Brussels, 30 November 2005
The third meeting of the Space Council – a joint and concomitant meeting of the ESA Council at ministerial level and of the European Union Competitiveness Council – was held in Brussels on Monday, 28 November. Vice-President Verheugen underlined the importance of Europe speaking with one voice to international partners. Ministers stressed the strategic importance of the initiative for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). The objective of GMES is to provide Europe, on a sustained basis, with reliable and timely information related to environmental and security issues in support of public policy makers’ needs. Vice-President Verheugen underlined that GMES would have to be based on existing institutional and hard-ware capacities. Ministers recalled the importance of maintaining a European autonomous Earth Observation capacity supporting political decision making as well as the importance of the international dimension of GMES and its status as the main European contribution to the worldwide Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).