Copernicus is a European program for environmental and safety monitoring. Its goal is to provide timely and accurate information to support decision-making in this area. Copernicus provides its own European Earth observation capacity. It is also considered as a European contribution to GEOSS. Under Copernicus program, full and open acess to data and information is guaranteed. During the initiation phase (2011-2013), the data policy of the program was prepared. In 2014, Copernicus entered the full operation phase.
The main supposed users of Copernicus outputs are policy makers and public authorities. On the basis of the information that provided by the Copernicus, they can better decide on environmental issues or respond flexibly to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. The primary user of the Copernicus service is the European Union (primarily for the development of its policies). Other international organizations (such as FAO, WMO and others) are also using them. Other users of Copernicus data and services are academic and research spheres, private companies and general public. Copernicus has therefore great potential for creating new jobs, economic growth and innovation, as demonstrated by selected economic studies (e.g. EARSC - text or short video clip).
The Copernicus program consists from three basic components: