EU Assumes Control of Galileo with Taxpayer Money

 - June 12, 2007, 9:55 AM

Members of the Transport, Telecommunication and Energy Council of the European Union have accepted a proposal by the European Commission to assume control of Galileo, the European satellite-based navigation program. At a meeting of the council in Luxembourg from June 6 to 8, council members concluded that the €3.5 billion program should be funded with taxpayer money because “negotiations have failed and should be ended” with the private consortium of eight private aerospace and telecom companies that was originally supposed to fund the operating and maintenance costs. The European Commission submitted the proposal to assume control after the consortium missed a May 10 deadline to submit plans to appoint a CEO and operate the system as a single company. The European Commission has until September to provide to the council “detailed alternative proposals for the financing” of Galileo, “including all possible options of public funding.”