On Wednesday 3 April, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso visited the headquarters of the European Global Navigation and Satellite System (GNSS) Agency (GSA) in Prague. The GSA supports the Commission in the management of the Galileo and EGNOS programme, notably in the domain of security, research and marketing.
“With the European GNSS Agency, Prague has become one of the hubs for all those who are engaged within the space industry across Europe and in the Czech Republic.”, President Barroso said. “Galileo is a strategic project to ensure the European Union’s independence in space technology and policy, a sector of major importance for the competitiveness of our industry and that has also become critical for the well-being of our citizens. Space-related activities are key for Europe’s 2020 strategy, as they create high skilled jobs, commercial opportunities and boost innovation all over Europe. They also symbolise the very essence of the European Union, our capacity to join forces across Europe for a faster economic recovery and more balanced growth in the coming years.”
The Galileo programme is an EU’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will be inter-operable with the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS, the two other global satellite navigation systems. Independent surveys and market forecasting estimate an overall economic impact of Galileo at €90 billion over the first 20 years. Galileo will provide more precise positioning to citizens by the end of 2014.
The European GNSS Agency (GSA), provisionally located in Brussels, moved to its premises in Prague on 6 September 2012 as agreed by the EU Heads of State and Government on 10 December 2010. The operational responsibility for the GNSS Programmes will be gradually transferred from the European Commission to the GSA over the next multi-annual financial framework (2014-2020).