Official Journal of the European Union

CE 380/84

Wednesday 8 June 2011
European satellite navigation programmes


European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2011 on the mid-term review of the European satellite navigation programmes: implementation assessment, future challenges and financing perspectives (2009/2226(INI))

2012/C 380 E/12

The European Parliament,

having regard to its resolution of 20 June 2007 (1) on the financing of the European programme of satellite radionavigation (Galileo) under the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 and the multiannual financial framework 2007-2013,

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the further implementation of the European satellite navigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo) (2),

having regard to Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010, setting up the European GNSS Agency (3),

having regard to the Commission’s Communication ‘Action Plan on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Applications’ (COM(2010)0308),

having regard to the ‘GNSS Market Report’ of the European GNSS Agency (October 2010),

having regard to the Commission’s Communication ‘The EU Budget Review’ (COM(2010)0700),

having regard to the Commission’s Report ‘Mid-term review of the European satellite radio navigation programmes’ (COM(2011)0005),

having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Budgets (A7-0165/2011),


whereas the European Parliament has consistently given its full support to the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), implemented through the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, aiming at improving the everyday life of European citizens, ensuring Europe’s autonomy and independence, and acquiring a significant share in the worldwide high-tech market dependent on satellite navigation,


whereas the EU is currently dependent on the US Global Positioning System (GPS), with activities worth around 7 % of GDP reliant on it,


whereas Galileo is expected to offer advantages compared to GPS, such as improved accuracy, global integrity, authentication and guarantee of service, as well as to give the Union strategic autonomy,


whereas the global GNSS market is growing exponentially, estimated to reach around EUR 150 billion in 2020, of which less than 20 % is generated in the EU,


whereas EGNOS is already used on a daily basis by 80 000 European farmers and was recently certified for civil aviation, and whereas certification for maritime transport is expected to follow in the near future,


whereas Galileo is aiming to become the technologically most advanced, state-of-the-art GNSS in the world, able to set the global standard for the future, involving a high concentration of science, advanced technologies and skilled human resources, contributing to innovation and the competitiveness of EU industry,


whereas EGNOS and Galileo will generate EUR 60 billion of indirect benefits to the EU economy and society, in the form of enhanced road and aviation security, reduced air pollution and pesticide consumption, new jobs and public safety, generating very significant value for money compared to other comparable investments,


whereas with the building-up of four global and two regional satellite navigation systems by different international actors, speed in making services available is a vital element for Galileo in order for this European system to become, as rapidly as possible, an alternative major GNSS reference system of choice,


whereas the failure of the initial public-private partnership for funding the GNSS programmes led in 2007 to the decision to pursue their implementation with financing drawn exclusively from the Union budget (EUR 3.4 billion for the definition, validation and deployment phases up to 2013), and consequently with full ownership by the European Union, leading to Galileo and EGNOS being the first major EU-owned projects of this type,


whereas Galileo is a civil system under civil control and all its services should comply with international space law, the EU Treaties, and the principles laid down in the UN Charter and Treaties,


whereas increased programme costs, due among other things to inaccurate cost forecasts and cost management strategies, mean that the current budget can only fund the deployment of Initial Operating Capacity (IOC), comprising 18 satellites,


whereas, before a decision is made on a further financial commitment from the EU budget in the next multiannual financial framework, a clear assessment of all the possible technical options and related costs and benefits needs to be presented by the Commission,

Mid-term review: assessment of implementation


Welcomes the Commission’s Report, setting out the current situation and future challenges of this important flagship initiative;


Regrets, however, the delay in publishing the mid-term review, for too long creating uncertainty concerning the overall progress of the project and its financial situation, which is detrimental to the market uptake of GNSS applications and to public support;


In order to enhance transparency, calls on the Commission to update the GNSS Strategic Framework (C(2008)8378) in the light of the current situation, including the main actions, estimated budget and timetable necessary to meet the objectives;


Calls on the Commission, with a view to preventing future cost overruns, to put in place stringent cost containment and risk mitigation policies, including those necessary to keep satellite launch costs under control; suggests that the Commission study the findings obtained so far and consider making use of independent experts, including industry representatives, for this purpose, in order significantly to improve the efficiency of project management;


Calls on the Commission to implement recommended risk mitigation measures, such as dual sourcing, in the procurement of all critical work packages in order to be able to keep to the ambitious schedule, taking into account the level of real competition in the relevant markets, as well as the political will to keep launch capability in Europe in the future, as reflected inter alia in the 7th Space Council Resolution of 25 November 2010;

Financial situation


Believes that IOC, able to provide initial services based on 18 satellites, should be completed by 2014 at the latest to ensure that Galileo does indeed become the second GNSS constellation of reference for receiver manufacturers; in this respect, urges the Commission as soon as possible to launch the four In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites, to establish a clear road-map for the launch of the remaining 14 satellites, and to conclude the final work packages;


Is convinced that the aim of Full Operating Capacity (FOC), based on a constellation of 27 satellites plus a suitable number of spare satellites and adequate ground infrastructure, is a prerequisite to attain the added value of Galileo in terms of authentication, high precision and uninterrupted service and therefore to reap the economic and societal benefits; believes that clear and unambiguous support from all European Institutions to the fulfilment of FOC is needed to convince users and investors of the long-term commitment of the EU; calls on the Commission to send a positive signal to the market to this effect;


Deplores the fact that no proposal has been made to provide additional financing for this programme by readjusting the current multiannual financial framework, which has led to further delays, additional costs and possibly the loss of a ‘window of opportunity’; believes, in that light, that FOC should be reached by 2018 at the latest, which, according to the Commission, is estimated to require additional financing of EUR 1.9 billion and annual funding to cover operating costs of approximately EUR 800 million from 2014 onwards; calls on the Commission to actively pursue all possible financial efficiency savings and to put in place an appropriate financing structure (taking into account, among other things, the revenues from Galileo’s Commercial Service) to limit the necessary additional financing;


Highlights the fact that current EU funding of R&D for GNSS stands at no more than EUR 15 million per year; warns of damage to other R&D programmes if additional funding for these activities is taken out of the current framework programme (FP7); is of the opinion that in the future more funding should be provided under FP8 and through other measures to facilitate the development of GNSS-based products and services;


Stresses the need to increase funding with a view to enhancing the development of GNSS applications and services, which is essential in order to ensure that the infrastructure investment which Galileo represents is fully exploited and that the Galileo system is developed to its full capacity;

Public awareness


Is strongly convinced that additional funding for GNSS can only be secured if awareness of the benefits for the EU economy and society brought by GNSS is raised considerably among decision-makers and the wider public; applauds the setting-up of concrete initiatives, such as the annual Galileo Masters competition for ideas, for which there were 350 entries from 44 countries in 2010, the Galileo children’s competition and the GNSS innovation prize;


Urges the Commission and the EU GNSS Agency (GSA) to put much more effort into raising awareness of GNSS among potential users and investors, promoting the use of GNSS-based services, as well as identifying and concentrating the demand for these services in Europe; stresses, in this context, that Galileo is in the public interest at EU level and thus has a justified claim to financing from public funds;


Calls on the Commission and the GSA to approach national authorities and SMEs dealing with space-related technology as potential end-users of GNSS applications, using appropriate calls for tenders, awareness campaigns and technology transfer mechanisms in order to do so, while at the same time stressing the importance of maintaining the European regional balance;

International dimension


Calls on the Commission to actively involve regions of the world where the adoption of European GNSS technology and applications may help market development, such as Latin America, South-East Asia or Africa;


Supports the Commission in its efforts to ensure the compatibility and interoperability of Galileo with other satellite navigation systems and to strive for global standardisation; in this respect, urges the Commission and Member States to deploy all available means to quickly resolve the current compatibility issues with China;

Future challenges: financing and governance


Emphasises the strategic importance of space policy and the GNSS programme in the drive to establish a genuine European industrial policy based on practical projects with tangible benefits for the public and for business; calls, in that respect, on the Commission to recognise the important role that satellite navigation can play and to integrate it in the development of all other relevant Community policies;


Points out that long-term stability is important in order to minimise additional delays, costly redesign and destabilisation of the user base; calls, in this respect, on the Commission to quickly submit legislative proposals on the future level of services, financing and governance of the GNSS programmes; believes, furthermore, that it is vital to ensure the retention of relevant know-how and acquired expertise so that the programmes are well managed;


Calls on the Commission to include in the impact assessment to be performed in the framework of the upcoming legislative proposal clear and comprehensive information on:

the technical specifications (accuracy, geographical coverage, integrity, etc.) for the services (Open Services, Safety of Life, Commercial Services, Public Regulated Services) that the various Galileo satellite configurations could provide (including IOC and FOC, used in combination with other GNSS systems or on a stand-alone basis);

the role of EGNOS services with regard to the various possible Galileo configurations and whether or not EGNOS should be kept in a FOC constellation;

the costs of the possible Galileo and EGNOS configurations in terms of not just infrastructure investment but also management and contingency costs (including IOC, FOC and other possible options);


Considers that Galileo and EGNOS, as European programmes owned by the EU which address a public interest at EU level, should mainly be financed through the EU budget; believes that – alongside the contribution from the EU budget – all possible sources of financing should be investigated, including innovative forms of financing; emphasises that ad hoc, emergency budgetary solutions such as those seen in the past are likely to jeopardise the success and added value of such strategic, large-scale EU projects and undermine the political momentum around them; believes, therefore, that a sound, global and long-term financing solution should be found; suggests that a predetermined annual amount should be provided from the EU budget (for the financing of the remaining Galileo infrastructure as well as the operating costs); points out that the estimated figures included in the mid-term review for the period after 2013 are indicative, and calls on the Commission to present a detailed breakdown of the estimated financial needs by summer 2011, in order to increase the accountability, predictability and transparency of the project;


Believes that unexpected additional costs should be financed from the Community budget without endangering other existing programmes; calls, in this respect, on the Commission to assess the possibility of establishing a ‘Galileo reserve fund’ to cover such unexpected costs;


Believes that the long-term governance and management structure of GNSS should address the division of tasks and responsibilities between the Commission, the GSA and the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as other relevant issues, such as appropriate cost-sharing, the revenue-sharing mechanism, the liability regime, pricing policy and the possible involvement and contribution of the private sector in the GNSS programmes; calls, in this context, on the Commission to make swift progress with the ongoing reflection on future governance schemes for the operation of the system, to take responsibility for long-term operations and adaptation of the infrastructure, to ensure the delivery of continuous data and services to users, and to maximise opportunities for the development of commercial services;


Stresses the importance of any long-term governance and management structure of GNSS being fully transparent, financially sound and accountable and managed in the most responsible manner possible; notes, in this regard, that coordination with the Council and the European Parliament should take place on a regular basis and should include detailed updates;


Calls on the Commission to establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure that GNSS based services and applications, both private and public regulated, comply with fundamental citizens’ rights such as privacy and data protection;


* *


Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the ESA.

(1)  OJ C 146E, 12.6.2008, p. 226.

(2)  OJ L 196, 24.7.2008, p. 1.

(3)  OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 11.