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Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what Government resources have been used in support of Cardiff’s bid to be the permanent home of the EU Galileo Supervisory Authority; and when the Government next expects an opportunity to present its case. (170783)

[holding answer 3 December 2007]: The Government, in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government, put forward the Cardiff bid to host the EU GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) in 2005. At the end of 2007, the Finnish presidency reviewed the bids from 11 member states which had declared an interest, but no decision was proposed.

After the negotiations for a public private partnership to take forward Galileo collapsed earlier this year, the Commission put forward proposals for changing the governance of the programme. These will require, among other things, amendments to the EU regulation which set up the GSA. The question of its location is not likely to be considered until the GSA and other regulations have been agreed, some time in 2008.

The Department for Transport, in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government, the Wales Office, the FCO and other Departments, has taken the lead in promoting the Cardiff bid, mainly through lobbying of other member states. It would not be possible to separate out, or cost, the amount of time spent by officials in promoting Cardiff from the efforts in promoting the Government’s objective for Galileo more generally.