Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

EU signs Copernicus arrangements with four countries

EU signs Copernicus arrangements with four countries
Published on: 19/03/2018
The EU has signed earth observation cooperation arrangements with Brazil, Chile, Columbia, and India. These arrangements grant free, full and open access to data from the EU's Copernicus earth observation programme, as well as information and forecasts from Copernicus services. The EU will gain reciprocal access to observations and archives from India and Brazil's non-commercial remote sensing satellites. In addition, the arrangements will benefit Copernicus data gathering through the availability of in-situ data for the calibration and validation of EU satellite data.

Philippe Brunet, Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, signed the arrangements on behalf of the EU. The arrangement with Brazil, Chile, and Columbia was signed on 8 March in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The arrangement with India was signed on 19 March in Bangalore, India.

These arrangements follow similar ones that the EU already has in place with the United States and Australia. As a result, one-third of the world's population now has privileged high bandwidth access to Copernicus free and open data and information. Governments, local authorities, academics, researchers and businesses from the six partner countries are also able to benefit from Copernicus' environmental and climate monitoring, emergency management, and disaster risk reduction services.

These arrangements are particularly important because:

  • they highlight the global nature of the Copernicus programme. The EU is committed to sharing data and information that can help tackle global challenges such as climate change, the development of knowledge-based societies, and human development
  • some of the planet's most vital and endangered ecosystems are located in or near the partner countries. These include the Amazon rainforest, Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Ganges Delta. Copernicus data can help us prepare for or respond to disasters in these areas
  • partner countries can take advantage of earth observation data as a tool for economic development. This can benefit businesses and entrepreneurs in the EU and partner countries through increased collaboration and partnerships.

The arrangements include provisions for the development of information sharing concerning new products and facilitate collaborative ventures between the private sectors of the six partner countries and the Copernicus participating countries (EU countries plus Norway and Iceland). They are based on the principle of 'no exchange of funds', meaning that each side will finance their own activities.