Etablering av en mellomstatlig avtale for driften av GMES-programmet 2014-2020


Meddelelse fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet, Rådet, Den europeiske økonomiske og sosiale komite og Regionsutvalget om etablering av en mellomstatlig avtale for operasjonelle aktiviteter til Det europeiske jordovervåkingsprogrammet (GMES) fra 2014 til 2020

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Meddelelse lagt fram av Kommisjonen 11.5.2012

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BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsmeddelelsen, engelsk utgave)

The GMES programme's objective is to develop a high-quality European Earth observation capacity. At a time when EU's international partners are investing heavily in such capacities, a coordinated EU response is of strategic importance. As such, GMES services will bring benefits to a wide range of European policies. The programme also represents significant potential for economic growth and job creation, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The future GMES programme: state of play
In its Communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020”, the Commission proposed to fund the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) outside the next multi-annual financial framework (MFF), given the limits of the EU budget to fund this type of large-scale project. However, the Commission is strongly committed to ensuring the success of GMES, and in this context, it adopted in November 2011 a Communication providing the main elements for defining the appropriate governance and long term funding of the GMES programme from 2014 onwards.

In particular, the Commission proposed to set up a specific GMES fund with financial contributions from all 27 EU Member States based on their gross national income (GNI), in a model similar to that of the European Development Fund. This implies the establishment of an intergovernmental agreement between the EU Member States meeting within the Council. The management of the fund should be delegated to the Commission.

On 16 February 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the future of GMES, stating a preference for financing GMES under the MFF. The Communication has also been debated within the Council, in particular the question of funding through an intergovernmental fund, but no conclusions were reached.

Risks associated with delays
Since its beginning in 1998, the GMES programme has neither experienced cost overruns nor significant delays. However, a possible discontinuity in the operations would be detrimental to the users, put at risk the investements made so far and the credibility of the programme. It would, moreover, lead to cost overruns.

In their pre-operational phase, the GMES services have lead to significant synergies in national or regional investments. Since the beginning of 2012, two GMES services are operational: the GMES Land monitoring service and the GMES Emergency Response service, which are now being used by their respective user communities. A discontinuity in delivering these services would create an important information gap and have a negative impact on users' activities. This would be true as well for the other GMES services that are delivered in a preoperational way, such as the GMES Marine and Atmosphere monitoring services, or for the GMES Security and Climate change services that are still in a development phase. In this respect, current uncertainties in the preparation of the operational phase are already hindering the commitment of stakeholders, being from the civil protection, environmental or scientific communities as well as private companies, notably SMEs of the downstream services. Uncertainties on the operation phase also risk leading to difficulties in the deployment of the space component, for which the first three Sentinel satellites will be ready for launch in 2013.

The European Space Agency (ESA) Council of April 2012 questionned the opportunity to authorize their launches without more clarity on the operations and future institutional arrangements. Delaying the launch would lead to significant extra costs in particular for stocking the satellite in appropriate conditions. In addition, the recent loss of ENVISAT3, which has already served well beyond its nominal life, makes Sentinel’s data even more urgently needed by European users.

While the position of the Commission in relation to the funding of GMES outside the multiannual financial framework has not changed, it remains committed to support Member States in the establishment of the necessary intergovernmental agreement and to prepare the necessary regulations for the GMES operations in a timely manner, in order to avoid disruptions of the programme.

The establishment of an intergovernmental agreement, accompanied by a regulation implementing that agreement and a financial regulation, will take some time. As they have to be in place on 1st January 2014, the Commission urges the Member States to start the preparation of the intergovernmental agreement without further delay.

In order to facilitate the ongoing discussions, the annex to this Communication includes a more detailed draft of the main elements of an intergovernmental agreement that can serve as a basis for negotiation.



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