Why 80% Europeans want Galileo?

Why 80% Europeans want Galileo?
At the same time transport ministers of the European Union countries were meeting to discuss whether or not they should fund the Galileo satellite navigation system, the European commission issued a press release showing the results of a Gallup poll in which “An overwhelming majority – 80% of respondents – consider that the European Union should set up its own independent system, while only 12% think that there is no need for such a development”.

Based on this poll "Europeans recognize that GALILEO could have a big impact on their life in the future and they expect greater effort at European level to develop this technology", said European commission Vice-President, Jacques Barrot, in charge of Transport. "Therefore, we will continue the work with Member States and industry to complete this major European innovation project and get the most out of our investments."

But, as every sociology textbook would explain, the answer to a question largely depends on the way you ask it. So we did our homework and found the exact question in the Gallup questionnaire:

“Before I ask the next question, let me explain you a few things about navigation systems.
­- Navigations systems are used by an increasing number of applications, such as for
example car navigation, shipping, aviation, in agriculture to monitor the use of chemicals
­- The US owns and controls GPS, which is primarily for military use, but also provided for
civilian use, however without quality of service guarantees.
­- Russia and China are working on setting up their alternative navigation systems. These
are mostly military systems as well.
According to your opinion, should Europe set up its own navigation system, or should
Europe rely on American, Russian or Chinese systems?”

Now we understand why Europeans want Galileo: they don’t really like the US, Russian and Chinese armies, but is this enough?

Thursday, June 14th 2007

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