European Parliament says Galileo should be financed entirely by EU budget

UPDATED: 10:35, June 21, 2007

The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution on the financing of the European satellite navigation system, Galileo, saying all money must come from the European Union (EU) budget for the construction of the system.

The parliament asked the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, to present a revised proposal for legislation on the financing of the Galileo program.

The parliament says it will oppose any solution which would combine EU funding with additional inter-governmental funding.

The parliament expressed concern at the possibility that the additional financing necessary to fill the gap following the failure of the public-private partnership could be agreed on an inter-governmental basis.

The parliament also believed that if the public sector assumes the complete financing of the project, this factor should be taken into account in a future revised concession contract, especially as regards the reimbursement mechanism for public financial contributions and the prices of services.

Transport ministers from all 27 member states of the EU agreed earlier this month to build Galileo by public funding. But they failed to agree on where the funds should come from.

The European Commission had to recommend entire public funding for the construction phase of Galileo in May as infighting in the eight-company consortium, which was picked to both build and manage Galileo, has put the completion date in doubt.

Under the original plan, public money was supposed to pay for the first four satellites and then the private consortium were to pay for two thirds of the 26 remaining satellites.

The EU had planned to get the system, which competes with the American Global Positioning System, into operation by 2012.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---