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What is EU4OceanObs?

EU4OceanObs is a project funded by the European Union (EU) aiming to strengthen the EU’s prominence and influence in international Ocean governance for an enhanced global Ocean observation system and increased use of ocean observations for societal benefit. Leveraging and promoting European ocean observing assets and activities in the global context, the project establishes a unique cross-coordination mechanism to synchronize European efforts and ensure that emerging priorities are taken into account on the international stage. Launched in 2020, the first phase of the project ended in 2023 under the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, while phase 2 currently underway under the European Research Executive Agency, is expected to be achieved by 2027.

EU4OceanObs achievements 2020 – 2023


EU4OceanObs aims to enhance and fortify key collaborations between European and international infrastructures and programmes spanning the entire Ocean observing value chain. The goal is to boost Ocean observation, facilitate data sharing, and promote the use of Ocean data for societal advantages. The project plays a direct role in facilitating European action coordination for the G7 Future of the Seas and Ocean Initiative (G7 FSOI) and the Group on Earth Observation’s Blue Planet Initiative (GEO Blue Planet), both major partnerships striving for coordinated and sustainable global Ocean observations and their use for society. Additionally, the project extends its support to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade), offering European-to-international engagement support. In navigating the international landscape, EU4OceanObs leverages and promotes European Ocean observing activities, offering a unique cross-coordination mechanism to align European efforts and ensure that evolving priorities are acknowledged globally. Recognising the increasing importance of Ocean observation and knowledge, the project supports increased global ocean observation towards restoring Ocean health, conserving biodiversity, combatting climate change, and fostering a sustainable blue economy.

By promoting EU positions and improving EU coordination and engagement of European Ocean observing assets and programmes at the global level, EU4OceanObs is strongly aligned with with European Green Deal, The European research agenda, and EU engagement in the Ocean Decade.

Mercator Ocean International & EU4OceanObs

The implementation of EU4OceanObs has been delegated to MOi, a provider of ocean science-based services of general interest focused on the conservation and the sustainable use of the Ocean, seas and marine resources since 2010. A team has been set up, fully integrated at MOi, to pilot EU4OceanObs, led by MOi’s scientific director Pierre-Yves Le Traon. The team work closely with the European Research Executive Agency, and an advisory board comprising representatives across different European Commission Directorate Generals, including Research and Innovation (RTD), Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE), Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS) and International Partnerships (INTPA). The project taskforce, headed by the MOi Scientific Director, Pierre Yves Le Traon, includes EU action coordinators for the GEO Blue Planet Initiative, the G7 FSOI, and the EU to international engagement for the Ocean Decade.