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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission vice-President Tajani to EuroFora: GALILEO is Competitive but mustn't be Delayed !

EU Commission vice-President Tajani to EuroFora: GALILEO is Competitive but mustn't be Delayed !

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 18 January 2011

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EU's landmark Satellite Navigation System GALILEO, a High-Tech project to provide much needeed Space infrastructure for a large spectrum of Social, Economic, Civic Protection and/or Defense activities, can become Efficient and Competitive in a few years throughout the whole World, if it's completion iis not Delayed by bureaucratic obstacles to fund some 1,9 Biliions € needed in order to reach the necesary Threshhold of 30 Satellites at the latest on 2018, as scheduled, replied in substance the competent EU Commission's vice-President, Antonio Tajani, replying to "EuroFora"s questions  this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, (both during his Press Conference and afterwards).

Among EU's current Space programs, "EGMOS is aready well advanced", while also "GALILEO  is a very efficient and competitive High-Tech system, able to favorably compete with other systems.in the World (f.ex. USA's GPS, Russia's Glonass, etc). "But on the condition that we (EU) manage to organize it well", Tajani stressed  to "EuroFora".
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    - "It's naturally good that you are optimist on Galileo as far as the 2014 first stage target is concerned. "But are you sure to have all necessary financial and other means to really develop it fully, or is there anything more needed ?", "EuroFora" asked Tajani from the outset. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         - "Because also in the Past, after the 2003 EU Decision to go on, many people were optimist, but, nevertheless, some Delays appeared, before you took over, so that, f. ex. China, who had initially expressed its will to participate (with some 200 Millions € then), was later obliged, by those Delays, to prepare starting its own system", "EuroFora" reminded.  


    - "Today, do you think that all what is needed in order for the EU to advance fast ,really exists now ?", we concluded. 
 
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      - "As far as I am concerned, ....until 2014 there won't be any problems : We have the Money. The problem is for the after 2014 period", Tajani started to explain in reply to "EuroFora"s question.


    - "We (EU) must respect the Timing. I'm very much committed to try to do that, because it's important to respect the Timing in view of 2018 (scheduled full deployment of GALILEO), when it will have 30 Satellites", EU Commission's vice President stressed.


    - "Nevertheless, already with just 14 Satellites, GALILEO will be at least able to start providing some kind of services since 2014", he noted.


    - "But in order to complete the project, we (EU) must have about 1,9 Billions more, according to an evalation which will be soon made by ESA and EU Commission's experts, after which I'll be able to make a more precise appreciation", he warned.


    - "So, on Galileo, I decided to start now (1/2011) an initial reflexion on the Investments which will be needed in order to continue and complete the full organization of the Galileo project.


     - I.e., "until 2004 we have the necessary money, but we must, at the same time, respect also the (2018) Deadline", Tajani stressed in conclusion to his reply to "EuroFora"s question.
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    Obviously, a one-off 1,9 or even 2 Billions € for EU's High-Tech Satellite Navigation System GALILEO, an indispensable infrastructure for many important Economic, Civic Protection and/or Defense activities in all EU's 27 Member Countries and much more throughout the World, is comparatively "nothing", of simply peanuts, compared f.ex. with almost repeated spending of 1 Billion € each Year for Turkey's controversia and impopular EU bid, and/or to ... more than 30 (Thirty !) Billions € blocked and wasted in the controversial, Low-Tech, 20 Years Old project A400M, a locally limited, banal Military "Bus" deprived of any Innovation, unable to lift not even 1 Modern Tank (fex. Leclerc III), unable to fly far enough, but limited ony to a smalll regional area; which, therefore, abandons Global, TransContinental Air Military Transport exclusively to the USA's big Boeing "GobeMaster", condemning Europe to be restricted in a petty role of local "plumber"..


    EU Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force since December 2009, explicitly gives to the EU New Legal Competences in order to develop an ambitious Space High-Tech Policy, and it would be a blatant Contradition if , nevertheless, EU didn't go faster now on GALILEO than it had initially decided to do already as early as since an Historic 2003 decision...
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    - "When I recently visited China, before Christmas, from my meeting with Chinese Ministers, it was clear that there was a Desire to reach an Agreement. So, I hope that we shall be able to go forward in the Future", Tajani earlier noted, optimistically, after "EuroFora" had already warned him about the above mentioned 2006-2009 developments regarding Beijing's interest for EU's Galieo (See supra). - "As for Russia, there are no impediments, and relations are Healthy enough", he added, replying to another collegue's question.


    - "Concerning the USA, they have their GPS, and we (EU) have GALILEO, We (EU) want to have an Independent System, including on frequences", EU Commission's vice-President clearly said also in the same Press Conference, reminding EU's crystal-clear choice for an Autonomous strategic development of European capacities, (comp. f.ex. EU Parliament's March 2010 vote on the President of EU Parliament's Security and Defence Committee, French MEP Arnould Danjean's landmark Report on EU's relevant policies, and his related statements to "EuroFora")

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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

buzek_close_a_400 

In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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