Brussels, 13 Jun 2003
Some of the most important players in the aerospace industry declared on 10 June that positive progress has been made towards the implementation of a number of aerospace initiatives outlined in a report launched by Commission President Romano Prodi in July 2002.
The 'strategic aerospace review for the 21st century' (STAR 21) report recommends the establishment of a European armaments, research and military capabilities agency, the development of a European space policy and the enhancement of the institutional framework for aerospace in Europe.
Attending the 10 June meeting were representatives from SNCMA, Finmeccanica, EADS, Thales, Rolls-Royce and Lagardère, along with three European Commissioners, representatives for two further Commissioners and a Member of the European Parliament.
Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin recalled the importance of security research, in response to which, industry indicated that it is behind this initiative and will be ready to launch projects in 2004. All participants also agreed on the need to increase research efforts in Europe.
Sectors of the aerospace industry were also buoyed by the appointment of an executive director for Galileo's Joint Undertaking on 12 June. Rainer Grohe, member of numerous supervisory boards, has been awarded the position, meaning that work on the next phase of Galileo can now begin.
'This is a new step ahead for the project Galileo,' said EU Transport and Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio. 'The Joint Undertaking can now start immediately its work to build the system and develop one of the main European technological projects.'
The Joint Undertaking will start the necessary research and development activities, help mobilise public and private funding, supervise the implementation of the programme and ensure the optimal integration of Galileo into the Egnos programme.