Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Benefits of space for the security of European citizens

Council of The European Union.Brussels.6 December 2011. RECALLS that GMES as well as Galileo/EGNOS are European Union flagship programmes under the  responsibility and management of the European Commission, and that GMES is also built on a partnership with ESA and their Member States, with the involvement of other relevant European bodies; REAFFIRMS that it is a priority for the EU to ensure the development and exploitation of sustainable GMES services and infrastructures in the medium- and long-term. URGES the European Commission to take the necessary and timely actions to secure the continuity of the programme and to reassure GMES users and stakeholders of its commitment to the GMES programme.

RECOGNIZES that GMES has an important role in ensuring the independent access by Europe to key strategic information supporting many EU policies enshrined in the Treaty, like agriculture, environment, transport, energy, health, civil protection, humanitarian aid and security; and therefore STRESSES the need to ensure continuity and availability of infrastructure and services beyond 2013.

NOTES that climate change has serious implications for both society and economy, as well as for natural and managed ecosystems, RECOGNIZES that GMES is a major European contribution towards the global efforts for understanding climate change and for both monitoring and mitigating its impacts, and STRESSES that the implementation of a dedicated GMES Climate Change service should complement and interact with other existing services and activities to bring answers to this challenge.

WELCOMES the effective provision of satellite-based information within the framework of the GMES programme to support crisis operations during recent disasters occurring worldwide; CONSIDERS that GMES has an important role to play as the backbone for an improved European emergency response capacity, in synergy with existing mechanisms; and INVITES the European Commission to further improve access to relevant data and information supplied by national programmes during crisis situations.

WELCOMES the results achieved by the European Commission in the development of preoperational capabilities for GMES security services, and RECOMMENDS the European Commission in close collaboration with the European External Action Service (EEAS), Member States and relevant EU agencies, such as FRONTEX, EUSC and EMSA, to finalise the definition of, and accelerate the transition towards, fully operational GMES security services in support of EU external actions and border and maritime surveillance, based on user demand.

CALLS UPON the European Commission, in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders, to propose an organisational framework, including governance, and the setting up of the planned operational services; in particular URGES the European Commission in consultation with all relevant stakeholders to complete the definition of an appropriate data policy for GMES, based on full and open access to information produced by GMES services and data collected through GMES infrastructure, subject to relevant international agreement, security restrictions and licensing conditions, including registration and acceptance of users licenses and which maximizes the use of GMES and build on a well balanced approach between free-of-charge access to certain public data and services and the need to strengthen Earth observations markets in Europe and the growth of existing and emerging European data and data service providing businesses; as well as the governance of the security of GMES components and information.

3133rd COMPETITIVENESS (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) Council meeting

Benefits of space for the security of European citizens,