The EU maintains diplomatic relations with nearly all countries in the world. It has strategic partnerships with key international players, is deeply engaged with emerging powers around the globe, and has signed bilateral Association Agreements with a number of states in its vicinity. Abroad, the Union is represented by a number of EU Delegations, which have a similar function to those of an embassy.
ESA has successfully launched the first satellite for the Copernicus program – Sentinel 1. The 2.3 tonne satellite lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 21:02 GMT.
On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament adopted the Regulation of Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme. With the adoption of the regulation, the Copernicus programme is entering the operational phase after years of preparation.
ESA is moving ahead with the development of their next-generation satellite communication platform - Neosat. The Phase-B contract was signed on 20 February in Paris, France. ESA contracted the European firms Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space to build the new generation Neosat spacecrafts.
On 10 December 2013, the European Parliament adopted new legislation on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism paving, by doing so, the way for stronger cooperation in responding to disasters. The revised legislation on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism contains new actions to be undertaken in relation to