The European Union will decide this week where the €2.4bn shortfall in funding for the Galileo GPS satellite system will come from. A meeting on September 19th is expected to suggest that the cost is met from the existing EU budget or by individual member states which want to take a larger stake in the project. Galileo started in 2005 with the launch of the Giove-A experimental satellite developed by Galileo Industries and built in Guildford by Surrey Satellite Technology. The system of 30 satellites was designed to be a rival to the US global positioning system as there were concerns over the US GPS system being controlled by the US army.
However, the completion date has slipped from 2008 to 2011 and the project has already cost EU member states €388m more than originally predicted. British MPs have now raised concerns over the future of the system. The Commons European Scrutiny Committee has called for a full parliamentary debate before further progress is authorised at the Council of Transport Ministers.
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