European Union/European Commission

The European Commission (EC) is the executive body of the European Union (EU), and is responsible for formulating and implementing European legislation

The legislative branch of the EU is comprised of the European Parliament, composed of 736 members, and the Council of the European Union (also known as the EU Council), composed of the 28 national Ministers. EUMETSAT monitors the communications, directives and legislation of both institutions where they pertain to space and environmental issues.

The European Commission (EC) is the executive body of the European Union (EU), and is responsible for proposing, formulating, implementing and upholding European legislation. The EC is divided into departments called Directorates-General (DG) and is actively engaged in a range of space-related activities, including Galileo, the Copernicus initiative, satellite telecommunications and space research.

Directorate-General for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and smes (DG grow)


Amongst other things, DG GROW is responsible for formulating and delivering the EU's space policy via the two large-scale programmes Copernicus and Galileo, as well as research actions to spur technological innovation and economic growth. The main aim of the space strategy for Europe is to:

  1. Maximise the benefits of space for society and the EU economy, by promoting the use of Galileo services in mobile phones, cars and for timing and synchronisation of European critical infrastructure, as well as by improving access to space data for start-ups
  2. Ensure a globally competitive and innovative European space sector, by making it easier for companies and start-ups to access space data via dedicated industry-led platforms so that they can develop services and applications; by promoting more private investment for start-ups, in particular in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe and the Pan-European Venture Capital Fund of Funds
  3. Reinforce Europe's autonomy in accessing space in a safe and secure environment, by supporting the development of cost-effective, reliable and competitive European launchers
  4. Strengthen Europe’s role as a global actor and promoting international cooperation.

Between 2014 and 2020, more than EUR 12 billion will be spent on the implementation of the EU's three space programmes: satellite navigation (Galileo and EGNOS), Earth observation (Copernicus) and space research as part of the Horizon 2020 programme.
Under a Delegation Agreement signed in November 2014, EUMETSAT cooperates closely with DG GROW on Copernicus. This cooperation includes supporting the development of its space component, in view of operating some of its elements, and contributing to the programme’s objectives through its mandatory and optional programmes and the delivery of data and products highly relevant to environmental monitoring. EUMETSAT will implement the Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5 missions and cooperate with ESA on the development of the Sentinel-3 (marine mission), -4, -5 and -6 missions. EUMETSAT will also operate these missions and provide access to their data through modern web-based Data Information and Access Services. More information on Copernicus is available here.

DG GROW website 

Directorate-General for Development and international Cooperation (DG DEVCO)


DG DEVCO is responsible for designing European cooperation and development policy, and delivering aid throughout the world.

The Directorate-General delivers aid through a set of financial instruments with a focus on ensuring the quality of EU aid and its effectiveness. An active and proactive player in the development field, it promotes good governance, human and economic development and tackles universal issues, such as fighting hunger and preserving natural resources. 

DG DEVCO implements the funding instruments for external assistance. These instruments are used for providing development funding for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and other non-EU countries. EUMETSAT is supporting projects financed by DG DEVCO such as Preparation for Use of MSG in Africa (PUMA), the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD), the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA), the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa, and Satellite and Weather Information for Disaster Resilience in Africa (SAWIDRA).

As the organisation responsible for Europe’s operational meteorological satellites, EUMETSAT cooperates closely with the DG DEVCO and plays a key role in those projects.

DG DEVCO website 

Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD)


The DG for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) defines and implements the European research and innovation policy with a view to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, and especially the Innovation Union, and also supports its policies in other fields, such as the environment. 

DG RTD funds excellent research and innovation through framework programmes, currently through Horizon 2020. This framework programme includes a budget line for space research, providing funding for research and development activities from 2014 to 2020. DG RTD is also responsible for the EC’s contribution to the intergovernmentalGroup on Earth Observations (GEO) initiative and to its secretariat. The EC co-chairs the GEO Executive Committee. 

In 2015, DG RTD has also released itsEuropean Roadmap for Climate Services, which is a research and innovation roadmap for climate services that could be used for the definition of future actions promoted by the EC in support of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). 

EUMETSAT supports and/or participates in a number of projects funded by the EU Framework Programme for Research and Development. EUMETSAT’s contributions to the GEO initiative are coordinated at European level by a group chaired by DG RTD.
DG RTD website 

Joint Research Centre (JRC)


The JRC's mission is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support to Union policies, while flexibly responding to new policy demands. It is the EC's in-house science service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy. Additionally, the JRC is a key player in supporting successful investment in knowledge and innovation foreseen by the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation.

The JRC has a dedicated Institute forEnvironment and Sustainability (IES) , which provides scientific and technical support to EU policies for the protection of the environment, and the more efficient and sustainable management of natural resources at global and continental scales. IES has led the development of theInfrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE), and supports the EU in the management of Earth observation and in the field of sustainable development in developing countries. The JRC provides scientific support for sustainable development inAfrican, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The JRC is a partner in the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) programme.

EUMETSAT has established a Collaboration Agreement with the JRC. The general objective of this Collaboration Agreement is to create synergies (reinforce the links) between the operational capabilities of EUMETSAT and the research capacities of the JRC for the benefit of monitoring climate change and the environment, environmental status, natural resource condition and use, natural hazards, energy, humanitarian assistance and trade, for the efficiency of support to developing countries, and for the benefit of their respective contributions to the definition and implementation of the European Space Policy (including Copernicus). 

JRC is a user of EUMETSAT data and products, andEUMETCast, EUMETSAT’s data dissemination system used to disseminate data and products for use by the ACP group of states. 

JRC website 

Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)


DG ENV formulates environmental legislation and ensures that agreed measures are put into practice in EU Member States. 

Its objective is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations. To achieve this, it proposes policies that ensure a high level of environmental protection in the European Union and that preserve the quality of life of EU citizens. DG ENV makes sure that Member States correctly apply EU environmental law, and has the power to take legal action if it seems that EU environmental law has been infringed. 

DG ENV also finances projects that contribute to environmental protection in the EU. Since 1992 some 3,115 projects have received some financing from LIFE+, the EU's main financial instrument for the environment. 

A key piece of legislation is theINSPIRE directive, which aims to create a European infrastructure for the exchange of space-observed data for environmental purposes and to provide users with integrated spatial information services linked by common standards and protocols. 

DG ENV also oversees the activities of theEuropean Environment Agency (EEA), which aims to support sustainable development and achieve significant and measurable improvements in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy-makers and the general public. 

DG Environment website


SIR DG CLIMAThe Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) was established in February 2010, climate change being previously included in the remit of DG ENV. It leads the European Commission's efforts to fight climate change at EU and international level.  
Its mission consists of formulating and implementing climate policies and strategies to meet its climate targets of 2020, 2030 and beyond and taking a leading role in international negotiations on climate in bi- and multi-lateral partnerships. Further, DG CLIMA is tasked with implementing the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) by building a global carbon trading market and with monitoring national emissions by EU member countries. Promoting low-carbon technologies and adaption measures is another important mission of DG CLIMA. 
DG CLIMA website 

DG MOVE, DG MARE and Others


The Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) is responsible for the development and implementation of EU transport policies. Its mission is to ensure that transport policies are designed for the benefit of all sectors of society. DG MOVE carries out these tasks using legislative proposals and programme management, including the financing of projects. 

The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) delivers the EC’s political priorities in the areas of fisheries and maritime law and affairs. The mission of DG MARE is to develop the potential of the European maritime economy and to secure sustainable fisheries, a stable supply of seafood, healthy seas and prosperous coastal communities [...] This involves formulating, developing and implementing the Common Fisheries Policy and the Integrated Maritime Policy. 

Other Directorates-General, such as the Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENERGY), the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and  Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) run various activities in fields relevant to some of EUMETSAT’s own activities: the use of EUMETSAT products for agriculture and rural development, telecommunication technologies for dissemination of data and international relations.

 EUMETSAT also routinely monitors the policies issued by other Directorates-General to assess the extent to which EUMETSAT satellite data and products could contribute to the implementation of these policies. EUMETSAT regularly participates in consultation processes initiated by the EC in areas relevant to EUMETSAT’s mandate.


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