Brussels, 03 Jul 2006
CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL
110 Grounds for and objectives of the proposal
This proposal aims to amend the Statutes of the Galileo Joint Undertaking in order to provide that the undertaking will cease to operate on 31 December 2006.
120 General context
1) The Galileo programme
The aim of the Galileo programme is to put in place the first global satellite radio navigation and positioning infrastructure 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 took place from 1999 to 2001, during which the system architecture was developed and the services to be offered were determined;
a development and validation phase which was initially intended to run from 2002 to 2005 and included the development of the system's satellites and components and validation in orbit;
a deployment phase initially intended to cover 2006 and 2007 with the construction and launching of satellites and the full establishment of the earth segment of the infrastructure;
an operating phase initially intended to start in 2008 and including the management of the system and its regular maintenance and upgrading.
2) 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 successive phases of the Galileo programme. Its founding members are the European Community and the European Space Agency. A Chinese State-run company and an Israeli State-run company are also members. The arrangements adopted ensure that the programme has a single, efficient management structure.
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 implementation 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 operating phases, providing the necessary private capital and ensuring the commercial success of operation. 3) The Supervisory Authority
The European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Supervisory Authority ("Supervisory Authority") was set up by Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 of 12 July 2004 on structures for the management of the European satellite radio navigation programmes. It has been gradually established since the summer of 2005 and will be fully operational during 2006. Its aim is to ensure the management of the public interests relating to the European satellite radio navigation programmes, Egnos and Galileo, and to act as awarding authority for the future concession holder. 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 operational phases will be awarded to the concession holder for a period of about twenty years.
4) The lifetime of the Galileo Joint Undertaking as provided for in the current Statutes
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.
The first paragraph of Article 20 of the Statutes of the Joint Undertaking annexed to Council Regulation No 876/2002 provides that "the Joint Undertaking shall be established for a period of four years from the publication of these Statutes in the Official Journal of the European Communities". As the Statutes were published in the Official Journal on 28 May 2002, the period of four years referred to in the abovementioned text expires at midnight on 28 May 2006.
However, to take account of any extension of the development phase, the second paragraph of Article 20 of the Statutes reads: "According to the progress in achieving the tasks of the Joint Undertaking, as defined in Article 2, that period may be extended by amending these Statutes in accordance with the provisions of Article 23. The period shall, in any event, be extended until such time as the obligations arising from the agreement referred to in Article 3 are met." Article 3 of the Statutes provides that the Joint Undertaking will conclude an agreement with the European Space Agency under which the Agency is responsible for the "carrying-out of the activities required during the development phase with regard to the space segment and the earth segment associated with the system".
It therefore follows that the existence of the Galileo Joint Undertaking must be extended until the activities required during the development phase as regards the space segment and the earth segment of the system have been completed, i.e. de facto until the completion of the development phase. The imperative nature of the extension is due to the fact that, as indicated above, the lifetime of the Joint Undertaking is based on the duration of the development phase.
130 Existing provisions in the area of the proposal