Collaboration between national weather services can significantly boost efficiency and effectiveness of global and regional observing networks and render possible the development of complex methods for weather and climate prediction. For that purpose, the exchange of knowledge, experience, and technology is equally important as a well coordinated collaboration. Furthermore, the common infrastructure should be consolidated and expanded. That way, the national weather services are in a position to fulfill their statutory tasks more efficiently, in a less costly way, and with higher quality.
Following this principle, the Informal Conference of the European Meteorological Services was founded in 1995 and given a legal entity in the form of an Economic Interest Group in 2009. Switzerland is one of the founding members of the thus created European Meteorological Network (EUMETNET). Its headquarters are in Brussels, and currently it has 29 national weather services as participating members.
In EUMETNET the national weather services collaborate in joint programs, where the chief part of the coordination effort is invested in the area of meteorological observations. Examples of such investments include the harmonization and exchange of weather radar data, weather observation by civil aircraft, and the cross-border dissemination of weather warnings. For this particularly important aspect of weather prediction, the warning platform meteoalarm has been developed within the program EMMA (European Multi-services Meteorological Awareness). This platform provides an overview of severe weather situations in Europe. In the area of climatology, EUMETNET aims for a sustainable pan-European data infrastructure in order to promote a simplified access to and distribution of climatological data, as well as common quality standards and harmonization methods.