On 20 October, the Galileo joint undertaking published a call to select the concessionaire that will be responsible for operating the European global positioning project system.
The concession contract will give the private-sector concessionaire the task of managing the deployment phase (2006 – 2007), which will see the launching of 30 satellites and the establishment of ground stations, and the operation phase (from 2008).
The operating revenues will remunerate the concessionaire to a large extent. A Supervisory Authority will have the task of managing public interests relating to the Galileo programme.
It will act as licensing authority vis-à-vis the future private concessionaire and will ensure that the concessionaire complies with the public service obligations in terms of continuity and guarantee of services.
Secondly, the EU and China signed an agreement on 30 October, stating that China will contribute € 200 million to Galileo, out of a total budget of € 3.2 billion for the development and deployment phase.