Galileo Project

Transport written question – answered on 23rd May 2007.

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Photo of Gwyneth Dunwoody Gwyneth Dunwoody Labour, Crewe and Nantwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many communication satellites are envisaged for the Galileo project; what timescale is provided for its completion; and what changes in funding and organisation have resulted from the decision of the private sector partners not to honour future funding provisions.

Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Minister of State, Department for Transport

The Galileo global constellation is expected to comprise 30 satellites.

The Commission has reported that there has been a breakdown in the public private partnership (PPP) contract negotiations. The immediate cause of the breakdown is an ongoing disagreement about industrial work-share between the partners in the bidding consortium.

The March Transport Council gave the bidding consortium a deadline of 10 May 2007 to resolve their differences and take the necessary measures to allow the resumption of effective negotiations. At the same time the Commission was requested to prepare an analysis of the consortium's response and to develop alternative options for taking forward the Galileo project. A more detailed discussion on these issues will follow at the June Transport Council, where it is likely that Ministers will be asked to decide whether to continue with the current negotiations, or to end them and to request the Commission to explore in further detail the alternative options for proceeding with the project. Governance of the project will also be considered.

The timetable for the programme, its funding, and its organisation are therefore subject to these decisions.

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