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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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    - "Europe must be liberated from this undermining "wooden talk" of a "unique thought" which hampers democratic debates", stressed incoming EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking to Journalists after his official meeting with EU Commission's President, Jose Barroso, at Elysee Palace in Paris

    - "It's precisely because there are not enough Debates, that EU hasn't managed yet to make it clear to European citizens what is really at stake", he added, in an obvious reference to the latest Irish "No" in 2008, after a long series of similar, unprecedented events, from the 1st Majority Abstention to EU Parliament's Elections in 1999, repeated in 2004, to the Dutch and French "No" in 2005, etc.


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          In fact, "there is no time to lose for Europe, and that's why we decided to start the French EU Presidency right away, from the first day", he explained, on France's exceptional choice to schedule the usual meeting with EU Commission from the 1st day of the 1st month, instead of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or even 10th or 11th, as it had been done by others in the Past..    


    - "This is not an easy period, but we shall act with determination, while also listening to Citizens' views", he promised.

    Sarkozy's move came shortly before his opening Speech, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, for the first Public Debate on the Priorities of the French EU Presidency (July - December 2008), and that's one of the reasons for which he significantly opened his EU Council's Chairmanship by welcoming at Elysee palace EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert Poettering at first..

    The incoming EU Chairman was replying to Press Questions about rumours that controversial British EU Commissioner on Trade, Mandelson, was alone to drop an invitation to have a working Diner at Elysee palace, together with all other EU Commissioners and the French Government, only because he would have been upset for some critical points made earlier by President Sarkozy in defense of European Agriculture vis-a-vis its Foreign competitors.

    But, as smiling Sarkozy played down Mandelson's reported refusal to debate, saying that he had to visit Marseille for a Ministerial meeting on Trade the next morning, and that "all our British friends are always welcome to taste a nice diner" in France, perhaps at another occasion..

    - "It's urgent to win anew the trust of the People" : Lately, "the European ideal lost its momentum. Since several years, whenever Citizens are questioned on Europe, they react with reserves : They even have .. a tendency to reply "NO".. After this 3rd "No" of a People in some years, there is an Urgency to convince", added French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, after a meeting earlier the same day of all Ministers with EU Commissioners, followed by an interview with Barroso

    "According to recent Polls, only 30% of French people believe that the European construction is a source of hope. It's only a poll, but we all now quite well, that, since 2005, it's dangerous to neglect these alarming signals, as it would be dangerous to treat with contempt the Irish "No", Fillon warned.

    "We all have a common duty to prove to the European Citizens who have doubts, that EU is more useful, more necessary, than ever" : And "that EU can take decisions needed in order to respond to European or Global challenges", the Prime Minister concluded.

    - "We believe, together with President Sarkozy, that EU should open debates on all issues of direct, concrete interest to Citizens", confirmed later to EuroFora the Head of France's governing party (UMP), Patrick Devedjan, after his speech to the European People's party (EPP) Study Days in Paris (2 - 4 July 2008).

    He didn't deny that one of them is Turkey : - "Public Opinion in France is very much unfavorable to Turkey's EU bid, and President Sarkozy has said that several times", he told EuroFora.

    From European Central Bank's controversial policies on Euro's value, to EU Enlargement Strategy, etc., issues of obvious importance to EU Citizens will be plenty, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, before President Sarkozy launches the debates on EU 2008 French chairmanship's priorities on Thursday.

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