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Galileo Project

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have attended to discuss the Galileo project since its inception; which Ministers attended; on what dates the meetings were held; what the grade was of the civil servants attending meetings to discuss the Galileo project alone and jointly with Ministers; and if he will place in the Library a paper on the proposed future financing, governance and exploitation of Galileo. (141021)

Ministers have attended all transport councils since 1999, when it was agreed at the Cologne European Council that Galileo ‘should be given careful scrutiny'.

Departmental officials have attended all meetings of the Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) Supervisory Board, since November 2002, and all meetings of the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), since January 2005. Departmental officials usually attend council working groups where Galileo is discussed, in support of the UK representation. Transport officials have been involved with the meetings of the ESA programme board that deals with EGNOS and Galileo since its inception in July 1999 and have attended many of them. The British National Space Centre takes the lead on ESA.

Information could be provided at disproportionate cost only on the dates of all the meetings that Transport Ministers and officials have held or attended on Galileo, within the Department, with Government colleagues, or with the GJU, GSA, Commission, ESA, and EU or ESA member states. The grade of the civil servants attending meetings has varied as appropriate. Senior officials, including the permanent secretary, have been involved.

An explanatory memorandum on the Commission's Communication of 16 May 2007 has been submitted to the European Scrutiny Select Committee. The Communication is available at: Galileo en_final_16mav2007.pdf