Brussels: The European Parliament has given a green light to Copernicus, the EU's earth observation programme. The Copernicus Regulation will ensure the regular earth observation and monitoring of earth sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, continental surfaces, and will provide reliable information in support of a broad range of environmental and security applications and decisions.
This programme, which still needs to be adopted by the European Council, defines Copernicus objectives, governance and funding of some 4.3 billion euros ($5.97 billion) for the period 2014-2020. According to a statement publicised by the EU executive, the European Commission has welcomed the vote of the European Parliament on the Copernicus. European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, explained that space is a priority for the European Union. The budget for both European flagship space programmes, Copernicus and Galileo, for the next seven years is secured. Almost 12 billion euros will be invested in space technologies. 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. 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.
Source: EC Europa