The Council successfully concluded the approval process for the EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG) programme with all 30 Member States having now firmly committed themselves. Based on this decision, the EUMETSAT Council authorised the Director-General to prepare and sign programme-related agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency CNES, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EPS-SG is the mandatory programme required to deliver observations from polar orbit in the 2021-2042 timeframe. It will improve and expand the observation capabilities of the first generation EPS, required to further improve operational weather forecasting up to 10 days ahead.

The meeting achieved progress in the approval process for the optional Jason-CS programme: 77.83% of the financial envelope of the programme is now covered by Participating States and further progress is expected during the summer.

The EUMETSAT optional Jason-CS programme is the proposed EUMETSAT contribution to the development and implementation of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission, in partnership with ESA, the European Union and the United States (NASA). The mission will extend until 2030 the climate record of sea level measurements accumulated since 1992 by the Topex-Poseidon, Jason, Jason-2 and Jason-3 missions. It will also support the development of operational oceanography and seasonal forecasts in Europe.

Regarding Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), the Council approved the contract with Arianespace for the first three launch services (MTG-I1, MTG-S1 and MTG–I2).

MTG will continue and enhance the services currently delivered by the Meteosat Second Generation series in support of nowcasting and very short-range forecasting of high impact weather in the 2020-2040 timeframe.

The Council also confirmed Alain Ratier as the Director-General of EUMETSAT for a further period of four years, until 31 July 2020. Ratier has served the organisation since 2011.


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the Jason-2 ocean altimetry mission, launched on 20 June 2008 and exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES.

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.

From 2015 onwards, EUMETSAT will exploit the Copernicus Sentinel-3 marine mission on behalf of the EU and deliver data services to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.