EP Briefing 2004-01-28: Galileo - Strong welcome for new satellite positioning technology

January 26, 2004

Brussels, 23 Jan 2004

Yves PIETRASANTA (Greens/EFA, F) for the Industry Committee will be tabling a non-binding an own-initiative draft resolution on Galileo. The draft resolution welcomes the fact that the obstacles to funding have been overcome and stresses the enormous significance of Galileo for the European Union's industrial, transport, technological and environmental development.

Galileo is basically a giant clock, consisting of around 30 satellites, capable of determining a position in time and space very accurately. Due to be operational in 2008, it is a project which is set to be used solely for civil purposes.

The committee points out the existence of an independent European satellite global positioning system for civil purposes is a vital infrastructure investment which has great potential for numerous useful services and activities including transport, environment, telecommunications and agriculture.

The need to place EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) under the control of the Joint Undertaking is also stressed by MEPs. EGNOS is due to become fully operational in April 2004 and is designed to enhance the GPS signal, in particular for the use of civil aviation.

The committee also underlines the importance of Galileo in many sectors, such as the environment, transport and safety and considers that the project must ensure a safe environment in order to protect human lives and promptly pinpoint or even prevent natural disasters or other events which jeopardise safety. MEPs, furthermore, welcome the fact that the development of Galileo-related applications will be pursued as part of the Sixth Framework Programme for research and development.

Finally, with regard to the international dimension of the project, the committee welcomes the progress made in negotiations with the United States on satellite navigation and the successful completion of negotiations with China regarding its participation in the Galileo satellite navigation system and, in particular, the conclusion of an agreement on active co-operation in the field of satellite navigation.

Report on the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the state of progress of the Galileo programme
( COM(2002) 518 - 2003/2041(INI))
Doc.: A5-003/2004 http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/OM-Europ arl?PROG=REPORT&L=EN&PUBREF=-//EP//NONSG ML+REPORT+A52004 -003/+0+DOC+WORD+V0//EN&LEVEL=2 [may not be available yet]
Procedure: Own-initiative
Debate: 28.01.200

European Parliament Briefing 2004-01-28

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