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REPORT     *
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19 March 2004
PE PE 340.322 A5-0209/2004
on the proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radionavigation programme
(COM(2003) 471 – C5‑0391/2003 – 2003/0177(CNS))
Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy
Rapporteur: Alexander Radwan
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PROCEDURAL PAGE
 DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

PROCEDURAL PAGE

By letter of 11 September 2003 the Council consulted Parliament, pursuant to Article 308 of the EC Treaty, on the proposal for a Council regulation on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radionavigation programme (COM(2003) 471 -2003/0177(CNS)).

At the sitting of 22 September 2003 the President of Parliament announced that he had referred the proposal to the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy as the committee responsible and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism for its opinion (C5‑0391/2003).

The Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy appointed Alexander Radwan rapporteur at its meeting of 2 October 2003.

It considered the Commission proposal and draft report at its meetings of 18 February 2004 and 18 March 2004.

At the last meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Luis Berenguer Fuster (chairman), Peter Michael Mombaur (vice-chairman), Gordon J. Adam (for Massimo Carraro), Per-Arne Arvidsson (for Sir Robert Atkins), María del Pilar Ayuso González (for Werner Langen), Guido Bodrato, Gérard Caudron, Giles Bryan Chichester, Marie-Hélène Descamps (for Elizabeth Montfort), Concepció Ferrer, Neena Gill (for Harlem Désir), Norbert Glante, Alfred Gomolka (for Angelika Niebler), Michel Hansenne, Hans-Peter Martin (for Marco Cappato), Marjo Matikainen-Kallström, Giuseppe Nisticò (for Paolo Pastorelli), Reino Paasilinna, Samuli Pohjamo (for Nicholas Clegg), John Purvis, Bernhard Rapkay (for Hans Karlsson), Imelda Mary Read, Paul Rübig, Esko Olavi Seppänen, Astrid Thors (for Elly Plooij-van Gorsel pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, Myrsini Zorba and Olga Zrihen Zaari.

The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism decided on 10 September 2003 not to deliver an opinion.

The report was tabled on 19 March 2004.


DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council regulation on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radionavigation programme

(COM(2003) 471 – C5‑0391/2003 -2003/0177(CNS))

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2003) 471)(1),

-   having regard to Article 308 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C5‑0391/2003),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0209/2004),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

3.   Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.   Calls for initiation of the conciliation procedure under the Joint Declaration of 4 March 1975 if the Council intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.   Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

6.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 6

(6)   To this end, the Supervisory Authority will be able to conclude a concession contract with whichever consortium is selected on completion of the Galileo development phase and take steps to ensure compliance by that consortium with the obligations and, in particular, public service obligations arising from the concession contract.

(6)   To this end, the Supervisory Authority shall conclude a concession contract with whichever consortium is selected by the Council in cooperation with the Joint Undertaking and the Commission, in good time before the end of the development phase, and take steps to ensure compliance by that consortium with the obligations and, in particular, public service obligations arising from the concession contract.

Justification

The development phase will end at the earliest in the spring of 2006. A private operating consortium to be responsible for running the ensuing deployment and operational phases must be given sufficient lead time.

Amendment 2
Recital 7 a (new)
 

(7a)   The Supervisory Authority shall be responsible for certification of the system and its components.

Justification

The infrastructure of the Galileo system will be owned by the Supervisory Authority, which will monitor the concessionaire’s compliance with Treaty obligations. Therefore, services that are operated or supported by Galileo must be registered with the Supervisory Authority, which must be responsible for their certification.

Amendment 3
Recital 11

(11)   Following the dissolution of the Joint Undertaking (on completion of the development phase), the Joint Undertaking will transfer to the Supervisory Authority ownership of the entire satellite radionavigation system (EGNOS and Galileo), including whatever may have been developed by the concessionaire during the deployment phase; this is justified on the grounds that the programme definition and development phases have been financed entirely from public funds and all the components thus developed will be placed at the disposal of the concessionaire; it also represents a quid pro quo for the fact that a major part of the deployment phase would have to be financed from Community appropriations.

(11)   Following the dissolution of the Joint Undertaking (on completion of the development phase), the Supervisory Authority will become the owner of the entire satellite radionavigation system (EGNOS and Galileo), since the programme definition and development phases have been financed entirely from public funds. Everything that has been developed by the concessionaire during the deployment phase will also become the property of the Supervisory Authority, since it was substantially financed from Community funds. All the components of the satellite navigation system will be placed at the disposal of the concessionaire.

Justification

The wording of the Commission proposal is, at least in the German version, very unclear. The point is that, after the Joint Undertaking is dissolved, ownership of Galileo will pass to the Supervisory Authority, since the definition and development phases were entirely financed from public funds.

At the same time it should be stated that anything that is developed in the next, deployment phase will also become the property of the Supervisory Authority. There are two reasons for this: firstly, this phase will also be substantially financed from public funds, and secondly, all developments from all the phases will be made available to the concessionaire, who will be able to use them for further developments.

It is important to state clearly from the outset that all developments that have been substantially funded with contributions from public funds will become the property of the Supervisory Authority.

Amendment 4
Recital 14

(14)   Provision needs to be made for the possible creation of a Scientific and Technical Committee to be responsible for research and expert valuation tasks.

(14)   Provision needs to be made for the possible creation of a Scientific and Technical Committee to be responsible for research and expert valuation tasks. The constructive work of the Signal Task Force should be essentially incorporated into this committee.

Justification

The Signal Task Force is already an established authority for scientific and technical questions and has the necessary technical know-how on signals. The important work of what has so far been an informal working group should be formalised in the Scientific and Technical Committee.

Amendment 5
Recital 15 a (new)
 

(15a)   Procedures whereby office-holders are appointed must be transparent.

Justification

The posts to be filled in the Supervisory Authority carry considerable responsibility for deploying and operating the satellite navigation system. Only a transparent procedure will ensure that office-holders are chosen on the basis of objective criteria.

Amendment 6
Article 2, indent 1

–   It shall act as a licensing authority vis-à-vis the private concessionaire responsible for implementing and managing the programme deployment and operating phases; under this head, it shall conclude with the latter the concession contract; it shall ensure that the concessionaire complies with the concession contract and the specifications annexed thereto; it shall grant the concessionaire the right to use the tangible and intangible assets referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 3 for the duration of the concession.

–   It shall act as a licensing authority vis-à-vis the private concessionaire responsible for implementing and managing the programme deployment and operating phases; under this head, it shall conclude with the latter the concession contract. In the event of delays in setting up the Supervisory Authority, the Commission and Council may authorise the Joint Undertaking to sign the contract. The Supervisory Authority shall ensure that the concessionaire complies with the concession contract and the specifications annexed thereto; it shall grant the concessionaire the right to use the tangible and intangible assets referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 3 for the duration of the concession.

Justification

Experience, particularly with regard to establishing the Joint Undertaking, has shown that delays may occur when a new authority is set up. Therefore steps should be taken to ensure that such delays do not block the progress of the whole programme. However, the deployment phase must not begin without an effective supervisory authority.

Amendment 7
Article 2, indent 4

–   It shall act as the depositary of all the frequencies necessary to ensure the operation of the system and will be responsible for coordinating Member State actions in this respect; it shall deal directly with the concessionaire on matters relating to the use of these frequencies.

–   It shall act as the user rights depositary for all the frequencies necessary to ensure the operation of the system. The Member States shall agree to transfer these rights to the Supervisory Authority, which will be responsible for coordinating Member State actions in this respect; it shall deal directly with the concessionaire on matters relating to the use of these frequencies.

Justification

It is not possible to acquire ownership of a frequency, but only user rights. Moreover, this section should be the legal basis for the Member States’ transfer to the Supervisory Authority of the user rights for the frequencies that are needed to operate Galileo. This should be clearly stated in the text.

Amendment 8
Article 2, indent 4 a (new)
 

   It shall ensure that the system and its components are certified; it shall employ recognised certification bodies to grant certificates and verify compliance with the relevant standards and conditions.

Justification

See Amendment 2.

Amendment 9
Article 20

A Centre or Security and Safety permanent and operational is hereby created under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the Council.

A Council joint action shall determine the powers of the European Union in the event that the functioning and manner of operation of the system threatens the internal and external security of the Union and its Member States.

Justification

Ensuring security of the system should be one of the responsibilities of the Supervisory Authority. The experiences of the Galileo Joint Undertaking’s Security Board should be taken into account when the relevant body is set up. The Council and the High Representative are competent to act on matters affecting the internal and external security of the Union or its Member States. A Council joint action setting out these powers is in preparation.

(1)Not yet published in OJ


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Introduction

Because of the strategic nature of the Galileo European satellite navigation system and the shortage of time before the operational phase starts in 2008, there is an urgent need to set up an efficient and reliable management structure as soon as possible, to safeguard public interests. The Commission proposal on establishing a management structure is concerned with the deployment phase, which is planned to begin in 2006, and with the ensuing operational phase from 2008.

The Commission proposes setting up two authorities, a Supervisory Authority and a Security Centre. The way these authorities will be set up and the powers they will have presuppose a public-private partnership structure. The proposed Supervisory Authority is to be a Commission institution; as the Commission owns the Galileo infrastructure it is also to be responsible for controlling the satellite navigation system. The Supervisory Authority will also monitor the use of the frequencies for which it holds user rights, for the period these are allocated by the ITU. The private partner will probably be one of the consortia of firms which have applied to the Joint Undertaking for an operator concession and are still in the process of selection. It will be responsible for the commercial success of the system. The Commission is thus taking account of one of Parliament’s central concerns, ensuring private sector participation. The Security Centre that is to be set up will guarantee the operational and external security of the system. It is to be based in the Council Secretariat, will not meet in public and will give the operator any necessary security instructions.

In principle your rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal. It envisages the creation of two executive bodies which are in a position to guarantee that an independent, civilian European satellite navigation system can operate securely. However, your rapporteur considers that some important questions remain unanswered and certain structural aspects have not been satisfactory resolved. No arrangements have been made to enable the concession treaty to be concluded in the event of delays in setting up the Supervisory Authority; the proposed regulation does not take sufficient account of the need for transparency; and it does not take advantage of existing experiences and structures such as the ESA.

Timetable for setting up the Supervisory Authority

The Supervisory Authority is not responsible for choosing the operator. Delays in setting up the Joint Undertaking have shown that time problems are a factor to be reckoned with when a new authority is set up, even when there is agreement in principle. Therefore steps should be taken to ensure that any delays do not block the progress of the whole programme. Your rapporteur advocates that in this event the Joint Undertaking be authorised by the Commission and Council to sign the concession treaty together with the future operating consortium.

Nevertheless, the highest priority must be given to setting up the Supervisory Authority and the Security Centre in good time. As the selection procedure stands at present, the Joint Undertaking can be expected to put forward a potential concessionaire after the end of 2004. The deployment phase will begin about a year later (approximately spring 2006), i.e. the new authorities would have to be in existence by then, to make the necessary preparations together with the concessionaire.

Role of the European Parliament

It is undisputed that, because of the strategic nature of the European satellite navigation system, an effective supervisory authority is essential. This presupposes the greatest possible political independence of the authority's management bodies. Nevertheless, procedures in the Supervisory Authority must be transparent and comprehensible for the public. This also applies to a transparent appeal procedure. Article 1 of the proposed regulation gives the Supervisory Authority the task of managing public interests. As the only EU institution with direct democratic legitimacy, Parliament should not be left out of the decision-making processes. An annual activity report from the director of the Authority is, in your rapporteur's view, not a sufficient guarantee of the appropriate transparency. The regulation must also include a requirement for the Security Centre to keep Parliament informed.

Including existing structures

In order to ensure that the Supervisory Authority functions as soon and as well as possible, this institution must build on maximum know-how. The proposal therefore rightly envisages that the Authority’ Administrative Board may call on the expertise of a scientific and technical committee. But this still has to be set up. The European Space Agency (ESA) already has the required scientific and technical resources. In the current phase of the programme, the ESA is closely involved in developing the European satellite navigation system and has a 50% share in the Joint Undertaking. But the Commission proposal sees no role for the European Space Agency in the future management structure. Setting up a new committee instead of consulting the ESA on scientific and technical issues would duplicate structures.

On the basis of Article 7 of the Regulation setting up the Galileo Joint Undertaking, a Security Board has been established to deal with security matters in the Joint Undertaking. It may be assumed that, by the time the Security Centre proposed in the draft regulation is set up, the Security Board will already have an extensive track record from the development phase. This know-how must be put to use for the deployment phase. The way in which it will be incorporated must, however, depend on the structures of the Security Centre, which are still to be defined.

Conclusion

Your rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal for a Regulation on structures for the management of the European satellite radio navigation programme and supports it in its concern to establish the legal basis as quickly as possible and then to proceed with implementation. The Commission proposal, however, needs some amendment, to ensure that the authorities to be set up are transparent and as efficient as possible, and that the deployment phase is completed according to plan. The taxpayer, who has already had to bear the costs of the Galileo programme to date, can justifiably demand that these expectations will be fulfilled.

Last updated: 1 April 2004Legal notice