Skip to main content
Research and innovation
News article14 December 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

European Commission signs a new working arrangement with the World Meteorological Organisation

On 14 December, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General, Professor Petteri Taalas, signed a working arrangement between the European Commission and WMO during a virtual signature ceremony.

WMO as a specialised agency of the United Nation is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.

The collaboration between the European Commission and WMO will support the implementation of the European Green Deal through research and innovation activities and through relevant Horizon Europe’s Missions such as Mission Starfish 2030 and A Climate Resilient Europe. This collaboration with WMO will also strengthen the deployment of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) implemented by the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) hosted by WMO and co-chaired by the European Commission. Both the support to the Green Deal and to the deployment of GEOSS are key in meeting the targets set at international level in important areas such as climate change, sustainable development and disaster risk reduction.

The working arrangement refers to twelve areas for cooperation, i.e.: climate change; disaster risk reduction and emergency response; Earth observation; capacity development of early warning systems; water, hydrology and the environment; energy; health; transport; agriculture; coastal zone management; sustainable development; education, training and research.

Commissioner Gabriel said:

The work carried out by the World Meteorological Organization has been and will remain of the utmost importance to support international research and innovation efforts in key areas such as climate change, disaster risk reduction and environmental observation. This working arrangement strengthens the cooperation between the European Commission and WMO and broadens its scope. I will contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and sharing the EU’s experiences in this with our international partners.

Priorities for cooperation include:

  • Promote the collection, improvement and dissemination of scientific information on climate, climate change and its impacts. To this end, seek opportunities for collaboration between relevant services of the European Commission and the WMO and its affiliated bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) or the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS).
  • Promote the development, implementation, and improvement of climate services, including initiatives such as the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Improve climate monitoring, prediction, projections and services in polar and high-mountainous regions. Collaborate on scientific inputs to high-level climate-related policy processes.
  • Contribute to international efforts on disaster risk reduction, resilience and prevention, in particular in response to the risks associated with increasing population exposure to hazards through improvement of the accuracy and effectiveness of risk information, impact-based forecasts and multi-hazard early warnings. Special emphasis on enhancing resilience of developing, least developed countries and small -island developing States.
  • Strengthen the global observing systems through sustainable, standardized, integrated, accurate and quality-assured relevant observations of the Earth system (including both satellite and in-situ observations). Provide leadership in the establishment of a global CO2 and other greenhouse gas monitoring system, whilst taking advantage of the complementary roles of the approaches taken by the EC and WMO respectively.
  • Further improve the provision of sustainable high-quality services in support of safety, efficiency and regularity of air traffic management worldwide, with due account to environmental factors.

The working arrangement gives details of possible working modalities, including exchange of information, documentation and data; sharing of experience, advice, technical support and staff; and joint reports and analyses. It builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2003.

More information

European Green Deal

Mission Starfish 2030

A Climate Resilient Europe

Group on Earth Observations

World Meteorological Organization


Publication date
14 December 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation