The operation of meteorological satellites is extremely complex and entails very high costs. In 1986, 18 European countries therefore joined forces to found the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), based in Darmstadt, Germany. EUMETSAT is now an operational organisation with 30 member states. As a member state of EUMETSAT, Switzerland is able to benefit fully from the services offered by the organisation, whilst only having to fund 3.6% of the costs. This is a prime example of the importance of technical and scientific cooperation. MeteoSwiss represents Swiss national interests in this international organisation.