EU, US adopt plan for compatible GPS system

The United States and the European Union agreed Thursday to adopt a mutually compatible satellite navigation system that would provide users with the combined benefits of America's GPS and the EU's Galileo systems. In 2004, the two sides agreed to overcome technical differences between the two navigation aids by designing a civilian navigation signal combining the two different systems. "The agreement to jointly use ... these interoperable civil signals demonstrates the close US and EU cooperation since 2004 to ensure that the Global Positioning System and Galileo are compatible and interoperable at the user level," said a European Commission statement. Galileo is envisaged as a rival to the popular US-run GPS system and has been touted as a key high-technology venture for the EU.