On 11 May 2010 the draft report on the Commission proposal for European Earth observation programme (GMES) and its initial operations 2011–2013 (COM0223) has been unanimously approved by the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), with MEP rapporteur Norbert Glante (S&D, Germany).
The committees on Budgets (BUDG) and Environment (ENVI) gave opinion on this draft report, with MEPs in charge respectively Damien Abad (PPE, France) and Vittorio Prodi (S&D, Italy).
The EU funding foreseen for the 3-year initial operations phase is €107 million, supplemented with €209 million from the “space” theme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) for accompanying research actions. The GMES programme should be fully operational by 2014. ESA will be responsible for technical co-ordination and implementation.
In the adopted draft report MEPs of the ITRE committee included the provision of open access to data gathered by satellite (except for security sensitive data) through a free-of-charge licensing and online access scheme. This provision should maximise benefits for the widest possible range of applications and foster a “downstream market”.
As a next step, the vote by the whole Parliament on the draft report is scheduled for 16 June 2010.