Member states in favour of establishing Copernicus programme

20 December 2013, Last updated at, 19:09 EET
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author: Reporters/Scanpix

In the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) the Member States voted in favour of the final compromise text, as agreed by the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency in negotiations with the European Parliament on the Proposal for a Regulation establishing the Copernicus Programme.

The amount allocated by the Union to implement the Copernicus activities is EUR 3 786 million for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

The objective of Copernicus is to provide accurate and reliable information in the field of the environment and security, tailored to the needs of users and supporting other Union’s policies, in particular relating to the internal market, transport, environment, energy, civil protection, cooperation with third countries and humanitarian aid.

Minister of Economy of Lithuania Evaldas Gustas noted, that timely agreement on Copernicus Regulation and a rapid adoption will safeguard the first launch of Copernicus satellites, planned for the spring 2014.

“Copernicus will contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. It will benefit a wide range of Union policies and contribute to reaching the objectives of Europe 2020, in particular by developing an effective space policy to provide the tools to address some of the key global challenges. Copernicus should also support the implementation of the European space policy and support the growth of European markets for space-based data and services,” said Minister Gustas.

Copernicus will be implemented consistently with other relevant Union instruments and action, in particular with environmental and climate change actions, and instruments in the field of security, protection of personal data, competitiveness and innovation, cohesion, research, transport, competition and international cooperation, and with the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) programme. Copernicus data should be compliant with Member States’ spatial reference data as well as with implementing rules and technical guidelines of the infrastructure for spatial information in the Union established by Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

1. Copernicus should also complement the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) and Union activities in the field of emergency response. Copernicus should be implemented in line with the objectives of Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information, notably transparency, the creation of conditions conducive to the development of services, and contributing to economic growth and job creation. Copernicus data and information should be available freely and openly to support the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The Commission will have the overall responsibility for Copernicus and will define the priorities and ensure the overall coordination and supervision of the programme. This should also include special efforts leading to raising public awareness about the importance of space programmes for the European citizens.

The main outstanding issue that was solved in informal trilogues was that the three institutions were able to find agreement on the contracting authority (ESA and EUMETSAT).

Today’s confirmation in the Committee allows the Presidency to send the letter to the European Parliament, according to the first reading procedure.

Background:

On 12 July 2013, the Commission submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council the corrigendum of the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council, establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No. 911/2010.

Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth observation and monitoring, which will provide Europe with a continuous, independent and reliable access to earth observation data and information. Copernicus services address six main thematic areas: marine, atmosphere, land and climate change monitoring as well as support to emergency management and security. Copernicus uses data from satellites and in-situ sensors such as buoys or air sensors to provide timely and reliable information and forecasting to support (for example) agriculture and fisheries, land use and urban planning, the fight against forest fires, disaster response, maritime transport or air pollution monitoring.

The last trilogue took place on18 December 2013.

The Council reached a General Approach on the Copernicus Regulation Proposal on 3 December 2013.

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