Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Opening of the travelling exhibition "European Space Expo" with the participation of Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the  European Commission, in Brussels. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Opening of the travelling exhibition “European Space Expo” with the participation of Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, in Brussels. (EC Audiovisual Services).

The Irish Presidency of the European Council secured a major breakthrough agreement on the development of Europe’s global satellite navigation system. According to a relevant Press release, “The Irish Presidency has secured agreement with the European Parliament on an EU Regulation on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems. The purpose of the Regulation is to establish a new financial and governance framework for the two European satellite navigation programmes, Galileo and EGNOS, for the next financial period 2014-2020 and beyond”.

The interesting aspect of this new development is that the funding of the two programmes currently under negotiation, between the Presidency and the Parliament can reach €70 billion in the period 2014-2020. And this, despite the fact that the overall Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 providing all the financial means for the next seven yearly EU budgets is still on the air. Some weeks ago the four major political groups of the Parliament rejected the respective agreement of the 27 EU leaders, foreseen reduced funding.

Undoubtedly the Irish EU Council Presidency proves very effective in unlocking a number of major EU projects, working in the core of issues and avoiding the political reefs, which can trigger internal competitions. It was like that with the financial regulations on bank capital adequacy and the capping of bankers’ bonuses.

Let’s return however to the grandiose Galileo Programme. The Irish minister for Transport Tourism and Trade Leo Varadkar, who conducted the negotiations with the Parliamentarians  commented on the outcome as it follows: “The new regulation sets a high but achievable ambition for the EU in developing its capability in the area of satellite technology particularly its flagship Galileo programme”.

In reality this new EU regulation constitutes the basic act for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes during the new MFF-period 2014-2020 and foresees the funding and governance scheme for the implementation and exploitation of the systems under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, such as the operations of the space and terrestrial infrastructures, the necessary replenishment/replacement activities, certification procedures, and notably the provision of services.

The Galileo programme is Europe’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will be inter-operable with the American Global Positioning System and the Russian GLONASS, the two other global satellite navigation systems.

EGNOS, is the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, which constitutes Europe’s first venture into the field of satellite navigation and paves the way for Galileo. EGNOS is currently operational and available for use with both an Open Service and a Safety-of-Life Service for aviation. The Service is now using four satellites and around 40 ground stations, all belonging to the Galileo programme proper.

 

 

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