EP Briefing 2005-09-05: €1 billion for Galileo satellite system

September 1, 2005

Strasbourg, 31 Aug 2005

Parliament's Industry Committee is backing the European Commission's plans to provide €1 billion over the period 2007-2013 to fund the final two phases of the Galileo satellite navigation system, covering deployment and commercial operations.

In a first-reading draft report by Etelka BARSI-PATAKY (EPP-ED, HU), MEPs in the committee stress that the figure of €1 billion is indicative, pending a decision on the Financial Perspective. Once the Financial Perspective has been adopted, the Commission must present a proposal to adjust the funding for the programme. The amount of each annual subsidy will then be decided under the annual budget procedure.

The aim of Galileo is to create a worldwide satellite radionavigation and positioning network for civilian purposes. It consists of four phases. Phase one (definition), from 1999 to 2001, was completed successfully. Phase two (development) runs from 2002 to 2005. Phase three (deployment) starts in 2006 and involves building and launching the satellites and establishing the entire ground-based component. Phase four (commercial operation) is due to begin in 2008 and will cover the management of the system as well as maintenance and updating. During these last two phases, the construction and then the management of the system will be carried out by a private concession holder working under the Supervisory Authority, a Community agency which is to be the licensing authority for the system. The choice of a concession contract was identified as the best way of ensuring the success of the programme in the framework of a public-private partnership.

Since Galileo may prove lucrative, the Industry Committee is proposing an amendment calling for a profit-sharing mechanism to be set up to enable the Community contribution to be repaid. MEPs in the committee also want ownership of the Intellectual Property Rights and licences to stay with the Supervisory Authority but say the revenues deriving from the exploitation of these rights could form the income of the concession holder. The Industry Committee believes the Community will probably have to give financial guarantees and undertake liability commitments because of the nature of the programme, especially the fact that it is a public-private partnership. It therefore demands that these commitments be subject to budgetary approval by Parliament and Council.

Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the deployment and commercial operating phases of the European programme of satellite radionavigation
(COM(2004)0477 - C6 0087/2004 - 2004/0156(COD))
Doc.: A6-0212/2005 [may not be available yet]

Procedure: Codecision (1st reading)
Debate: 05.09.200

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