Brussels, 12 March 2014
EP adopts European Earth Observation programme Copernicus
The European Commission welcomed today's vote of the European Parliament on the Copernicus Regulation. Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation Programme, will ensure the regular observation and monitoring of Earth sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated and guaranteed information in support of a broad range of environmental and security applications and decisions. Today's vote marks a major milestone for Copernicus. Indeed, the adoption of the Regulation paves the way for the continuous development of the programme. This text, which still needs to be adopted by the Council, defines Copernicus objectives, governance and funding (some € 4.3 billion euros) for the period 2014-2020.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: “Space is a priority for the Union; the budget for both European flagship space programmes, Copernicus and Galileo, for the next seven years is secured. Almost €12 billion will be invested in space technologies. It is my priority to make sure that this budget will multiply the benefits that European citizens will reap from our space programmes."
Launch of first Copernicus satellite in April
The Copernicus programme is entering the operational phase after years of preparation. The next step is the launch of the first Copernicus satellite, Sentinel-1, beginning of April from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guyana.
Copernicus will provide Earth observation data
Copernicus will support the vital tasks of monitoring our environment and security by providing Earth observation data. The data provided by this satellite will enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations.
Copernicus opens up business opportunities
Copernicus will also help Europe's enterprises creating new jobs and business opportunities, namely services for environmental data production and dissemination, as well as the space industry. Indirectly, a variety of other economic segments will see the advantages of accurate and reliable earth observation data, such as transport, oil and gas, insurance and agriculture.
Studies show that Copernicus could generate a financial benefit of some € 30 billion and create around 50.000 jobs in Europe by 2030. Moreover, the open dissemination regime for Copernicus data and service information will help citizens, businesses, researchers and policy makers to integrate an environmental dimension into all their activities and decision-making procedures.
Space activities foster already today the development of a market for satellite-enabled products and services, providing the highly qualified jobs which our industry will need in order to thrive now and in the future.
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