Loyola de Palacio welcomes the outcome of EU/US discussions on GALILEO

February 27, 2004

Brussels, 25 February 2004

The United States and the European Commission, joined by the European Union Member States, held a successful round of negotiations in Brussels on 24-25 February 2004. The delegations built upon progress made in The Hague and in Washington and were able to reach agreement on most of the overall principles of GPS/Galileo cooperation. "This is another very important step for the Galileo project, which recognises both sides as equal partners and creates the optimal conditions for the development of the European system, fully independent and compatible and redundant with the american GPS" said Loyola de Palacio, European Commission vice-president in charge of Transport and Energy. "This agreement will allow all users to use in a complementary way both systems with the same receiver: it creates indeed the world standard of radionavigation by satellite. I'm happy to see that we agreed not to freeze the performance of signal modulations: on the contrary it establishes clear rules for both parties to jointly or individually continuously improve the performance of their respective systems, for the benefit of all users worldwide." she concluded.

The main issues covered by this round of negotiations are:

  • Adoption of a common baseline signal structure for their respective open services (the future GPS intends to use a BOC 1,1 signal whereas the Galileo open service intends to use a fully compatible optimized version of the same signal which guarantees an high-level of performance).

  • Confirmation of a suitable baseline signal structure for the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS)

  • A process allowing optimization, either jointly or individually, of the baseline signal structures in order to further improve performances

  • Confirmation of interoperable time and geodesy standards to facilitate the joint use of GPS and Galileo

  • Non-discrimination in trade in satellite navigation goods and services

  • Commitment to preserve national security capabilities

  • Agreement not to restrict use of or access to respective open services by end-users

  • Agreement to jointly finalize associated documents after which the agreement will be presented for signature
This will allow to the conclusion of a formal agreement in the coming weeks. To this end, both sides will continue to work diligently to resolve the few remaining outstanding issues which concern primarily some legal and procedural aspects.

Background

GALILEO is the European satellite radionavigation programme. It was launched at the initiative of the European Commission and developed jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA). It will give rise to a technological revolution comparable to that produced by mobile telephones. It will also lead to the development of a new generation of universal services in sectors such as transport, telecommunications, agriculture or fisheries. So far, only the American GPS system and the Russian GLONASS system have harnessed this technology, which promises to be highly profitable. Both those systems are financed and controlled by the military authorities. The GALILEO programme, however, will be administered and controlled by civilians and offers a guarantee of quality and continuity which is essential for many sensitive applications. Thanks to the interoperability of GALILEO with the current systems, navigation and positioning services will become more reliable and accessible throughout the world.

For more detailed information on GALILEO, visit the following sites:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/energy_transport/galileo/index_en.htm

http://www.esa.int/export/esaSA/navigation.html

Details on the notice of concession are available at:

http://www.galileoju.com

DN: IP/04/264 Date: 26/02/2004

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