EU and Israel reach agreement on GALILEO. Under the auspices of the EU, cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is also taking off

March 18, 2004

Brussels, 17 March 2004

An agreement has been reached between the European Union and the State of Israel on its participation in the GALILEO programme. This agreement was initialled in Jerusalem on 17 March 2004 by François Lamoureux, Director-General of Energy and Transport at the European Commission, and Ra'anan Dinur, Director-General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour of Israel. During the visit of Mr Lamoureux, thanks to the support of the EU, cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has led to concrete results with the creation of a joint Israeli-Palestinian office on energy.

Since the Council invited the Commission to start formal negotiations with Israel on 16 January 2004, intensive exchanges have been held between the parties. These culminated in an agreed text in record time at the round of talks held in Tel Aviv on 17 March 2004.

Ra'anan Dinur, Director General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour of Israel and François Lamoureux, Director General for Transport and Energy at the European Commission initialled the agreement on that occasion. This lays the basis for Israel's active participation in the programme. The agreement will be submitted to the next EU Transport Council meeting on June 2004 for formal approval by the EU Member States.

This agreement provides for co-operative activities on satellite navigation and timing in a wide range of sectors, notably science and technology, industrial manufacturing, service and market development, as well as standardisation, frequencies and certification. It also paves the way for Israel to take part financially in the programme through a stake holding in the GALILEO Joint Undertaking, the body managing the programme.

S'agissant de la Coopération de l'Union européenne avec Israël et l'Autorité Palestinienne dans le secteur de l'énergie, le Directeur Général de l'Energie et des Transports, Monsieur François Lamoureux a représenté la Commission à la 4ème réunion ministérielle qui s'est tenue à Jérusalem le 17 mars et à laquelle ont participé le Ministre Israélien des Infrastructures Monsieur Joseph Paritzky, le Ministre Palestinien de l'Energie Monsieur Azzam Shawwa, la Présidence Irlandaise et la Ministre Française de l'Industrie Madame Nicole Fontaine, en visite bilatérale en Israël et en Palestine.

Cette rencontre a permis la réalisation de progrès concrets. Un accord sur la mise en place d'un bureau conjoint de l'énergie israélo-palestinien a été signé à cette occasion. Ce bureau, qui rassemblera des experts des deux parties et de l'Union européenne, développera, entre autre, des études de faisabilité pour la construction par le secteur privé d'une centrale électrique commune dont le principe a été retenu. De plus, des plans de réhabilitation et de développement des infrastructures énergétiques israélo-palestiniennes d'intérêt commun devant améliorer la sécurité des approvisionnements énergétiques des deux parties seront développés.


GALILEO is Europe's satellite radio navigation programme. It was launched on the initiative of the European Commission and developed jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA). It heralds the advent of a technological revolution similar to the one sparked off by mobile phones. It will also make for the development of a new generation of universal services in areas such as transport, telecommunication, agriculture or fisheries. To date, this technology, which promises to be highly profitable, is only mastered by the United States' GPS system and Russia's GLONASS system, both of which are financed and controlled by the military authorities. The GALILEO programme will be administered and controlled by civilians and offers a guarantee of quality and continuity which is essential for many sensitive applications. Its complementarity with current systems will increase the reliability and availability of navigation and positioning services worldwide.

Israel is one of the eight countries within the world space community demonstrating significant technological background on space programmes and achievements on GNSS applications, equipment, user segment and regional technology. The State of Israel expressed its interest in June 2003 in participating in the GALILEO programme and therefore its willingness to support European position on standardization and frequencies allocation aimed at promoting the market for Galileo services.

For more information about Galileo, please visit:

DN: IP/04/360 Date: 17/03/2004

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