present US and USSR designs and thus represents a new generation of space suits.This paper provides the development status of critical technologies started in this pre-development phase with respect to the EVA life support functions. The results of these technology investigations on breadboard model level will be used as starting point for the Phase C/D to reduce the development risk. This European EVA Space Suit System (ESSS) shall be operational for the first manned HERMES flight in 1999.