The Japanese led Space Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will observe the universe over the 5 to 210 micron band with unprecedented sensitivity owing to its cold (∼5 K) 3.5m telescope. The scientific case for a European involvement in the SPICA mission has been accepted by the ESA advisory structure and a European contribution to SPICA is undergoing an assessment study as a Mission of Opportunity within the ESA Cosmic Vision 1015-2015 science mission programme. In this paper we describe the elements that are being studied for provision by Europe for the SPICA mission. These entail ESA directly providing the cryogenic telescope and ground segment support and a consortium of European insitutes providing a Far Infrared focal plane instrument. In this paper we describe the status of the ESA study and the design status of the FIR focal plane instrument.