Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its operations (from 2014 onwards)
EESC opinion: European Earth monitoring programme (GMES)
The EESC reiterates its unswerving support for European space policy and, in particular, for the major European projects Galileo and GMES, which it considers to be of strategic importance for European economic and scientific development. The EESC is totally against the Commission's proposal to relegate the financing necessary for development and completion of the GMES programme to an external ad hoc fund.
The EESC points out that it is indispensable for a programme that is entering the operational phase to be assured of its continuity; otherwise, it will fail. The entire proposal for innovative funding, management and governance mechanisms that are different from the tried and tested ones that are customary in the EU appears untimely, unjustified and very risky. The EESC calls for the financing of the programme to be brought within the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.
When it comes to governance, one can only be surprised at the minor role allocated in this complex system to the European Space Agency (ESA), which has to date designed, managed and operated the majority of European satellite systems.
The communication relating to the details of implementing the proposal for an intergovernmental agreement on the operation of GMES, which was published while this opinion was being discussed, does not change the conclusions of the Committee but reinforces them.
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EESC opinions on Space