EU commissioner: Galileo a step towards Europe's independence

Other News Materials 27 April 2008 15:39 (UTC +04:00)

The European Union's Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot has called the planned Galileo satellite navigation system "a tool of sovereignty for Europe," a French newspaper reported Sunday.

"We can no longer live in a world that is more and more dependent on global positioning while remaining reliant on one single American system. It is evident, Galileo is a tool of sovereignty for Europe," Barrot told the Le Journal du Dimanche, the dpa reported.

A second satellite for the system was launched early Sunday from the Russian space centre in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

It is planned that the system will be in operation by 2013 with a network of 30 satellites and several Earth stations.

European governments hope the Galileo system can gain a foothold in commercial and consumer applications against the US-operated Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network.

The system will strengthen the EU's autonomy and is a step towards "complete independence," Barrot said.