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New framework on Galileo adopted

Transport ministers of European Council nations have agreed to set up a Community agency – called the Supervisory Authority – to supervise the deployment and operation phases of Galileo, the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). It will run the system’s overall financial management and conclude the concession contract with one of the three shortlisted private consortia for deploying and operating the satellites.

Ministers also gave their green light to the international agreements that have been negotiated to with the United States and Israel. The Council agreed to sign the agreement with the US on compatibility and interoperability between the GPS and GALILEO systems the EU-US Summit in Dublin on 26 June, subject to the finalisation of a document on radio frequency compatibility. The agreement on the use of Galileo by Israel is due to be signed on 13 July.

The 3.6 billion euro Galileo project is expected to start operating in 2008 alongside the US GPS system.