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EUMETSAT Joins European Space Policy

(PresseBox) (Darmstadt, ) Today, EUMETSAT, represented by its Director General, Dr. Lars Prahm, for the first time joined the Space Council as an official permanent observer. The new role enables the organisation to express its views in an important European Forum where space issues are coordinated at European level by EU and ESA Ministers in charge of space matters.

Today's Space Council, a joint meeting of EU Competitiveness ministers and representatives from the Member States of the European Space Agency (ESA), endorsed the European Space Policy. The document was presented by the European Commission and the Director General of ESA and includes various references to EUMETSAT activities in particular relating to the Role of EUMETSAT as operator of GMES - related satellites and to the provision of data and products for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. The endorsement of the European Space Policy marks a milestone for the development of space policy in Europe, providing a European identity to space.

Following the endorsement for the Resolution of the Space Council Dr. Lars Prahm was given the floor and commented on EUMETSAT's participation in European space activities. EUMETSAT's Director-General, stated that : "Observations and measurements from space gathered by operational weather satellites are key tools to address not only weather forecasting but also global climate and environmental challenges of the 21st Century. EUMETSAT is well qualified to make significant and extended contributions to secure Europe's space future. This future is marked by a common desire to put space at the service of Europe and some 500 million citizens - a mandate our organisation has continued to fulfil since its creation in 1986."

Space is a high value-adding sector, a driver for growth and employment and a valuable opportunity provider for European industry. The space policy document provides a comprehensive political framework for the development of a strong European space sector on the basis of which individual investment decisions can be taken to maximise the benefits to be derived from space. Such framework is necessary to face both global challenges and the demands of modern daily life in Europe where a number of vital services and industries increasingly depend on space applications.

The latest Communication on European Space Policy follows a series of important initiatives that have brought the European space sector closer together, linking the EU, the European Space Agency (ESA) and EUMETSAT in close association with industrial players, other space stakeholders and end users.

EUMETSAT

Die europäische Organisation für die Nutzung meteorologischer Satelliten ist eine zwischenstaatliche Organisation mit Sitz in Darmstadt, Deutschland, mit derzeit 21 europäischen Mitgliedsstaaten (Belgien, Dänemark, Deutschland, Finnland, Frankreich, Griechenland, Irland, Italien, Kroatien, Luxemburg, die Niederlande, Norwegen, Österreich, Portugal, Schweden, Schweiz, Slowakei, Slowenien, Spanien, Türkei und das Vereinigte Königreich) und 9 Kooperationsstaaten (Bulgarien, Estland, Island, Lettland, Litauen, Polen, Rumänien, Tschechische Republik und Ungarn).

EUMETSAT betreibt gegenwärtig die geostationären Satelliten Meteosat-8 und -9 über Europa und Afrika sowie Meteosat-6 und -7 über dem Indischen Ozean. Metop-A, Europas erster polarumlaufender Wettersatellit, wurde im Oktober 2006 gestartet und liefert seit dem 15. Mai 2007 operationelle Daten. Nach seinem Start, der für Mitte Juni 2008 geplant ist, wird der Jason-2-Meeresbeobachtungssatellit die bisherigen Missionen von EUMETSAT um Daten zur Meeresoberflächentopographie erweitern. Die Daten, Produkte und Dienste von den Satelliten von EUMETSAT leisten einen bedeutenden Beitrag für die Wettervorhersage und für die Überwachung des globalen Klimas.