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Space / Galileo / Copernicus

Space / Galileo / Copernicus

Galileo and EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) programmes

A number of key achievements took place in the implementation of Galileo:

  • 02.02.2012: Signature of contracts for the manufacturing of additional satellites, booking of launches and adaptation of Ariane 5. This will accelerate the Galileo deployment.
  • 12.10.2012: Second launch of Galileo (IOV) satellites. It increased the number of satellites of the Galileo constellation in space to four.

30.11.2011: Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems  [248 KB], COM(2011)814:

  • 07.06.2012: Council has adopted a partial general approach (PGA) on the proposal
  • 18.09.2012: In the European Parliament the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy has adopted its draft report.

24.2.2012: Adoption of Implementing Decision 2012/117/EU concerning Galileo ground-based centres and stations  [718 KB].

02.10.2012: Signature by Vice-President Tajani and the Cypriot Minister in charge of Communications and Works of an agreement for setting up a Galileo MEOLUT ground station (for the Galileo Search and Rescue (SAR) service) in the Republic of Cyprus.



26.07.2012: Vice-President Tajani officially inaugurated the third EGNOS service – EDAS (the EGNOS Data Access Service), thereby completing the range of three EGNOS services offered to the public. This service allows GPS data to be obtained via the internet, in addition to access via the existing satellite signal, and will make satellite navigation in Europe more reliable and effective for use in difficult surroundings.

21.03.2012: Vice-President Tajani and the South African Minister of Science & Technology Ms Naledi Pandor signed a Joint Statement that initiates the cooperation on EGNOS between the EU and South Africa.

In May 2012, the Vice-President and the Chinese Minister of Science & Technology Mr Wan Gang signed the Elements of Consensus (EoC) that define a way forward as regards cooperation between the EU and China in the field of Space.

04.09.2012: Two proposals for Council Decisions for a Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the European Satellite Navigation Programmes  [32 KB], COM(2012)469 and 470.

09.10.2012: Proposal for a Council Decision on the Conclusion of the GNSS Cooperation Agreement between the European Community, its Members States and Ukraine, COM(2012)569.



Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) / Copernicus

2012 saw the implementation of the Regulation N°911/2010 establishing the programme initiated in 2011. It includes the setting up of two GMES services out of six: Land monitoring and Emergency response, the others are still being implemented as R&D projects through the FP7 Space theme.

The GMES Land monitoring service provides accurate and cross-border harmonised geo-information from global to local scales. It provides geographical information on land cover including its seasonal and annual changes and monitors variables such as the vegetation state or the water cycle. It has a wide range of applications for use in land use / land cover change, soil sealing, water quality and availability, spatial planning, forest monitoring and global food security. From 2012, the service is now operational.

The Emergency management service provides all actors involved in the management of natural disasters, man-made emergency situations and humanitarian crises, with timely and accurate geospatial information derived from satellite remote sensing and in-situ data. It has been activated 23 times in 2012, supporting first responders in events such as earthquakes in Italy, forest fires in Spain or floods in Bulgaria.

11.05.2012: Communication on the establishment of an intergovernmental agreement for the operations of GMES from 2014 to 2020  [42 KB], COM(2012)218.

11.12.2012: Copernicus: new name for the European Earth Observation Programme: The new name was announced by Antonio Tajani on the occasion of the Space Council. Copernicus is a driver for economic growth and employment, with the potential to create up to 85 000 new jobs over the period 2015-2030.



Space policy

Following-on to the EU space strategy communication  [57 KB] adopted on 04.11.2011 COM(2011)152, the Commission continued working in the areas of Space industrial policy; space situational awareness (SSA), and relations between the EU and the European Space Agency.

14.11.2012: Communication on "Establishing appropriate relations between the EU and ESA"  [59 KB], COM(2012)671.

It supports the idea of rapprochement of ESA towards the EU environment as a way of optimising space governance in Europe.

09.07.2012: Publication of the final call (FP7-SPA-2013-1) of the FP7 Space Theme, worth EUR 126 million.



Research topics:

  • Climate change specific GMES service preparation
  • Stimulating development of downstream services and service evolution
  • Integration of satellite communication and satellite navigation solutions with space-based observation systems
  • Research to support space science and exploration
  • Space critical technologies for non-dependence
  • Security of space assets from space weather events and space debris collisions
  • SME space technology research and technology transfer

Two other dossiers are in the pipeline and are planned to be adopted by 13.02.2013:

  • a draft Communication on EU space industrial policy, which looks at ways and means of unlocking the potential for economic growth in the European space industry and improving its global competitiveness; and
  • a proposal for a Decision on establishing a European Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) support programme, the availability of which will contribute to the protection of the European space infrastructure, including Galileo and Copernicus/GMES.
Last update: 18/07/2014 |  Top