Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search   
Environmental Research policy
Environmental Research themes
News & Documents
Enviroment in Other EU Activities
Group on Earth Observations (GEO)

| European GEO High Level Working Group

The goal of the European GEO High Level Working Group is to oversee GEOSS implementation in Europe, to shape a common European view inside GEO initiative, and to give inputs to local decision makers concerning social benefits of GEOSS. It represents all the EU members states and other European countries and European GEO participating organizations.

Organization and mission

"Since the initial development of the initiative, starting with the First Earth Observation Summit in Washington D.C. in July 2003, European governments and the European Commission have shown strong commitment to the leadership of GEO and are well placed to contribute to the fulfilment of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan." (Terms of Reference are adopted for the European GEO High Level Working Group -GEO HLWG).

Its mission, as stated in the Terms of reference adopted in 2005 foresees:

i.) The HLWG shall facilitate and co-ordinate the opinions and activities of its Members, with a view to providing coherent and sustained European leadership throughout the GEO initiative, including the preparation of joint European positions at meetings of the GEO Plenary and its subsidiary bodies.

ii.) The HLWG shall ensure co-ordinated European inputs for the realisation of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan, through: • regular discussion and exchanges of information regarding their respective contributions. Such information shall include: activities directly related to the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan; relevant national and European-level research activities linked to Earth observation for environment and sustainable development (space-based and non space-based); contributions to the GEO Secretariat or other GEO subsidiary bodies; and other activities supporting GEOSS implementation (such as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative); • provision of guidance and support to the European members of the GEO Executive Committee.

iii.) The HLWG representatives shall inform their respective national authorities and organisations that are responsible for environment and sustainable development issues of the progress of the GEOSS initiative, with a view to influencing their activities and contributions to the optimum benefit and use of the initiative.

Membership and Participation

iv.) The HLWG shall comprise one (1) nominated representative from each Member. Members shall consist of the EU Member States, EU Candidate Countries, Associated Countries to the current EU Framework Programme for Research, and the European Commission.

v.) The HLWG representatives shall be senior individuals with decision-making responsibilities, expected to represent the views of their countries and the combined views of the national authorities concerned with environment and sustainable development research. Additional experts may accompany the representative, at the expense of the member authorities concerned.

vi.) The HWLG shall also comprise one nominated representative from each European GEO Participating Organisation, who will participate at their own expense and may be accompanied by experts.

vii.) The Chair may invite additional experts to address relevant topics on his/her own initiative or following a request of a Member or Participating organisation.

EU GEO members and participating organizations

The European GEO HLWG, under the chairmanship of the European Commission's Research Directorate-General, currently represents more than 35 percent of all GEO members, comprising all 27 EU Member States, two candidate countries (Turkey and Croatia) and four countries associated with the Seventh Framework Programme (Iceland, Israel, Norway and Switzerland). In addition, seven European international organisations, including the European Environment Agency, actively participate in the GEO. Representatives of all those European member countries and participating organisations are involved in the European GEO consultation process.

European GEO HLWG meetings are regularly organised and chaired by the European Commission Research DG, represented by Manuela Soares, Director of Directorate Environment-DG Research of the European Commission, to elaborate a coherent European approach within GEO. This includes ensuring appropriate European representation in the GEO Executive committee.

GEO members of the European GEO HLWG:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • The Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The United Kingdom
  • Turkey

European GEO participating organisations :

  • European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF);
  • European Environmental Agency (EEA);
  • European Space Agency (ESA);
  • European Sea Level Service (ESEAS);
  • Network of European Meteorological Services/Composite Observing System (EUMETNET/EUCOS);
  • European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT); and
  • Association of the Geological Surveys of the European Union (EuroGeoSurveys).


12th HLWG Meeting

8 July 2008 • Brussels, Belgium

13th HLWG Meeting

29 October 2008 • Brussels, Belgium


graphic element