The operational deployment of MSG-1 at the beginning of 2004, the first of a series of four Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites, marks the start of a new era in Europe for the meteorological observations from the geostationary orbit. This new system shall be the backbone of the European operational meteorological services up to at least 2015. The time required for the definition and the development of new space systems as well as the approval process of such complex programs implies anyhow to plan well ahead for the future missions. EUMETSAT have initiated in 2001, with ESA support, a User Consultation Process aiming at preparing for a future operational geostationary meteorological satellite system in the post-MSG era, named Meteosat Third Generation (MTG). The first phase of the User Consultation Process was devoted to the definition and consolidation of end user requirements and priorities in the field of Nowcasting and Very Short Term Weather Forecasting (NWC), Medium/Short Range global and regional Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), Climate and Air Composition Monitoring and to the definition of the relevant observation techniques. The following missions have been analysed and preliminary concepts studied: High Resolution Fast Imagery Mission (successor to MSG SEVIRI HRV mission); Full Disk High Spectral Resolution Imagery Mission (successor to the mission of other MSG-SEVIRI channels); Lightning Imagery Mission; IR Sounding Mission; UV-VIS-NIR Sounding Mission. After an initial post-MSG mission study (2003-2004) where preliminary instrument concepts were investigated allowing in the same time to consolidate the technical requirements for the overall system study, a pre-phase A study on MTG is on its final way for the overall system concept, architecture and programmatic aspects during 2004-2005 time frame. This paper provides an overview of the outcome of the MTG sensor concept studies conducted in the frame of the pre-phase A. It namely focuses onto the Imaging and Sounding Missions, highlights the resulting instrument concepts, establishes the critical technologies and introduces the study steps towards the implementation of the MTG development programme.