Azara Blog: EU fudges Galileo decision

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Date published: 2007/10/02

The BBC says:

The EU remains split on how to fund Europe's satellite navigation system but have vowed to push ahead anyway.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, ministers from Britain, the Netherlands and Germany led opposition to a proposed rescue bid for the Galileo project.

They opposed a European Commission (EC) proposal to use 2.4bn euros from EU funds to get the system back on track.

The EC is determined to have Galileo operational by 2013, but so far only one test satellite is in orbit.

In addition, only four of the eventual 30-satellite constellation has been ordered.

Unless contracts are issued for more spacecraft soon, the timetable for Europe's biggest single space project may slip again and could face calls to be scrapped altogether.

The present funding crisis was triggered by the failure to agree a Public Private Partnership (PPP), in which a consortium of aerospace and telecom companies would build much of Galileo's infrastructure and then run its services.

The aim now is for the infrastructure to be built using public funds and for the private sector to come in only as the operator.

A classic EU mess. Either they should commit to going ahead properly or they should can the project now.

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