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EU proposes to negotiate with Ukraine on satellite navigation development

The European Commission has sought European Council approval for its recommendation to start negotiations on a cooperation agreement with Ukraine on the development of a Civil Global Navigation Satellite system (GNSS). The Commission intends to start the negotiations immediately after approval of the Council at the end of September 2004.

Following the Ukraine-EU joint statement on cooperation on satellite navigation adopted in October 2003, and after several meetings with Ukrainian officials, Ukraine formally expressed its wish to pursue negotiations leading to an agreement on GALILEO. The scenario of cooperation identified in preliminary talks includes multilateral and industrial cooperation, research and scientific activities especially on standardisation issues, regional integrity monitoring and financial investment in GALILEO.

Ukraine is one of the eight countries within the world space community demonstrating significant technological background on space programmes and important achievements on GNSS applications, equipment, user segment and regional technology. Ukrainian companies are active on applications and service development sector. GNSS technology is used in a variety of civilian applications such as transportation, environment, agriculture, engineering, personal outdoor recreation and safety of life systems.

GALILEO is Europe’s satellite radio navigation programme. It was launched on the initiative of the European Commission and developed jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA). It will prepare for the development of a new generation of universal services in areas such as transport, telecommunications, agriculture and fisheries. To date this technology, which promises to be highly profitable, is only available through the United States’ GPS system and Russia’s GLONASS system, both of which are financed and controlled by military authorities. The GALILEO programme will be administered and controlled by civilian authorities and offers a guarantee of quality and continuity which is essential for many applications. It is complementary with current systems and will increase the reliability and availability of navigation and positioning services worldwide.