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Council endorses China's participation in Galileo

The Council of Ministers gave the go ahead for a cooperation agreement between the European Community and the People's Republic of China for Galileo, Europe's global satellite navigation system, on 27 October. Since March, both regions have been involved in a series of talks ...

The Council of Ministers gave the go ahead for a cooperation agreement between the European Community and the People's Republic of China for Galileo, Europe's global satellite navigation system, on 27 October. Since March, both regions have been involved in a series of talks and formal negotiations, which resulted in a draft agreement being drawn up on 18 September. The agreement provides for cooperative activities on satellite navigation in a wide range of sectors, notably science and technology, industrial manufacturing, service and market development, as well as standardisation, frequency and certification. Welcoming the Council's decision, Loyola de Palacio, European Commission Vice-President and responsible for the Galileo programme, said: 'This is a very important step ahead which shows the high level of confidence created by Galileo throughout the world. 'The partnership with China is good news and paves the way for other future bilateral and regional agreements which are of mutual benefit.' Ms de Palacio said that the EU-China agreement will do more than secure a promising future for Galileo and European business interests: 'it opens the way for China's participation in the Galileo Joint Undertaking and a substantial financial stake-holding of some 200 million euro' she explained. The Council's approval of China's active participation in the programme now authorises the EU Presidency to sign a formal agreement at the forthcoming EU-China Summit on 30 October.

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