GALILEO JOINT UNDERTAKING
Draft Council Resolution: GALILEO Involving Europe in a new generation of satellite navigation services.
Draft Commission Regulation on the establishment of a Galileo joint undertaking.
||(b) Article 171 EC; consultation; qualified majority voting
||Transport, Local Government and the Regions
|Basis of consideration:
||Minister's letter of 3 December 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||(a) and (b) HC 152-vii (2001-02), paragraph 6 (21 November 2001); (a) HC 28-i (2000-01), paragraph 17 (13 December 2000) and HC 28-vii (2000-01), paragraph 8 (28 February 2001)
|Discussed in Council:
||(b) 6 December 2001
||(Both) Cleared, but further information requested
14.1 Galileo is a joint initiative between
the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a European
civilian satellite navigation system.
14.2 The previous Committee considered a
series of documents relating to Galileo. A Commission Communication,
Galileo Involving Europe in a New Generation of Satellite
was debated in European Standing Committee A on 9 June 1999.
14.3 The Draft Regulation (document b) builds
on the earlier Communication and the Resolution and aims to set
up a joint undertaking with responsibility for implementing the
and preparing for the subsequent phases of the project. We considered
both the Draft Resolution and the Draft Regulation on 21 November
2001, but decided to leave both uncleared, pending further information
from the Minister.
The Minister's letter
14.4 We asked the Minister to confirm that
no political agreement on the joint undertaking was reached at
the 16 October Transport Council, and also asked him for information
on proposals the Government will be putting to the Council to
resolve its concerns and whether the Government is likely to be
able to assemble a blocking minority.
14.5 In response, the Minister confirms
that no political agreement was reached at the October Transport
Council "as many of the UK concerns were shared by other
14.6 As regards proposals the Government
will be putting forward, the Minister says:
"At the Council on 7 December we will be seeking
further work as highlighted in the report [into the viability
of the Galileo project by Pricewaterhousecoopers PWC]
and will also seek a deferment of a decision until the March Council.
There is some support for this stance from other Member States
and a blocking minority is possible. However it is uncertain at
present how firm that support will be on 7 December and there
is a strong possibility that it will be insufficient.
"The UK has sought and obtained a discussion
of the PWC report at ECOFIN on 4 December. If the Chancellor succeeds
in raising concerns about Galileo and its likely impact on the
future of the EU budget then there is more likelihood of a decision
being deferred by the Transport Council.
"In the event that the decision is not deferred,
the UK will seek to establish a number of conditions on the management
of the project with the aim of separating the private sector from
the joint undertaking and increasing the influence of Member States
over the progressive release of EU funds. We will work towards
this end with the likeminded members of the Transport Council.
"This however is a fallback, and our primary
objective will be deferment, provided there is sufficient support
from other Member States."
14.7 We thank the Minister for his reply.
On the basis of the further information, we clear both documents,
but request that the Minister provide a detailed account of the
7 December Council deliberations relating to Galileo as soon as
possible and preferably before the Christmas recess.
38 (19950) 6528/99; see HC 34-xvii (1998-99), paragraph
1 (28 April 1999). Back
establishment of Galileo is set out in stages: phase 1 is the
development and validation stage (2001-2005); this is followed
by the deployment phase (2006-2007) and an operational stage from
2008 onwards. Back