[SatNews] ...this membership will enable Lithuania to fully participate in the decision-making process shaping the future of this international meteorological organization.
On January 1st, Lithuania became EUMETSAT’s latest Member State, following the ratification of the accession agreement by its parliament.
Lithuania will now be fully involved in the strategic decisions of EUMETSAT’s ruling Council, in addition to having access to all EUMETSAT data and products. Also, Lithuanian industry will be able to bid for contracts.
Lithuania’s Minister of the Environment, Valentinas Mazuronis, commented: “EUMETSAT membership will enable Lithuania to fully participate in the decision-making process shaping the future of this international meteorological organization. Moreover, our country’s individuals and businesses will have an opportunity to offer their skills and participate in tenders announced by EUMETSAT and thus contribute to the development of satellite meteorology”.
The EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier, said: “I am pleased to welcome Lithuania as EUMETSAT’s latest Member State. This is an important milestone for the organisation and we are well on our way towards 30 Member States in 2014”
The European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organization based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 28 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and three Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Iceland and 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). The Metop-B polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, launched on 17 September 2012, became prime operational satellite on April 24, 2013. It replaced Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, which was launched in October 2006. Metop-A will continue operations as long as its available capacities bring benefits to users.
The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on June 20, 2008 and exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the EUMETSAT product portfolio.
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.