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Procedure : 2010/2208(INI)
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Document selected : A7-0084/2011

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PV 07/06/2011 - 8.6
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Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - Strasbourg
Transport applications of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems

European Parliament resolution of 7 June 2011 on transport applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems – short- and medium-term EU policy (2010/2208(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the communication of 14 June 2010 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on an Action Plan on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Applications (COM(2010)0308),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 1 October 2010 on that action plan (14146/2010),

–  having regard to the communication of 6 October 2010 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative: Innovation Union’ (COM(2010)0546),

  having regard to the Commission report of 18 January 2011 to the European Parliament and the Council, constituting the mid-term review of the European satellite radio navigation programmes (COM(2011)0005), which maintains that significant funding is needed in order to complete the satellite radio navigation infrastructure,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the further implementation of the European satellite navigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo)(1),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 of 12 July 2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio-navigation programmes(2),

–  having regard to the Commission's Green Paper of 8 December 2006 on Satellite Navigation Applications (COM(2006)0769),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio navigation programmes and amending Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 January 2004 on the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the state of progress of the Galileo programme(4),

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A7-0084/2011),

A.  whereas GNSS applications are now a central and indispensable feature of activity in every transport sector and whereas their efficient and effective operation makes transport safer, more environmentally friendly and economical,

B.  whereas transport applications account for 20 % of all GNSS applications by volume and 44 % by value, and whereas safety operations – mostly related to transport – account for a further 5 %,

C.  whereas the European Union cannot indefinitely remain dependent for the basic infrastructure required for the operation of GNSS on systems developed initially for other purposes by other countries,

D.  whereas EGNOS is a self-contained system to supplement GPS which is dependent on the availability of GPS signals in order to perform calculation and correction operations; whereas there will be no completely independent GNSS until Galileo has been deployed,

E.  whereas Europe's EGNOS system is designed to meet substantial and varied present and future demand from industry in Europe and worldwide, for instance as regards transport safety and traceability, in keeping with the aims of Europe's new, more proactive industrial policy, and whereas it is also compatible with and supplements GPS and the significantly more accurate Galileo system,

F.  whereas the commercial transport applications of GNSS and Galileo represent a growing global market which should be secured as far as is possible for the economic benefit of European industry and for the creation of skilled jobs,

G.  whereas GNSS will play a vital role in supporting and promoting the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITSs),

H.  whereas the development of GNSS applications and services is essential in order to ensure that the infrastructure investment which Galileo represents is fully exploited and that the Galileo system is developed to its full capacity,

I.  whereas investment in this sector has implications for all EU policies, and whereas its expansion and implementation will have a direct impact on the realisation of the EU 2020 Strategy and from the point of view of developing the potential of the European market in GNSS applications and services so as to create jobs and enhance Europe's competitiveness,

J.  whereas the GNSS and Galileo projects bring considerable added value to European industrial policy and whereas it is essential to ensure their success,

1.  Welcomes the Commission communication on an Action Plan on Global NavigationSatellite System (GNSS) Applications and the series of specific sectoral, regulatory and horizontal actions proposed therein;

2.  Agrees with the Commission that a targeted action plan is, at this point, the best option for giving a further impetus to the development and application of EGNOS and Galileo, particularly in the transport field; stresses that satellite navigation systems should ensure interoperability between different systems (including conventional systems) and should also allow intermodal use in both passenger and freight transport services;

3.  Notes that, of the 15 section-specific proposals in the action plan, nine relate directly to transport and most of the others are required in order to underpin the relevant transport applications;

4.  Calls on the Commission to ensure swift certification of EGNOS for civil aviation through the competent authorities;

5.  Agrees that actions to promote the use of EGNOS and Galileo in civil aviation are a strategic requirement for the implementation of SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research), especially as regards its use for landing procedures and at small airports;

6.  Regrets that all of the European Union is not at this time covered by EGNOS and calls for EGNOS system coverage to be extended to southern, eastern and south-eastern Europe as a matter of priority, so as to enable the system to be used throughout Europe in every transport sector, and stresses the importance of ensuring that its coverage extends to both the MEDA countries and the Middle East and Africa;

7.  Underlines the importance of GNSS in developing ITSs; points out that ITSs can provide more efficient, cleaner and safer transport solutions, and that proper implementation of a number of ITS services requires fully operational GNSS systems;

8.  Endorses the view that EGNOS and Galileo can make an important contribution to road traffic management and that an awareness campaign in that sector is required in order to increase the use made of the opportunities it provides in relation to fee collection, eCall, online booking of safe parking sites for trucks, and real-time tracking to contribute to safer and more environmentally friendly road transport;

9.  Calls therefore on the Commission to bring forward the necessary regulatory proposals to deliver GNSS added value for safety in all forms of transport, particularly on the roads, and to help improve freight transport efficiency;

10.  Urges the Commission to intensify industrial cooperation with non-EU countries with a view to promoting the development and interoperability of EGNOS and Galileo applications and services;

11.  Agrees that the Commission should make a careful appraisal of the need to amend existing legislation on digital tachographs in order to ensure that the opportunities for positioning and speed information offered by GNSS are used appropriately;

12.  Agrees that GNSS can do much to enhance the safety and efficiency of shipping and that the Commission should take steps to increase awareness and improve knowledge of possible GNSS applications in the maritime and inland waterway sectors and to have EGNOS-based applications accepted at IMO and ICAO levels;

13.  Supports the Commission's intention of launching campaigns to raise awareness among the various stakeholders so as to give European industry the confidence to invest in the commercial potential of the EU's satellite navigation projects;

14.  Calls on the Commission to efficiently implement the strong awareness-raising measures set out in the Action Plan, in order to secure the extensive use of EGNOS in Europe, in all application areas, and thus ensure more complex approaches;

15.  Insists that the Commission should propose, in the context of the budgetary procedure and the future multiannual financial framework (MFF), steps to ensure adequate levels of funding for GNSS research and development, as well as for implementation; stresses that EU funding in the transport sector is already sparse and that additional funding for GNSS should therefore not result in less funding for other priorities in the Common Transport Policy area; renews its call, regarding both this specific project and similar projects, such as the TEN-Ts, for the Commission to submit a multiannual financing proposal going beyond the period of the MFF, in order to provide a stable and reliable financial framework for more ambitious European projects whose scope exceeds the present bounds;

16.  Calls on the Commission to consider whether revenue from commercial Galileo activities might be assigned to the EU budget;

17.  Calls on the Commission to inform Parliament how the annual maintenance cost, estimated at EUR 800 million, will be financed once Galileo has become operational;

18.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a comprehensive funding strategy which in addition to adequate EU and Member State contributions, could include, inter alia, co-ordinated tax incentives, simplified grant application procedures, and arrangements that could channel venture capital to SMEs and facilitate the development and marketing of EGNOS and Galileo applications, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund;

19.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the EUR 100 m likely to be underspent in payment appropriations for research within the Seventh Framework Programme is made available for the development of GNSS applications;

20.  Urges the Commission to examine how simplified procedures might ensure more efficient and transparent disbursement of funding in support of research in the field of GNSS-enabled transport for all, paying special attention to the needs of disabled persons and focusing in particular on SMEs;

21.  Calls on the Commission to help SMEs gain access more easily to European funding aimed at encouraging innovation related to GNSS applications, especially under the seventh and eighth framework programmes;

22.  Urges the Commission to examine what data protection concerns might arise with the use of EGNOS applications and services and to do all it can to dispel these;

23.  Notes the need for investment in research into GNSS-specific applications and services, with particular regard to the special requirements of disabled people, since such investment is of decisive importance for the proper development and use of GNSS services;

24.  Calls on the Commission to encourage initiatives aimed at developing sector-specific service centres, in particular for the maritime sector;

25.  Regrets that the shortage of funds allocated to research and innovation for applications based on EGNOS or Galileo is considerably delaying technological progress and the growth of industrial capacity, as well as environmentally effective implementation, in the European Union and therefore urges the Commission to introduce arrangements enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to gain access to funding more readily;

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 196, 24.7.2008, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 246, 20.7.2004, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 11.
(4) OJ C 96 E, 21.4.2004, p. 128.

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