The EOOS Steering Group submitted their feedback on the European Commission’s inception impact assessment ‘Ocean Observation – Sharing Responsibility’.
The consultation on the inception took place between 22 October and 19 November 2020. The Commission will open an online consultation on the initiative later in 2020. This initiative, proposed by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, aims to achieve a common EU approach for measuring once and using the data for many purposes. It proposes joint planning of observation activities and a framework for collaboration on a national and EU scale.
The steering group welcomed the Commission’s efforts to achieve coherent ocean observations in Europe by coordinating within and between Member States. Although a centralized ocean observation approach would benefit all Member States and Associated Countries, we should not expect this initiative to require all Member States to agree on a common observing approach, as this is an unrealistic aim. A common and overarching understanding of ocean observations and the need for integration and data sharing will lead to a better use of technologies and information for different purposes (research, monitoring, services).
Such initiative would improve the efficient use of public funds for ocean observation, creating both economic and social benefits. The harmonization of information on what ocean variables are measured where, how often, and by whom, using standards such as the Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs), and what is required by different marine Directives, would get us closer to achieving the goals of the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, the implementation of a Digital Twin Ocean, and the UN Decade of
Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.