A Bureau for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), hereinafter referred to as the “Bureau”, was created within the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry of the Commission. The Bureau started to operate from 1 June 2006 for the original period of three years. After renaming GMES programe to Copernicus, the Bureau was renamed to Copernicus Unit.
The work programme of the Copernicus Unit is based on the following objectives:
1) development of a federated and structured demand for GMES/Copernicus services supporting Commission tasks;
2) development of a co-ordinated implementation strategy for the introduction and management of GMES/Copernicus services, initially as pilot services, and notably the fast-track services;
3) development of a funding framework for the implementation and operation of Commission GMES/Copernicus-related tasks;
4) ensuring coherence between the evolution of GMES/Copernicus and the effective implementation of research and development activities provided for in the RTD Framework Programme;
5) promotion and establishment of a structured dialogue with GMES/Copernicus stakeholders;
6) raising the profile of GMES/Copernicus with potential users and with the general public.
GMES/Copernicus governance is then based on the cooperation of the Copernicus Unit with GMES Partners board, GMES Committee, GMES User forum and member states. Technical implementation of the programme is in hands of European Space Agency and European environmental agency (see picture below).