Press Release

The 3rd Space Council focused on the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)

By SpaceRef Editor
November 30, 2005
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The Space Council has endorsed the orientations necessary to pave the way ahead on GMES. Ministers also recalled the importance of maintaining a European autonomous Earth Observation capacity supporting political decision making, as well as the importance of the international dimension of GMES and its status as the main European contribution to the worldwide Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Besides GMES, a progress report on the development of the European Space Policy has also been presented to the ministers.

The Space Council – a joint and concomitant meeting of the European Space Agency Council at ministerial level and of the European Union Competitiveness Council – was held in Brussels today. It was jointly chaired by the current Chairs of the ESA Council at ministerial level and of the EU Competitiveness Council, in this case the German Minister of Economy and Lord Sainsbury of Turville, UK Minister for Science respectively.

The Ministers recognized the positive results of the cooperation between the EU, ESA and their Member States in the initial phase of GMES, and recommended that this cooperation should continue to play a key and visible role in the overall management of GMES.

During this meeting, as highlighted in a recent Communication of the Commission on this subject, the Ministers reaffirmed that the implementation of GMES will see the early deployment of three fast-track services on Emergency Response, Land Monitoring, and Marine Services, due to enter the pilot operational phase by 2008. Other services will follow according to a deployment plan covering the years 2009-2013.

In order to ensure the continuity of data necessary for the establishment of operational GMES services and to avoid duplication, the Ministers requested that best use of existing and planned satellite and in-situ systems on European and national level is made. To this end, they invited national Agencies and European organisations which already possess or are in the process of building up relevant assets and capacities (such as EUMETSAT for instance) to make their capacities available to the GMES initiative at appropriate conditions.

Though it was largely devoted to GMES, this third meeting of the Space Council received a report on the progress made towards the development of the European Space Programme and engaged in a debate on the international dimension of the European Space Policy on the basis of a discussion paper submitted by the Presidency.

SpaceRef staff editor.