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€5.8 billions proposed to fund the European programme for Earth observation

Brussels, 30 November 2011 – The European Commission has proposed to finance the GMES programme (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) for Earth observation for the period 2014-2020 outside the EU financial framework, for which an estimated budget of €5.8 bn is deemed necessary.

The Commission proposes to set up a specific GMES fund similar to the model chosen for the European Development Fund, with financial contributions from all 27 EU Member States based on their gross national income (GNI). This will require an intergovernmental agreement between the EU Member States meeting within the Council. The programme will be coordinated by the Commission and its financial management could be delegated to the Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA).

Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: “In order to respond to ever growing challenges at global level Europe needs a well-coordinated and reliable Earth observation system of its own. The GMES programme will significantly boost space related research in Europe and ultimately also support the economic recovery and address major challenges faced by European citizens nowadays”.

More information on global Monitoring for Environment and Security GMES


GMES – The European tool to contribute to security, fight against climate change and to boost competitiveness

With its “Sentinel” satellites GMES provides information which allows a better understanding of how and in what way our planet may be changing while monitoring the state of the environment on land, at sea and in the atmosphere. Mitigating climate change, responding to emergencies, insuring a better border control, improving the security and alerting citizens if air quality gets bad are activities that depend on precise and timely information on our Earth. GMES is delivering the necessary data, including maps for emergency operations, monitoring of climate change parameters, of ocean and sea temperature or chemical composition of the atmosphere. GMES is also relevant for improving security for citizens, such as border surveillance and fight against piracy and organised crime.

According to a cost benefit analysis, GMES is expected to deliver benefits worth at least twice the costs of investments for the period up to 2020 and four times the costs up to 2030. It represents a huge potential for economic growth and job creation with the development of innovative services and commercial applications in the downstream sector.

The European dimension of GMES leads to economies of scale, facilitates common investment in large infrastructures, fosters coordination of efforts and observation networks, enables harmonisation and inter-calibration of data, and provides the necessary impetus for the emergence of world-class centres of excellence in Europe.

Harmonisation and standardisation of the geospatial information at EU level is a major challenge for the implementation of a wide range of Union policies. Many areas of environmental concern – such as climate change mitigation and adaptation policies – require thinking globally and acting locally. With GMES, the EU is ensuring its autonomous access to reliable, traceable and sustainable information on environment and security, contributes through the GEOSS international initiative (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) to build global observational datasets and information and increases its influence in international negotiations and treaties such as the three Rio Conventions, the post-Kyoto Treaty, and other bilateral or multilateral agreements. GMES is recognised as the European contribution to building the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, developed within the framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

The Commission indicated that given the limits of the EU budget, it was proposed to fund GMES over 2014-2020 outside the multi-annual financial framework. Nevertheless, the Commission is still committed to ensuring the success of GMES, and in this context, today’s communication will launch the debate with the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions on the future of the GMES programme.