EU to sort out Galileo funding issue

EU to sort out Galileo funding issue


Hyderabad: Two years after India signed up for partnering in the European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation system, the project is yet to take off due to internal bickering within the bloc.

Serious differences have cropped up within the EU over the funding of the project and it is not in a position to hold discussions with India until they resolve the issue among themselves.

“We cannot hold talks with India until we sort out the issues among ourselves," European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain told reporters here.

“Our priority is to sort out our domestic problems on funding. We can re-start discussions with India by the latter half of next year," he said on the sidelines of the 58th International Astronautical Congress here.

The European transport ministers are expected to meet next week to discuss the financing of the 30-satellite network expected to rival the US’ Global Positioning System (GPS).

The agreement to participate in Galileo was signed by ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair and EU’s representative to India Francisco da Camara Gomes in September 2005 and the details were to be completed during the EU-India summit meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with EU leaders in Helsinki in 2006.

“We are not expecting a definite decision by October, but it is likely to be arrived at by December," Dordain said.