Wednesday

17th Jan 2018

EU agrees Galileo satellite project

  • The Galileo project has already been delayed by five years (Photo: European Space Agency)

Updated 30.11.2007 21.00 CET The 27-nation European Union has agreed how the Galileo satellite project, worth €3.4 billion, will be shared out among member states, with Spain on Friday abandoning its isolated position and finally giving its blessing to the deal.

"Thanks to the combined efforts of the commission and the presidency, all the member states have eventually accepted to work on the basis of this mechanism", EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot said in a written statement.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He added that "an agreement will allow Europe to have its own satellite navigation system by 2013".

Spain's U-turn follows six-hour long negotiations on Thursday night (29 November), which saw 26 ministers outvoting their Spanish colleague in order move on with the project.

Madrid had demanded to host a ground control centre for Galileo - a global network of 30 navigation satellites and ground stations, which is meant to end the EU's reliance on the US Global Positioning System (GPS).

In the end, the Spanish government accepted an offer to host the project's only 'life safety' centre, designed to help all types of search and rescue services.

In addition, the centre could eventually carry out the functions of a control centre, if certain conditions are met.

Until now, only two centres - Germany and Italy - have qualified for such a status.

However, the EU bloc was set to move on with its biggest ever joint technological project even without Spain's blessing.

Originally a public-private project, it has already been postponed by five years to 2013, as the private consortium, consisting of eight European firms, could not agree a common commercial position.

"We have reached the point where it was no longer possible to carry on with that situation", Portuguese transport minister Mario Lino said on Thursday in response to Spain's firm opposition to a compromise scenario.

He added that "I did not understand what it was they were objecting to...we really listened to Spanish concerns and we think it's clearly reflected in the text".

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.

'No backsliding' on Brexit promise, Irish PM warns

Leo Varadkar, the first leader to address MEPs in a series of speeches on the EU's future, pledged to close tax loopholes, pay more into the EU budget, and keep London to its word on Northern Ireland.

Commission and council dig in on GMO opt-outs

The European Commission and the EU's national governments pass each other the buck on who should move first on a heavily-criticised proposal on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.

Commission and council dig in on GMO opt-outs

The European Commission and the EU's national governments pass each other the buck on who should move first on a heavily-criticised proposal on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  2. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  3. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  5. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  6. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  7. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  8. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted
  9. European Jewish CongressChair of EU Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism Condemns Wave of Attacks
  10. Counter BalanceA New Study Challenges the Infrastructure Mega Corridors Agenda
  11. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  12. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% Plastics Recycling Rate Attainable by 2025 New Study Shows