Tiefensee: Galileo problems need to be solved quickly

Berlin, Germany – "Galileo is one of the EU’s most important high-tech projects, and its speedy deployment is one of the priority objectives of the Member States. That is why I view the current delays in the negotiations on the Galileo concession with concern. The companies involved have still not established their Galileo Operation Company and have not appointed a Chief Executive Officer for the company. This means that the companies have failed to honour two major pledges which they gave in their December 2005 agreement on the creation of workable management and organizational structures.

Because of this lack of agreement and the failure to establishment a management organization, the negotiations on the conclusion of a concession contract have been stalled for weeks. As a result, the companies involved are seriously jeopardizing the implementation of the Galileo satellite system. As President of the Council of the EU, I have urged the eight companies that are jointly bidding for the Galileo concession to submit proposals to me without delay as to how the unresolved issues on the industry side can be resolved. Clear organizational and management structures have to be created in order to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion", said the Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, Wolfgang Tiefensee, after a meeting in Berlin with the companies responsible for Galileo: EADS, Alcatel-Lucent, Thales, Finmeccanica, Inmarsat, Hispasat, AENA and TeleOp.

Galileo is to be implemented as a PPP project in the form of a concession model. The Galileo Supervisory Authority has been tasked by the EU with negotiating the Galileo concession with the bidding consortium.

"After more than one year, it has still not been possible to bring these negotiations to a conclusion, and they have now come to a standstill. The Commission has repeatedly announced the conclusion of the negotiations on the benchmarks, most recently at the December Council, with the prospect of presenting these "heads of terms" at the March Council this year. The delays that we are now experiencing are not acceptable. I assume that the industry is still keen to bring the negotiations to a speedy conclusion and that it intends to honour its pledges to establish clear structures as soon as possible. That is why I have urged the industry to submit, within the next two weeks, detailed concrete proposals as to how they intend to solve their problems. We will discuss the delays on this basis at the next EU Transport Council in Brussels at the end of March. Europe is based on a sound foundation, and I am sure that this will enable us to resolve these issues. The Council Presidency and the European Commission will work shoulder-to-shoulder to achieve this end", said Mr Tiefensee.