The European Commission has published a Communication and Staff Working Paper on the development of GMES, the satellite-based, earth observation ‘system-of-systems’ for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security.

The 10 page Communication covers ‘next steps’, ‘ownership and data policy’ (with the Commission suggesting that it should own the EU’s space infrastructure), ‘governance’ (with the Commission in charge), ‘procurement’ and ‘international cooperation’.

The 8 page Staff Working Paper adds a little more detail, including costings. The current ‘development phase’, which runs from 2007-13, has set aside €2.245 billion (€624 million from Fp7 and €1.621 billion from the European Space Agency budget).

The Commission proposes that the next ‘operational phase (2014-2020) will need some €4,230 billion (all of which comes on top of the national space budgets of the member states). Forbes magazine, however, suggests that the “cash-strapped member states are reluctant to increase E.U. space funding“.

Revealing interview with Josef Aschbacher, Head of the GMES Space Office. GMES is the EU’s satellite earth monitoring system. Originally it stood for Global Monitoring for Environmental Security but the acronym was changed some time last year to Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. Aschbacher speaks here the potential of GMES for “huge applications in the security and defence realm”.

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