The European Commission is to boost resources devoted the development of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. In a decision taken on 8 March 2006, the Commission has established a new focal point for its GMES-related activities.

To be known as the GMES Bureau, the new body will be responsible for creating an implementation strategy for GMES, developing a federated and structured demand for GMES services across the Commission and promoting GMES to both stakeholders and the wider general public.

The Bureau’s pan-Commission role will be reflected in its staffing. While it will comprise a new unit within the Directorate-General for Enterprise, the decision itself has been proposed jointly by Vice-President Günter Verheugen and Commissioners Janez Poto?nik and Stavros Dimas. Staff working within or associated with the Bureau will be drawn from several Directorates-General, including users of GMES services, such as the Agriculture and Rural Development, and Fisheries and Maritime Affairs DGs.

GMES moves up a gear

Set for a 1 June 2006 launch, the Bureau will be guided by a Steering Committee composed of representatives of all Directorates-General with an active interest in GMES. The Commission has already commenced internal recruitment procedures to ensure a timely appointment of the head of the Bureau.

The Commission’s Decision also looks ahead to the next phase of the GMES initiative. The Bureau’s tasks will include developing proposals for managing GMES service provision beyond the Commission to include other EU institutions and bodies. The Bureau should therefore have the capability to encompass other participants, including the Member States.

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