Representatives of European users and suppliers of the services and technologies involved in Global Monitoring for Environment and Security came together for the inaugural meeting of the GMES steering committee in Brussels on 19 March 2002. This event marked the first step in implementing the joint EU/ESA action plan to pave the way for the creation of an autonomous global monitoring system by 2008.
Initial aims (by the end of 2003) will be to assess Europe’s existing activities and infrastructures in monitoring and information production, and to adjust the mechanisms for the development, collection and distribution of data and information in support of EU policy goals – or, if needed, develop new ones.
The yearly GMES Forum is an essential feature of the initiative, bringing together all major actors involved in the monitoring and production of information for environment and security policies in Europe. The Forum stimulates dialogue and develops a shared understanding of the issues – and seeks a common approach to finding solutions.