Engaging stakeholders and building partnerships with organisations and networks represents one of the most important activities within the GISC project. A number of stakeholders, users, and service providers play a crucial role in the process of developing an innovative and sustainable framework for an open access to GMES in-situ data. The task of involving actors is being accomplished by the GISC project in the form of: 1) dialogue with countries; and 2) establishment of partnerships with relevant networks and stakeholders.
1) Dialogue with countries
As stated in the GMES Communication and reinforced by articles 4, 5.2, and 16 of the GMES Initial Operations (GIO) Regulation, Member States (MS) play an important role in the provision of in-situ data capacities. Commitment from countries and a recognition of the need to work on sustainability are crucial. Therefore there is a need to agree on necessary actions to secure the sustainability of the observing infrastructure. An initial analysis reveals that countries own key in-situ capacities which meet a large part of the requirements of the GMES services.
During the first six months of this year, a total of seven countries have been visited - some of them to initiate discussions and others to follow up on agreements reached in previous visits. According to the GISC report on negotiations and partnerships, all visits have proven to be positive and productive, revealing many significant findings that should be considered in setting the operational framework for GMES in-situ data provision. The main findings include:
2) Establishment of partnerships with networks and stakeholders
Regarding negotiations with networks, GISC is currently discussing the draft agreement with the European Meteorological Network (EUMETNET) on the access to meteorological data for assimilation into model systems, production and validation. Similarly, the project team is finalising discussions on the signing agreement with EuroGeographics on the access to operational geospatial data and services in support of emergency management and humanitarian response in situations resulting from natural or man-made disasters. Other relevant work includes the Eionet NFP Working Group on GMES promoting awareness and use of the GMES services within Eionet.
Collaboration has also been established with the European Commission (EC) - a first meeting with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) created a solid basis for further discussion on cooperation between the two organisations that needs to be formalised during a second round of meetings. Similarly, the GISC project has supported the GMES Bureau through its participation and involvement in the GMES Committee and User Forum, by providing thematic input into the Financial Programme (FP) and GIO work programme, providing input to priorities and the impact assessment for the in-situ component, as well as gaining support and clarity from member states about their in-situ role in the GMES programme.
In conclusion, there is a general willingness to contribute to GMES processes among the stakeholders. All consulted parties expressed their readiness for cooperation with EEA, which has been appointed as the in-situ coordinator via GISC, and to clarify their role in sharing in-situ data.
 GMES 2005 Communication - From Concept to Reality - COM(2005) 565 final - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2005:0565:FIN:EN:HTML
 Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its initial operations (2011 to 2013):
 Norway, France, UK, Italy, Czech Republic, Finland, and Denmark
 GISC reports on the progresses associated with stakeholders’ engagement every six months. The current report is now uploaded (access restricted to users) on the GISC website.
 EuroGeographics is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2001 as the membership association and representative body of the European national mapping, land registry and cadastral agencies. http://www.eurogeographics.org/