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Brussels, 16 June 2010

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani welcomes today’s approval by the European Parliament of the Regulation on the European Earth monitoring Programme (GMES). 

"This European initiative will provide Europeans with information that can be used to further improve their quality of life through a better knowledge of the living environment, delivering the necessary information to fight climate change, respond to emergencies, and alert citizens if air quality gets bad, to cite a few examples. Recently, GMES has also been used to help rescue operations in Haiti and fight the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The European Parliament has taken an important step in the legislative process", said Vice-President Antonio Tajani.

The European Earth monitoring programme led by the European Union and carried out in partnership with the Member States and the European Space Agency has the ambition to bring the European Earth observation capacities to a sustainable and operational level where single Member States will not be able to cope. Users will be provided with information through services dedicated to a systematic monitoring and forecasting of the state of the Earth's subsystems. Several thematic areas are developed: marine, land, atmosphere, emergency, security and climate change. A land monitoring service, a marine environment monitoring service and an atmosphere monitoring service will contribute directly to the monitoring of climate change and to the assessment of mitigation and adaptation policies. Two additional GMES services address respectively emergency response (e.g. floods, fires, earthquakes, humanitarian crisis) and security-related aspects (e.g. maritime surveillance, border control).

At the last Competitiveness Council of the 26th May, ministers confirmed their wide support to GMES and adopted the report.

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