Philippe Busquin, Research Commissioner and responsible for space policy, opened the first meeting of the GMES Steering Committee in Brussels today. This meeting gathered, for the first time, the users and suppliers of GMES services and technologies. The steering committee will assist in the implementation of the EU’s Action Plan on Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES). The goal set by the European Union is to develop by 2008 an operational and autonomous European global monitoring capability for environmental and security purposes.
GMES is an initiative to federate Europe’s disparate activities in satellite observation and remote sensing, in support of Community policies. Currently, space data for information on environment and security is derived largely from experimental satellite systems that are national or bilateral among Member States. GMES seeks better to exploit Europe’s existing and planned capabilities and infrastructures, and to develop mechanisms for collecting and distributing data that help Europe realise its policy goals in various fields, such as environment, development co-operation, civil protection, the fight against fraud, etc. GMES is a key item of the Aeronautics and Space priority in the Community’s Sixth Research Framework Programme (2002 – 2006). Concrete applications include such activities as monitoring the global environment, detecting natural catastrophes, managing mass movements of refugees, etc.
As Philippe Busquin noted: “At their summit in Barcelona last weekend, the Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the Union’s ambition to become the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world and to invest in the creation of knowledge and technologies. We have first-rate science and space technologies in Europe. We must put them to greater and better use to help us meet the challenges of our globalising society. GMES is not only of strategic importance for space research, it will also help Europe to better project its values and policies in the world, for example to ensure sustainable development.”
P.Vittet-Philippe | alphagalileo
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