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EOOS - European Ocean Observing System

Since 2014 EMB has been an active promoter for the development of an end-to-end European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to align, integrate and promote Europe's ocean observing capacity.

Towards an end-to-end European Ocean Observing System (EOOS)

Sustained ocean observations are crucial to track and understand the complex and vast oceanic environment, providing data, products and services to underpin a knowledge-driven society. The ocean observing capacity across Europe is fragmented and complex, however, there is a growing recognition of the need to build a comprehensive, end-to-end European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to coordinate, align and integrate Europe’s ocean observing capacity in the long term. Currently, EOOS is a coordinating framework which will enable strategic planning of European ocean observing, break down institutional barriers, and make ocean observing more efficient and effective at different geographical scales, and for different users. Today, EOOS is a unique, trusted forum for communities and stakeholders to come together without compromising their own governance systems or agendas. As part of the EOOS framework, open discussions can take place about the future, to promote the need for sustained ocean observing and to engage users and funders. EOOS have already enabled some countries to begin the process of forming committees to better coordinate their national ocean observing activities.

EMB is working with EuroGOOS, EMODnet, JPI Oceans and the EOOS governance to facilitate the development of a true EOOS.

The concept of a truly end-end European Ocean Observation system was first formally endorsed at the EurOCEAN 2010 conference where the resulting Ostend Declaration called for policy makers to "Support the development of a truly integrated and sustainably funded European Ocean Observing System to establish Europe's global leading role." And in June 2013, EMB published Navigating the Future IV, with chapter 11 dedicated to 'EOOS'. This set out four pillars for an end-to-end EOOS, namely stakeholders, infrastructure, data services and outputs (products and services). At EurOCEAN 2014, EMB Chair Jan Mees and EuroGOOS Chair Erik Buch made a joint statement to promote the development of EOOS. Since then these organizations have worked together to develop EOOS governance and stakeholder engagement. From 2015 onwards, EMB has been actively contributing to the EOOS Framework (see below).


EOOS time-line and EMB contribution

  • EOOS Strategy 2023-2027 "Advancing EOOS – the foundation of European ocean knowledge" and Roadmap for implementation
    • EOOS’ Vision is of a European Ocean Observing System that is sustained and meets the specific needs of users. The Strategy 2023-2027 sets out the direction of EOOS’ development towards this in the coming period as it transitions from a successful initiation stage of networking and structuring towards a sustained operational phase with concerted implementation activities.
  • EMB Policy Brief on Sustainable Funding for Ocean Observations
    • This Policy Brief focuses on in situ Ocean observations and highlights their benefits, funding and governance challenges, and the investment needed for their transformation and sustainability. This document is the result of an ad hoc Working Group established by the European Marine Board to address this topic, in light of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the start of Age of the Digital Ocean.
  • H2020 EuroSea project: Improving and Integrating European Ocean Observing and Forecasting Systems for Sustainable use of the Oceans
    • EuroSea will demonstrate the utility of the European Ocean Observing System through three demonstration activities focused on operational services, ocean health and climate, where a dialogue between actors in the ocean observing system will guide the development of the services, including market replication and innovation supporting the development of the blue economy.
    • EMB is leading the task on Foresight on Ocean Observation in Work Package 1, in collaboration with the partners EuroGOOS, IOC-UNESCO and GEOMAR.
  • Post-2018 EOOS governance
    • After the successful dedicated conference in 2018, EOOS moved towards implementation. This required an updated EOOS governance, including a revamped Steering Group, a permanent Advisory Committee, and the set up of a Resources Forum and an Operations Committee.
    • EMB remains to be the co-Chair of the Steering Group and the Chair of the Advisory Committee.
  • The EOOS Conference: “Evolving EOOS: Connecting communities for end-to-end solutions”
    • The Conference was co-organised by EMB, EMODnet, EuroGOOS and the European Commission (DG MARE) on 21-23 November 2018 at The Egg in Brussels
    • The outcomes from the conference are a "EOOS call to action" and a "EOOS Conference report".
    • Twitter activity from the conference can be found via: #EOOSConference2018
  • 4th GEO Blue Planet Symposium (4-6 July 2018; Toulouse, France).
    • EMB presentation and panelist for Session 2: Producing and Deriving Coastal and Ocean Information on EOOS;
    • several posters on EOOS, Biological Ocean Observations and AtlantOS.
  • EMB Future Science Brief on Strengthening Europe’s Capability in Biological Ocean Observation
  • EOOS Events Advisory Committee (2018) (EMB supporting Secretariat)
  • EOOS Strategy and Implementation Plan (25 April – 15 June 2018).
    • The draft EOOS Strategy and Implementation Plan were developed by EMB, EuroGOOS and the EOOS Steering Committee based on the stakeholder consultation that took place in 2016-2017.
    • From these drafts, the updated Strategy and Implementation Plan were co-designed by the EOOS Steering Group based on the input from many wider stakeholders from the EOOS Advisory Committee, the EOOS Forum participants and summer 2018 Consultation.
    • The summary of the open Consultation is available here.
  • EOOS Forum “Integrated and sustained ocean observing: a European strategy".
    • The EOOS Forum took place on 8 March 2018, in Area 42 in Brussels
    • Listen to the Webinar 
    • More info is available in the EOOS Forum News item
  • Open public stakeholder consultation on EOOS (December 2016 – January 2017)
    • The consultation collected views from the European ocean observing community and wider stakeholders spanning policy, industry and national agencies, on what EOOS should look like and how it should be run. The consultation aimed at scoping the stakeholders’ buy-in to the EOOS concept and the priorities of the EOOS focus.
    • In total 115 responses were received, and the vast majority of the respondents endorsed the EOOS concept and the need for a coordinating framework for the European Ocean Observing.
    • Summary report
  • EOOS European Parliament Event (8 September 2016, Brussels, Belgium), presentation of EOOS progress and of a consultation document at a dedicated European Parliament event hosted by MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos.
  • EOOS Steering Committee, (EMB co-Chair 2016-2018)
  • EOOS Expert Workshop (12 – 13 May 2015, Brussels, Belgium) The workshop brought together experts from the marine scientific and operational oceanographic communities to develop a roadmap, time-line and governance structure for EOOS.

More background is available at the EOOS website. For any queries please contact the organizers at or the EMB and EuroGOOS Secretariats directly.

General activities promoting Ocean Observing


Contacts at European Marine Board Secretariat: Sheila Heymans Email and Ángel E. Muñiz Piniella Email