Copernicus Programme (2014-2020): observing and monitoring the planet

This European Union (EU) law establishes the Copernicus programme, a civil, user-driven programme which builds upon the previous European Earth Observation Programme, GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), as well as on existing related national and European capacities.


Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010.


Copernicus is an EU programme aimed at developing European Information Services based on satellite Earth Observation andin situ (non-space) data analyses. This initiative is headed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

In developing a competitive European space and services industry, Copernicus aims to nurture innovative earth observation systems and services and ensure Europe's independent access to environmental knowledge and key observation and geo-information gathering technologies. The information services provided will be freely and openly accessible to its users.

Copernicus comprises 3 components:


A service component : the Copernicus system delivers standardised data and information to its users, supplied on a long term and sustainable basis through a set of services, provided by companies or public entities, funded by the Commission. The information can be used by end-users for a wide range of applications in a variety of areas such as sustainable development and nature protection, regional and local planning, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, health, civil protection, infrastructure, transport and tourism


A space component : this ensures sustainable space-borne observations for the service components. The European Space Agency (ESA) coordinates this component, operates dedicated missions and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is set to operate dedicated missions.


Anin situ : Copernicus collects information from in-situ systems such as ground stations, which deliver data acquired by a multitude of sensors on the ground, at sea or in the air. These data come from European and non-European organisations and from EU countries.


Core users are policy-makers and public authorities who use the information as a basis for developing policies and legislation, such as in the environmental field or civil protection in the event of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis. Other users include commercial and private users, the education and research sectors, and not-for-profit organisations.

Use of Copernicus data

Copernicus data and information are made available on a full, open and non-fee basis, subject to certain conditions and limitations. This is to promote their use and sharing, as well as to boost European Earth observation markets, in particular the development of value-added services and products. Such downstream services may or may not be available for free, depending on the provider's business model.

Budget and work programme

A budget of EUR 4.3 billion (in current prices) is available for developing the 3 components over the 2014-2020 period.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 377/2014



OJ L 122 of 24.4.2014

last update 28.07.2014