On 16 May in Paris, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) signed a cooperation agreement related to the EGNOS and Galileo programmes.
The agreement was signed by Giuseppe Viriglio, Director of Telecommunication and Navigation Programmes at ESA, and Pedro Pedreira, Executive Director of the GSA. Its purpose is to ensure the continuity of the cooperation between ESA and the European Union (EU) regarding the implementation of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) programmes.
Until recently, the cooperation between ESA and the EU was facilitated by the Galileo Joint Undertaking, a temporary organisation created and financed on an equal basis by ESA and EU.
In December 2006, the GJU mission came to an end and the responsibility for the activities related to satellite navigation programmes was assigned to the GSA. Therefore, a new legal tool was needed for cooperation between ESA and the GSA.
This agreement is based on the complementary role of both organisations, putting their competences at the service of the satellite navigation programmes, in line with the principles of the European Space Policy.
It is worth underlining the principle of reciprocity of the agreement: ESA will have status of observer in the Administrative Board of the GSA and the GSA will have status of observer in the ESA Programme Board for Satellite Navigation.
This agreement confirms the respective roles of ESA and the EU and illustrates the good spirit of cooperation between the organisations, which have reiterated their joint approach to achieving a common objective: the successful implementation of GNSS programmes with EGNOS and Galileo.