Dags att skrota Galileo

Idén med EU:s satellitnavigeringsprojekt Galileo var att kunna konkurrera med noggrannare positionsangivelser än det kostnadsfria GPS och att sälja tjänsten till användarna. Besluten om Galileoprojektet fattades på 90-talet. Då besluten togs fanns redan GPS-systemet i drift.
Sedan besluten om att bygga Galileo fattades har kostnadsprognosen skenat från 8 miljarder kronor till dagens 33 miljarder. Samtidigt har konkurrenssituationen förändrats. I maj i år beslutade Ryssland att öppna sitt system, Glonass, för kostnadsfritt civilt bruk och planerna på att bygga ut det fortsätter.

GPS-systemet håller på att uppgraderas för att förbättra precisionen och kommer även fortsättningsvis att kunna användas kostnadsfritt. Även Kina håller på att bygga ett system som skall bli tillgängligt för allmänheten utan kostnad.
Förseningarna i Galileoprojektet gör att planerade konkurrensfördelar till stor del kommer att vara utraderade när satelliterna kan tas i bruk. Från början visade Galileoprojektet lönsamhet. Men förseningar, kostnadsökningar och ökad konkurrens har gjort att projektet idag ser ut att gå med kraftig förlust.

Vem är beredd att betala höga avgifter till Galileo för något som redan finns och kan användas gratis? Den frågan har de privata företag som skulle bygga satelliterna och sköta driften svarat på:
De vägrar att sätta igång verksamheten om de inte först får ett rejält tillskott av skattepengar, pengar som i dagsläget inte finns med i budgeten.

När kostnaderna ser ut att varken kunna täckas på kommersiell väg eller i budgeten har EU-kommissionen planer på alternativ finansiering: kommissionen funderar bland annat på att punktbeskatta satellitnavigeringsutrustning. I praktiken blir det en GPS-skatt, eftersom det systemet har i stort sett hela marknaden idag. Genom att göra det dyrare för konkurrenterna hoppas man få in pengar för att subventionera unionens egna projekt.
GPS-skatten skulle innebära att en helt ny princip för beskattning etableras på EU-nivå. Idag har EU inte fri tillgång till medborgarnas plånböcker utan får nöja sig med den summa som medlemsländerna anslår. Dagens system med medlemsavgifter hindrar EU från att växa ohämmat och tvingar fram prioriteringar.

Med direkt beskattning, det vill säga EU-skatt, skulle EU kunna ta in pengar direkt utan att störas av komplicerade förhandlingar med EU-ländernas finansministrar. Principen leder till att ytterligare makt koncentreras till Bryssel på medlemsstaternas och medborgarnas bekostnad.
Om inte de privata företag som skulle ta den ekonomiska risken för Galileo vill ställa upp med egna pengar är det en tydlig signal att de inte borde få våra skattepengar istället. Det är dags att inse att Galileoprojeket inte längre är en bra idé. Det borde därför skrotas.
EU-byråkraternas stormaktsdrömmar om egna satelliter går om intet, men vi andra kan fortsätta att gratis använda GPS utan att sörja.

Publicerad i Sydsvenskan den 14 juli 2007, skriven tillsammans med riksdagskollegan Margareta Cederfelt

5 thoughts on “Dags att skrota Galileo

  1. He he he, lite sent att kommentera kanske, men de militära aspekterna då? Hur ska EU kunna använda sig av satellitnavigering i krig och alla dessa system plötsligt krypteras?
    Sedan finns de civila aspekterna, alla myndigheter och företag som idag är beroende av satellitnavigering, vad ska de göra om de andra systemen plötsligt krypteras?

    • abarbara on This is the work done by Paula Gambin, Cherise Greach, Shannon Pace, Graziella Chetcuti and Megan Galea for the YRE coipitetmonabarbara on This is the work of Grace Anne Muscat for the YRE coipitetmon

    • You know, Steve, Italy is an especially fascinating case. I hope that this post is just an opening salvo for you, and that you give the development of Italy some real historical thought, as many great minds have puzzled over the question for more than a century, and have pretty much produced nothing.I make an exception for Luigi Barzini’s fine book, “The Italians”, but even that work – which I regard as an indispensible starting point for understanding this fascinating nation – basically concludes that Italians are secretly unhappy because the one thing they want – namely good government – seems to be impossible.As it happens, I was in Sicily recently and have a note that will appeal to the human biodiversity nerd in you: people on the Eastern half of the island, especially as you approach Syracuse, strongly identify as descendants of the ancient Greeks. They are not childishly jingoistic on the point, as actual modern-day Greeks are, but instead will only reveal the fact once they have established that you are trustworthy. They also are obviously concerned that they are not confused with the people near Palermo, the capital, who they do not regard as sharing a common ancestry with themselves. Everyone in America will be familiar with the dismissive attitude towards Southern Italians as, basically, human garbage. Though I found that Southern Italy was regarded as a general drain on resources, it’s also true that Southern Italians and Sicilians generally were regarded as being very bright – even too bright for their own good. This squares with observations that Barzini made. Any analysis of Italy is going to come up against the facts of Arab occupation, French occupation, Spanish occupation, Papal power, the Mafia, and Fascism. A side note that may be of interest to you and your readers, and which I’d recommend for analysis is: what is so magical about city-states? The period of Italian cultural and scientific triumph is associated with city states, as is the Greek miracle, Elizabethan London, and – can this really be true? – virtually all of the luminous eruptions of Western genius. I think that question is really worth examining. I’d especially be curious if the high points of cultural creativity of the German speaking peoples was associated with polities that are polises, if you follow me. Another related question to examine: both Stendahl and Nietszche are on record as believing that “Nowhere does the plant, man, grow more vigorously than in Italy.” Any thoughts that you or your commentariat might provide on this perception would also be useful. Scientific output is not the sole criterion of civilization, though I agree that it is tremendously important, as it goes directly to the uncanny level of influence that Italy holds on what is called “Western Civilization”. The Roman Empire, with its roads, languages, laws, and trusteeship of Hellenism, is, arguably, the ultimate seed crystal of what we call the West. Medieval Christendom and the Europe formed by the Church is basically Western Civiliztion 2.0 – the only non-Italian admixture is German, for which see “Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity”. Finally, what is called “Modern” civilization, the Renaissance and all that follows it, is almost wholly Italian – painting, music, the recovery of Platonic philosophy, etc. How many of Shakespeare’s plays take place in Italy? Even modern Capitalism arguably begins in Venice, with banking and accounting practices that emerged in full force there. That’s three successive civilizations that issued forth from one mysterious peninsula. If that weren’t enough – or if it seems I’m stacking the deck too much in Italy’s favor – you can also consider the 20th century in Europe as yet another civilizational model – Fascist – exported from Italy to Germany. Even if abortive, it is still notable that a fourth civilization came from the same source as the previous three. Of course, I acknowldge that our current civilization – Anglophone hypercapitalism – began in England and the United States, established itself as a major player by the mid twentieth century, triumphed over one rival in 1945 and yet another at the end of the Cold War, essentially becoming the first global civilization.Still, it is the first “Western” civilization that is not almost wholly Italian in origin. Surely this is a historical fact that requires examination? In addition to the decline of Italy over the past five centuries – which I agree is an important question – we also have to examine their relentless civilizational creativity which ruled Europe in every aspect of its arts, letters, thought, and religious devotions from the conquest of Gaul to the High Renaissance. Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve seen anything else like this in the world record.

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