GeoCarta Has Moved

Nov 26, 2007

Compromise to Allow Galileo to go Forward

Members of the European Union (EU) have reached a compromise that will allow funding of the Galileo satellite project The Register reported:

...States voted to back a €2.4bn funding deal, drawing cash from unused farming subsidies, and restructuring research and industrial spending for the year.

This means the European rival to the US military's GPS system can go ahead, but no extra public funds will be written into the EU's budget to pay for it.

The original plan was to have the scheme be funded at least partly by the private sector, but contractors walked away (probably shaking their heads) saying they couldn't make the numbers stack.

The idea of using taxpayers' cash to fill the gap in funding was particularly abhorrent to Germany, which was worried about creating a precedent of using up excess funds instead of passing them back to the member states. The UK is said to have had similar concerns, but unlike Germany, eventually voted in favour of the plan.

German officials had previously expressed concerns that German contractors would be excluded from contracts to build the system. According to reports, the project will be split into six pieces, with each member state able to be the prime contractor on a maximum of two sections, a process reportedly acceptable to Berlin.

Not everyone in Europe is happy with the plan. In an editorial, The Times called the Galileo system "An overpriced piece of pie in the sky" saying the EU is paying too much for an overcomplicated system that doesn’t yet work.

See also: Germany Says No to Galileo Funding
Galileo's Future Uncertain
Galileo to be Grounded?