ESA and EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, signed on 20 July a Framework Agreement on the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Programme.
The Agreement was signed by EUMETSAT Director General Lars Prahm and ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.
“This Agreement is a major step in the implementation of the GMES Programme under the overall responsibility of the European Commission. It is based upon two decades of successful cooperation between ESA and EUMETSAT in meteorology and opens up avenues for delivering operational services in new areas such as Environment and Climate Change,” Dordain said.
The roles and responsibilities of ESA and the EU with regard to GMES are defined in the Resolution on the European Space Policy of 28 September 2008, approved by the Space Council.
This Resolution states that GMES is a user-driven initiative that must aim to maximise the use of existing space and non-space observation capacities and services in Europe, including EUMETSAT.
In this context ESA’s role is that of development and procurement Agency for the dedicated Sentinel GMES missions and coordinator of the overall GMES Space Component, including contributions from Member States and EUMETSAT.
EUMETSAT contributes to GMES core services with data from its satellites and will also contribute with data and products from its future missions. In addition it will operate some elements of the Sentinel satellites, such as the Sentinel-3 marine element.
The Framework Agreement was approved by the ESA Council on 10 June 2009 and by the EUMETSAT Council on 30 June / 1 July.