Strasbourg, 29 Jan 2004
Yves PIÃ‰TRASANTA (Greens/EFA, F)
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))
MEPs adopted an own-initiative report drawn up by Yves PIETRASANTA (Greens/EFA, F) on Galileo with 395 votes in favour, 37 against and 8 abstentions. The report 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 to be used solely for civil purposes.
Parliament 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 House 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, Parliament 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 cooperation in the field of satellite navigation.
For more information on Galileo click here or see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/energy_tra nsport/galileo/index_en.htm
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