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EUMETSAT and the dust cover of the first history eChapter selector GavaghanCommunications

Meteorology, Meteorological, History

An IGO
monit-
oring
weather and
climate
change

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p56.

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p54.


p55.

Not all EUMETSAT's Member States, then or now, were happy to abandon the principle of industrial return embodied in ESA's industrial policy. As EUMETSAT gained more direct control over its budget and the budget grew, the Organisation inevitably became subject to more direct pressure to ensure that the economic and industrial interests of Member States were taken into account when setting budget contributions.

In 1991 this last debate had not yet emerged and all the delegates, with the exception of the Netherlands, had won approval from their national authorities for a shift to funding calculated according to GNP. The result was that the Resolutions on the MTP and the MSG Preparatory Programme, introduced at the thirteenth Council at the end of 1990, were not unanimously approved and so could not be put into practice.

The MTP brought the matter to a head. If EUMETSAT wanted to launch a satellite to bridge the gap between the two generations of Meteosats, procurement needed to go ahead immediately. One way out of the dilemma was to allow the Netherlands to continue subscribing at the same percentage as for the MOP and to make up the shortfall elsewhere.

At a special meeting in April 1991 all delegates said that this solution was unacceptable. Many of them argued that they had won approval for the funding change only by arguing that EUMETSAT's decision was unanimous. If an exception were made for the Netherlands, the debate would be back to square one, because national authorities would withdraw their approval.

The delegates passed a Resolution urging the Dutch government to change its position. They sent letters delivered by hand to the Netherlands' Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Transport, Public Works and Water Management. These said: "If the Netherlands cannot agree to reverse its decision then EUMETSAT faces a major crisis which could certainly jeopardise the continuity of meteorological satellite data in Europe." Morgan visited the Netherlands to explain the situation. The following month the Netherlands reversed its decision.


SEE ALSO| |

1. Meteorologists shed political shackles, a review of Declan Murphy's history of the first 25 years of EUMETSAT (2011), by Helen Gavaghan.


2. An interview in 2010 with Dr Tillman Mohr, a special advisor to the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organisation, in Science, People & Politics.

eChapter TOP

Contents

Preface

Foreword

Introduction

Ch.1

Ch.2

Ch.3

Ch.4

Ch.5

Ch.6

Ch.7

Ch.8

The History of EUMETSAT is available in English and French from EUMETSAT©.
First printed 2001. ISBN 92-9110-040-4

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Eumetsat meteorology meteorological artificial satellites
European Space Agency weather climate policy politics history

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