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IP/06/1774

Brussels, 12th December 2006

EU and Morocco seal their agreement on GALILEO

The European Union and Morocco today formally signed an agreement for co-operation on the European satellite radio navigation programme GALILEO. The agreement covers a large number of areas of cooperation, including joint activities in the field of scientific research and training, industrial cooperation, trade and market development, standards, certification and regulatory measures.

Welcoming the outcome of the negotiations, European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot declared: “We are really pleased to count Morocco as a partner in satellite navigation. The country has the potential to exploit Galileo’s technology, and we plan to jointly develop activities for applications which will not only benefit citizens but also increase safety and efficiency in many sectors”.

The agreement, which paves the way for Morocco's active participation in the GALILEO programme, was signed by Ms Susanna Huovinen, Minister of Transport and Communications, representing the Finnish Presidency, Mr Jacques Barrot, Vice-President, representing the European Community, and Mr Karim Ghellab, Minister of Equipment and Transport, representing the Kingdom of Morocco.

Intensive exchanges took place since formal negotiations started on 21 April 2005. The agreement certainly represents a great opportunity for Galileo to become established in the western Mediterranean region.

GALILEO is Europe's satellite radio navigation programme. It was launched on the initiative of the European Commission and developed jointly with the European Space Agency. It will prepare for the development of a new generation of services in areas such as transport, telecommunications, agriculture and fisheries. GALILEO is optimised for civil applications and will be administered and controlled by the European Community via the European GNSS Supervisory Authority as its owner. GALILEO will offer a guarantee of quality and continuity which is essential for many applications. It is complementary and interoperable with the current GPS system and the combined use of the two systems will significantly increase the reliability and availability of navigation and positioning services worldwide.

For more information about GALILEO see:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/galileo/index_en.htm

http://www.esa.int/esaNA/galileo.html

http://www.galileoju.com


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