Meeting - Marine data: What role for Europe?

L'intergroupe a eu le plaisir de vous accueillir à la réunion intitulée "Données Marines: Quel rôle pour l'Europe" qui s'est tenue le 2 juillet 2015 de 9.30 à 11.00 au Parlement Européen.

Cette rencontre a été l'occasion d'aborder les principaux enjeux liés aux données marines que sont:

  • l'utilisation
  • la collecte
  • l'intégration, la standardisation et l'interopérabilité
  • la disponibilité et l'accès
  • la communication et la promotion

Le compte-rendu ainsi que les photos de la réunion seront disponibles rapidement.

Les présentations des speakers sont disponibles ici (en anglais):

The Intergroup has been pleased to welcome you to the meeting "Marine data: What role for Europe" held on July 2nd from 9.30 to 11.00 at the European Parliament.

This meeting aimed to address the different matters related to marine data at EU scale, namely:

  • uses of marine data
  • collection of data
  • integration, standardization and interoperability of data
  • availability and accessibility of data
  • communication and promotion on data use and accessibility

Minutes and Pictures of the meeting will be available soon

Presentations are available here:


MEP Gesine MEISSNER, Chair of the Intergroup, welcomed the participants highlighting the success of this event which shows the interest for marine data as a key tool to reach blue growth. She stressed that marine data is an issue to be tackled in the long term.

MEP Ricardo SERRÃO SANTOS Vice-Chair of the Intergroup, explained that marine data is crucial in understanding our marine environment and therefore in developing economic activities in a sustainable manner at sea.

  • Presentation of the state of play at EU level:

Mr. Matthew KING, Head of Unit DC1 Maritime Policy Atlantic, Outermost Regions and Arctic, Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, presented the efforts and work of the European Commission to establish a sustainable process ensuring that marine data is easily accessible, interoperable and free of restriction of use (ppt). He stressed that these efforts for data collection only have value if people who need this information can use it. He also explained how to improve data collection and use and how maritime activities can benefit from it.

Dr. Francisco HERNANDEZ, Flanders Marine Institute, presented EMODnet work on marine data. He explained that EMODnet doesn’t collect data and therefore depend on data already collected. It uses research data collected for some EU or national research projects (he stressed that these data were not collected in a standardised way) and monitoring data (geological and bathymetric data) as data collected by the Industry are harder to capture for EMODnet and are mainly the result of impact assessment. He invited the participant to the EMODNET conference in Oostende in October.

  • Two examples of EU funded projects’ contribution:

Prof. Dr. Martin VISBECK, presented the recently launched AtlanOS project responding to the Horizon 2020 call BG-8-2014: Developing in-situ Atlantic Ocean Observations for a better management and sustainable exploitation of the maritime resources (ppt).

Dr. Corine LOCHET, SHOM Deputy Head of Maritime Affairs Office of PACA Region, presented the Coastal Mapping project responding to DG MARE’s Call for Tender MARE/2014/10. She explained how this project will aim to draw up a joint strategy in coastal marine data acquisition (ppt).

  • National services competent in data collection:

Mr. Laurent KERLÉGUER, Deputy Director for International Affairs, SHOM (France), explained that hydrography is needed for environmental protection, risk assessment, developing economic activities at sea and also for maritime spatial planning (ppt). He focussed on specific examples such as Marine Renewable Energy explaining that its development wouldn’t be possible without information and expertise on the seabed to adapt machine design, to the bottom of the sea for instance. He stressed that there are still plenty of unsurveyed maritime areas as less that 10% of oceans have been surveyed and there are still large EU coastal areas for which the knowledge is very poor.

Dr. Mathias JONAS, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), associated to the Federal Ministry of Traffic and Digital Infrastructure (Germany), explained that marine data is essential for maritime spatial planning (ppt). Therefore it is a matter of interest for all marine related matters. He particularly focused on the example of the North Sea. In his opinion there is a strong need for local knowledge when it comes to data acquisition.

  • A regional perspective:

Mr. Lucas BOSSER, Policy Analyst, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions presented The Bologna Charter and the Joint Action Plan it lead to as an example of how marine data can be used at regional level to develop and implement coastal management plans (ppt). He mentioned its Strategic Theme “Developing knowledge, network-based monitoring and data management systems” and the ambition to create an Integrated Mediterranean Interoperable Spatial Data Infrastructure aiming to select, organize, standardize and make accessible interoperable marine and coastal data.




Mr. David CONNOR, Policy Officer - Marine Protection, Dir C – Quality of Life, Air & Water, Directorate General for the Environment, explained that the MSFD requires to make the data freely available. He said that his DG is working on this particular issue with regional sea conventions. He stressed that theentire  scientific community has to be involved in solving marine data issues as geologists and biologists are also collecting and using marine data. He asked the speakers what could be done to harmonise the collection of the data across these disciplines.

Mr. Laurent KERLÉGUER explained that when they go to sea, as the time spent is very expensive, they manage to acquire as much data as possible (current, nature of the bottom of the sea, etc.).

Dr. Prof. Martin VISBECK stated that an international portal assembling bathymetric data would benefit the community.

Mr. Matthew KING explained that data collection is mostly run by national bodies, the role of the EU is to ease the sharing of this data.

Dr. Mathias JONAS replied that you can’t put everything together for technical reasons. EMODnet is the right tool for sharing the data collected nationally.

Mr. Gert VERREET, Flanders Dept. Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI), highlighted the importance of the timeliness of dynamic data provision. He also stressed the need for making the link tighter between data providers and users.

Mr. Bjoern STOCKHAUSEN, Seas At Risk, asked about available figures regarding economic profit of data collection in sectors other than fisheries. He shared his fear of seeing only the most profitable sectors benefiting from marine data collection efforst in the long-term. He concluded by highlighting how important continuous data collection is.

Dr. Corine LOCHET explained that focus should be on the capacity of the stakeholders to use data collected. It is not easy for coastal stakeholders to understand EMODnet, it would be the next step to take

Dr. Prof. Martin VISBECK stated that Copernicus Marine Service plays a major role in real time delivery of marine data. He also stressed that talking about the societal value of marine data is much more relevant than focusing on its economic value.

Mr. Matthew KING stated that all this marine data is public utility data. There is nothing in law saying the EMODnet has to exist in the long-term. Should the Private Sector be participating in supporting these cost? Reflection is to be carried out over the coming years he said.

MEP Ricardo SERRÃO SANTOS applauded the effort of the European Commission regarding marine data. However, he stressed that we are still far from free access to marine data, as National Institutes actually need to sell the marine data they collect to survive.

Event Properties

Event Date 02-07-2015 9:30
Event End Date 02-07-2015 11:00
Deadline to register 24-06-2015
European Parliament Brussels
Rue Wiertz, 1047 Bruxelles, Belgique
European Parliament Brussels
Categories Conférence 2015-2019
Attachment Final Agenda.pdf
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

What is an Intergroup?

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup is one of the 27 Intergroups that were approved on 11 December 2019 by the Conference of Presidents for the 9th legislature of the European Parliament. Intergroups can be formed by MEPs from any political group and any parliamentary committee with a view to holding informal exchanges of views on particular issues and promoting contact between MEPs and civil society.

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup brings together more than 100 MEPs from 7 different political groups and 23 Member States.

Intergroups are not Parliament bodies and therefore may not express Parliament's opinion.

Intergroups are subject to internal rules adopted by the Conference of Presidents on 16 December 1999 (last updated on 11 September 2014), which set out the conditions under which intergroups may be established at the beginning of each parliamentary term and their operating rules.

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With the support of the CPMR, Intergroup Secretariat