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EUROPEAN COMMISSION
PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, 18 December 2013
Switzerland joins the EU's Galileo satellite navigation
programme
Today Switzerland signed a cooperation agreement to participate in the Galileo and
EGNOS programmes – the pillars of the EU's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
Switzerland will now fully financially participate in the programmes, and will retroactively
contribute €80 million for the period 2008-2013. The agreement, signed in Brussels, also
covers cooperation in areas such as security, export control, standards, certification and
industrial cooperation.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and
Entrepreneurship commented: "I welcome Switzerland's decision to fully step on board the
European space programme. This co-operation will not only help to provide better results
for the EU's satellite navigation services, it will also open up a series of business
opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises both from Switzerland and the EU.”
EU Swiss cooperation on satellite navigation
Through its membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), Switzerland has
contributed to Galileo's development phase. For example, the state-of-the-art hydrogenmaser clocks used by the Galileo satellites originate from Switzerland. Such extremely
accurate clocks are crucial to a number of sectors. Wireless telecommunication networks
use Galileo satellites' timing signal for network management, for time tagging and for
synchronisation of frequency references. Certified time stamps are also necessary for
applications such as electronic banking, e-commerce, stock transactions, quality assurance
systems and services.
With the signing of this agreement Switzerland will now participate in the EU satellite
navigation programmes and in their committees and working groups. Norway, another
ESA member who is not a member of the EU, signed a similar agreement with the
Commission in 2010.
Studies show that Galileo will deliver around €90 billion to the EU economy over the first
20 years of operation, while from now until 2020, the EU will spend €7 billion on satellite
navigation. Switzerland's financial contribution for the period 2014-2020 will be calculated
in accordance with the standard formula1 applied for the Swiss participation in the EU
research Framework Programme.
1
calculated on the basis of the proportionality factor obtained by the ratio between Switzerland's gross domestic
product and the sum of the gross domestic products of EU countries
IP/13/1292
Background
Galileo is the programme of the European Commission to develop a global satellite
navigation system under European civilian control. Galileo will allow users to know their
exact position in time and space, just like the USA's GPS, but with greater precision and
reliability. It will be compatible and, for some of its services, interoperable with GPS and
Russia's Glonass, but independent from them.
EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, is a Satellite-Based
Augmentation System (SBAS) that improves the accuracy and provides integrity to the
GPS signal over most of Europe. For example, EGNOS has already made air navigation
safer at some 90 European airports. It is Europe's first venture into satellite navigation
and a major stepping-stone towards Galileo.
Today, positioning and timing signals provided by satellite navigation systems are used in
many critical areas of the economy, including power grid synchronization, electronic
trading and mobile phone networks, effective road, sea and air traffic management, in-car
navigation, search and rescue service, to mention but a few applications.
More information available at:
Cooperation agreement between the EU and Switzerland
IP/13/1129: Parliament
programmes until 2020
approves
financing
for
the
http://ec.europa.eu/galileo
Contacts :
Carlo Corazza (+32 2 295 17 52) @ECspokesCorazza
Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)
2
European
satellite
navigation
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