2007-12-02 - Galileo approvalEU agrees Galileo satellite project
Einigung über europäisches GPS-Satellitensystem<br /> After six-hour long negotiations on the night of November 29/30, the European Union has agreed how the Galileo satellite project, worth EUR3.4 billion, will be shared out among member states.
However, the deal failed to win Spain's blessing. "For some reasons, which I find impossible to grasp, Spain did not go along with a general agreement", EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot said on Thursday night (29 November), after 26 ministers had outvoted their Spanish colleague. Madrid had demanded to host a ground control centre for Galileo.
According to the newly-adopted industrial plan, the construction of Galileo will be divided into six phases, with each of them having one main investor and several subcontractors - a model which should ensure all member states will be able to bid. This was "very difficult" to agree, commissioner Barrot said, referring to the need to "reconcile necessary measures of competition and the desire for fair allocation of the construction work of Galileo". In addition, he pointed out that once up and running, Galileo will "ensure the economic and strategic independence" of the EU, as "special navigation is an indication of power" on the world stage.
The AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe welcomes the agreement by European Transport Ministers to support Galileo, the European Union's satellite navigation system, allowing the project to now move ahead by approving an industrial tendering plan on the Satellite system among EU member states. Twenty-six out of twenty-seven European Transport Ministers voted in favour of the tendering plan, proposed by the European Commission.