Brussels, Apr 2004
Proposal for a
on the signing of the Co-operation Agreement on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) between the European Community and its Member States, and the State of Israel
On 10 February 1999, the Commission adopted a Communication entitled `GALILEO ­ involving Europe in a new generation of Satellite Navigation Services1.' This sets out a strategy for developing GALILEO, a global European component of GNSS-2. GALILEO will be independent but fully interoperable with the US GPS system and open to cooperation with other third countries.
On 17 July 1999 and 5 April 2001, the Council adopted Resolutions2 in which it encourages the continuation, under its political control, of the contacts with non-member States that are interested in contributing to the development of GALILEO.
In line with the resolutions of the Council the Commission has maintained contacts with third countries and detected the interest of Israel to participate in GALILEO.
Israel is one of the eight countries within the world space community demonstrating significant technological background on space programmes and important achievements on GNSS applications, equipment, user segment and regional technology.
Software industry has become, together with other high-tech industries, the locomotive leading Israel's economical development. They are very active on applications and service development sector. GNSS technology is used in a variety of civilian applications such as: transportation, environment, geodesy, seismology, agriculture, engineering, personal outdoor recreation and safety of life systems.
The first EU ­ Israel exploratory meeting on GNSS was held in Brussels on 11 September 2003, at the request of the State of Israel, following a letter of their Vice Prime minister, Mr Ehud Olmert, dated 26 July 2003, confirming their interest for GALILEO and asking for the conclusion of an European-Israeli cooperation agreement on this programme.
This meeting followed several informal exchanges with Commission services, which allowed the relevant Israeli agencies to accumulate information required to assess their interest to participate to the GALILEO project.
The exploratory talks were on the status and objectives of the respective policies on satellite navigation and on possible forms of cooperation. They confirmed the value of Israel for the GALILEO programme. The broad scope of an Community-Israel cooperation agreement was discussed with a view to recommend it to the respective political authorities.
In this context, and following the conclusion of the co-operation agreement with China, Vice President De Palacio raised the issue, in the Council of Transport Ministers of 9 October, to extend the negotiations with the State of Israel. The Member States took note of the information given by Mrs De Palacio and encourage the Commission to elaborate the corresponding negotiation directives.
On 16 January 2004 the Council Decision authorised the Commission to enter into negotiations with the State of Israel with a view to establishing a cooperation agreement on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
In formal negotiation on 17 March 2004 the representatives of the Commission and Israel have agreed on the content and initialled the Agreement. The Galileo Special Negotiation Committee of the Council has been consulted in accordance with the negotiation directives.
The Commission proposes to the Council, on the basis of Articles 133 and 170, in conjunction with the first sentence of the first subparagraph of Article 300(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, to authorise the signature of the Cooperation Agreement on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) between the European Community and its Member States and the State of Israel.