Galileo Update

Galileo Update

Dec 2007 | No Comment


Partial funding through EU farming subsidies

Following months of disagreements, the EU has reached a funding compromise and resolved the crisis around its Galileo satellite navigation system. Two thirds of the missing 2.4 billion euros will be provided from EU farming pots alone. This was announced by the Portuguese Chair of the European Council in Brussels on Friday night following more than 12 hours of budget negotiations for 2008 by the EU Ministers of Finance or their representatives.

Germany could not uphold its reservations against fully funding Galileo from the EU budget, reported EU diplomats. Berlin didn’t want to put the EU’s long-term financial plan on the line, which runs until 2013. According to German Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrück, the German government was also apprehensive of straining its national budget by an additional more than 500 million euros.

European Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget Dalia Grybauskaite spoke of an “important decision”. As she had suggested, farming subsidies would for the first time be used to improve the EU’s competitive position. The current Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Portuguese State Secretary of Finance Emanuel Augustos Santos, said that farming subsidies had not been exhausted this year, and that therefore nothing would be taken away from anybody.

This compromise has also finalised the EU budget for the coming year. Payments are to increase by 4.2 percent to 120.346 billion euros. The funding compromise also includes the European Institute of Technology (EII). The EIT’s intended purpose is to connect the research departments at top European universities and in industry from next year. http://www.

EU Commission modifies Galileo tender rules

The EU Commission will make a new call for tenders for the Galileo project that will limit each bidding company to two segments of the project, Handelsblatt reported, without saying where it got the information.

The planned European satellite navigation system will be split into up to seven different segments in a move to help appease the German government’s concern domestic companies may be at a disadvantage in the bidding process, the newspaper said.

The Commission also said in an internal document the newspaper obtained it will take into consideration the fact that Germany made considerable contributions to the project’s test and development phase.

The EU and a consortium of companies that is to develop Galileo will still need to agree on funding of the 3.4 bln eur project.

The consortium — which includes EADS, Alcatel-Lucent, Thales, Inmarsat and Finmeccanica SpA — is reluctant to sign a contract requiring it to fund two-thirds of the project. http://www. do?newsId=53878217738623

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