Proposed Council Decision on the signing of a Cooperation Agreement with Morocco on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) (link)

May 23, 2006

Brussels, 22 May 2006

Proposal for a
COUNCIL DECISION on the signing of a Cooperation Agreement on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) between the European Community and its Member States and the Kingdom of Morocco
Full Text

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· General context

Morocco has know-how in space technology and applications through various entities. It wants to bring together the work of these entities by setting up a common interest grouping, and to develop the use of satellite radionavigation on its territory and in the surrounding region (western Mediterranean and West Africa), focusing on applications specific to this zone.

Contacts concerning the participation of Morocco in the GALILEO programme were established on 24 March 2004 at a meeting between the Moroccan Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and the Commission's Director-General for Energy and Transport.

On 9 August 2004, the Moroccan Minister for Infrastructure and Transport sent the Commission's Director-General for Energy and Transport a letter expressing Morocco's wish to become a fully-fledged partner in the project by acceding to the GALILEO Joint Undertaking.

On 6 October 2004 a meeting was held with a delegation headed by the Moroccan Minister for Infrastructure and Transport consisting of representatives of the Moroccan ministries concerned, with a view to determining the arrangements for cooperation between Morocco and the European Community in the framework of an agreement to be concluded between the two parties.

On 13 October, the Minister wrote a second letter to the Director-General confirming Morocco's desire to conclude a cooperation agreement with the European Community concerning the civil satellite radionavigation system.

The scenario for cooperation with Morocco prepared during the preliminary talks covers multilateral, industrial and scientific cooperation, especially in the area of applications, and in particular standardisation, surveillance of regional integrity and financial investment in GALILEO. Moroccan and European firms have had industrial cooperation links in the space sector for several years. There is therefore a solid foundation on which to build and extend cooperation in this field which is of great importance for both parties. The agreement should be used to protect and support the parties' mutual interests and seek to develop cooperation between Moroccan and European firms.

· Existing provisions in the area of the proposal

On 18 February 2004, the Commission adopted a Communication entitled "Progress report on the GALILEO research programme as at the beginning of 2004", Chapter 2 of which, entitled "International cooperation takes off", sets out a strategy for developing the international dimension of GALILEO.

In its conclusions adopted on 9 March 2004 on the basis of this Communication, the Council "encourages the development of international cooperation in this area."

On 21 April 2005 the Council adopted negotiating directives authorising the Commission to open negotiations for establishing a Cooperation Agreement on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) between the European Community and its Member States and the Kingdom of Morocco.

· Consistency with other policies and objectives of the Union

The establishment of a navigation and positioning network in Europe is a central part of the Community's policy to ensure the full integration of land, sea and air transport infrastructure for safe, seamless, economic and environmentally friendly navigation. The following legislative texts concern the development of this network:

Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 of 21 May 2002 setting up the GALILEO Joint Undertaking;

Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 of 12 July 2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radionavigation programmes;

Council Regulation (EC) No 1334/2000 of 22 June 2000 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology, as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 2432/2001 of 20 November 2001 and by Council Regulation (EC) No 880/2002 of May 2002;

The Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part, which entered into force on 1 March 2000.

Special attention should also be paid to Morocco's commitments concerning the protection of intellectual property and the multilateral non-proliferation efforts. Cooperation in this connection must also comply with the legislation on export controls, e.g. Council Regulation (EC) No 1334/2000 , as amended by Regulations (EC) 2432/2001 and (EC) 880/2002.

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Brussels, 19.5.2006 COM(2006) 220 final 2006/0074 (ACC)

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