Although at the end of 2003 the member states of the European Union were unable to reach agreement on a draft Constitution which would provide them with a full political framework, there are other areas -often thought to have greater strategic implications- where they are making rapid progress together. Space, in particular, is one such area, as illustrated by the Galileo programme to create a satellite-linked positioning and guidance system.
André Lebeau, a scientific adviser to Futuribles, presents here the ins and outs of the Galileo programme, which has as one of its main aims to develop a competitor for the American Global Positioning System (GPS), the only efficient satellite-linked guidance system currently available. After outlining the story of how the GPS was created and the numerous military, civil and industrial matters associated with it, Lebeau describes how the Europeans have organized this "counter-attack". He highlights the implications of this initiative for greater co-operation in Europe, because of the political and defence issues involved, if for nothing else.