Hilde Hardeman together with SatCen Director
Pascal Legai and SatCen staff
How to monitor a ceasefire where ground patrols are barely possible? Since 2015, the European Commission's Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and the EU Satellite Centre (SatCen) have been working together to provide analysis of satellite imagery in support of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine. Hilde Hardeman, Director and Head of Service of the FPI, visited SatCen in Madrid, Spain and, together with SatCen's Director Pascal Legai, formalised the continuous FPI-SatCen cooperation to provide analysis of satellite imagery of eastern Ukraine as well as of Syria.
Following three years of successful cooperation, the EU renewed its commitment to support the SMM in monitoring the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The EU, under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), makes available additional €6 million for the coming two years to maintain SatCen assistance in the three areas covered by the mandate of the SMM.
Analysis of satellite imagery is crucial in helping the SMM getting a clearer picture of the security and humanitarian situation in areas where the Ukrainian government has no control and where monitors cannot be easily deployed. Under the new Delegation Agreement, the EU SatCen provides key operational support to the SMM to ensure the full implementation of the Minsk II Agreement and strengthen its technical monitoring and analysis capacity.
Ms Hardeman and Mr Legai also discussed SatCen's support to the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Syria, financed by the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) budget. The analysis of satellite imagery provided by SatCen helps OPCW inspect and verify the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons.
Hilde Hardeman and Pascal Legai sign the
SatCen operates under the political supervision of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the operational direction of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini.
The EU funds SatCen's operations aimed at supporting the SMM in Ukraine since 2015. Since its inception the SMM has received €33 million support from the IcSP allowing the mission to expand and to develop its technical monitoring capabilities.
In addition, the EU funds a non-proliferation and disarmament project implemented by the OPCW. SatCen provides analysis of satellite imagery to help OPCW conduct thorough inspections and verification of the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons.
- Publication date
- 11 July 2018
- Service for Foreign Policy Instruments