Efforts to develop an alternative funding plan for Galileo stalled yesterday stalled when European transport ministers failed to agree on a proposal to use over €2 billion in unused agricultural funds to over most of the funding shortfall created when the public-private partnership originally envisioned to pay for the satellite navigation system fell through this year. Reports by Reuters and the AP suggest several reasons why ministers decided to hold off on a decision until next month, ranging from a desire to get ESA to pay a larger share of the system’s cost to ensuring that the countries that contribute the most to the system get a corresponding share of the contracts to develop the system. Also, some countries would like to see money come from the EU’s research and development budget rather than agricultural programs.
The AP article ends on this note about the lengths supporters of Galileo are going to win support for the project:
In its push for public funding, the European Commission points to a recent survey which showed that 80 percent of EU citizens believe the bloc should use taxpayers’ money to complete the Galileo project even though 40 percent of those questioned said they had not heard of it.