Galileo, the EU's global satellite navigation system, will be launched in 2014. EGNOS, which improves the accuracy of GPS across Europe, already provides services to users like farmers and rescue workers.
A report on the EU’s two satellite navigation programmes finds progress so far has been satisfactory and that the bloc remains committed to completing them.
The EU began developing its own satellite navigation programmes 10 years ago for strategic and economic reasons. Today, these reasons remain at the core of the programmes.
Recognising the key role satellite navigation plays in modern society, member governments agreed that Europe needed to secure its independence from the US' GPS and Russia's Glonass systems.
Galileo and EGNOS are owned by the EU and are dedicated to fulfilling the bloc's economic and security needs.
Like the Internet, satellite navigation is an economic catalyst for innovation and job creation in a wide range of sectors. Currently about €800bn of European GDP depends on the use of satellite navigation. The global market for such products and services has been growing at a rate of 30% over the past few years and is expected to be worth €240bn by 2020, according to estimates.