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Europe

EU and U.S. Near to Galileo Deal

The EU and U.S. have reached agreement on most aspects of co-operation between Europe’s planned Galileo satellite navigation system and the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

After a two day meeting in Brussels, agreement was reached to adopt a common signal for certain services and to preserve national security capabilities. The €3.6 billion ($4.5 billion) Galileo project is expected to start operating in 2008 alongside the U.S. GPS system. The U.S. had expressed concerns that the radio frequency preferred by the EU would interfere with military signals. Moreover, Galileo’s economic viability was questioned as GPS is freely available. However, China already announced that it would invest over €200 million euro in the EU’s satellite navigation system, while Brazil, Israel, India and Russia also appear to be interested to invest. "The delegations will continue to work diligently to resolve the few remaining outstanding issues which concern primarily some legal and procedural aspects", a joint statement between the European Commission and the U.S. reads. (EUObserver.com)

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