Brussels, 08 Jun 2006
CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL
110 Grounds for and objectives of the proposal
The purpose of this proposal is to amend Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 to enable the European GNSS Supervisory Authority to complete the development phase of the Galileo programme after the Galileo Joint Undertaking is wound up.
120 General context
1) The Galileo programme
The aim of the Galileo programme is to put in place the first global satellite radionavigation and positioning infrastructure specifically designed for civilian purposes. There are technological, political and economic aspects to the programme.
The programme is divided into the following four successive phases:
a definition phase, which ran from 1999 to 2001, during which the system architecture was designed and the services to be offered were identified;
a development and validation phase, which was initially intended to run from 2002 to 2005 and includes the development of the system's satellites and earth components as well as validation in orbit;
a deployment phase, which was initially intended to cover 2006 and 2007, involving the construction and launching of satellites as well as the full establishment of the earth segment of the infrastructure;
an operating phase, which was initially intended to start in 2008 and which includes the management of the system as well as its regular maintenance and upgrading.
2) The Supervisory Authority
The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (the "Supervisory Authority") was set up by Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 of 12 July 2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radionavigation programmes. Its task is to ensure the management of public interests relating to the European satellite radionavigation programmes Egnos and Galileo, and to act as regulatory authority in this connection during the deployment and operational phases of the Galileo programme.
The tasks of the Supervisory Authority are laid down in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 . It is, in particular, the licensing authority vis-à-vis the private concession-holder for the system, with which it will conclude the concession contract. It should be noted that the two systems, Egnos and Galileo, will be owned by the Supervisory Authority and that their ownership will remain entirely public: only the management of the deployment and operation phases will be awarded to the concession-holder, for a period of about twenty years. In addition, under Article 3 of the Regulation, the Supervisory Authority will be the owner of all the tangible and intangible assets which are transferred to it by the Galileo Joint Undertaking on completion of the development phase and which may be created or developed by the concession-holder during the deployment and operation phases.
The Supervisory Authority has been gradually established since the summer of 2005 and will become fully operational in the course of 2006.
3) The Galileo Joint Undertaking
The Galileo Joint Undertaking was set up by Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 of 21 May 2002, under Article 171 of the Treaty, to carry out the development phase and to prepare for the subsequent phases of the Galileo programme. Its founding members are the European Community and the European Space Agency.
The Galileo Joint Undertaking has two main tasks. Firstly, it directs and coordinates the necessary research and development activities. To this end, it has concluded an agreement with the European Space Agency, to which the carrying-out of these activities has been assigned. It also develops activities relating to the applications and services which Galileo may offer. Secondly, it manages the procedure for selecting the system's future concession-holder, which will be responsible for managing the deployment and operation phases, providing the necessary private capital and ensuring the commercial success of operation.
130 Existing provisions in the area of the proposal
1) The need to wind up the Galileo Joint Undertaking and transfer its activities to the Supervisory Authority before the completion of the development phase.
The Galileo Joint Undertaking was set up to implement the development phase, and its lifetime is based on the duration of that phase, which was initially intended to cover the years 2002 to 2005 inclusive. However, as the Galileo programme currently stands, the development phase will not be completed before the end of 2008, and the lifetime of the Joint Undertaking would in theory need to be extended accordingly, with the result that it would not cease its activities before the end of 2008, i.e. three years later than originally planned.
However, extending the lifetime of the Joint Undertaking beyond 2006 would be pointless and costly, as the Supervisory Authority is in a position to take over all the activities that are currently being carried out by the Joint Undertaking in the course of 2006 and subsequently complete them. It would be tantamount to an unjustified