"EurOCEAN is now established as a major forum for the European Commission's partnership with the marine scientific community"

Maire Geoghegan Quinn, Former EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science (October 2010)


EurOCEAN conferences are major European marine science policy conferences. They provide a forum for the marine and maritime research community and wider stakeholders to interface with European and Member State policymakers and strategic planners, to consider, discuss and respond to new marine science and technology developments, challenges and opportunities.

EurOCEAN conferences started in the 90s as EurOCEAN/MAST Days Conferences. Previous conferences were held in Brussels (1993), Sorrento (1995), Lisbon (1998), Hamburg (2000), Galway (2004), Aberdeen (2007), Ostend (2010), Rome (2014) and Paris (2019). Since 2000, EurOCEAN conferences are co-organized, in partnership, by the European Commission, the European Marine Board, who is catalyzing the research community and coordinating the programme, and local organizing committees.

Acting as a catalyser for the marine and maritime research community to respond to- and impact on European science policy developments, EurOCEAN conferences have provided inputs to a number of strategic science policy developments in Europe.

EurOCEAN 2004 (10-13 May 2004, Galway, Ireland) presented a wide range of marine science challenges and opportunities, reviewed progress towards a European Research Area and examined ways to achieve further integration in Europe. Endorsed by over 550 participants, the high-level messages from the EurOCEAN 2004 conference were communicated for the first time through a EurOCEAN declaration, which became known as the Galway Declaration.

EurOCEAN 2007 (22 June 2007, Aberdeen, United Kingdom), jointly organized by the European Commission and the Marine Board, took place during the final phase of a public consultation process on the European Commission Green Paper "Towards a future for the Union: A European Vision for the Oceans and Seas", and provided a unique opportunity for the European marine and maritime science communities to respond through the Aberdeen Declaration.

The messages from both the Galway (2004) and Aberdeen (2007) Declarations were primarily targeted at the European policymakers. The overarching goal of the Galway Declaration was to ensure that critical areas in marine science were adequately supported in the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes. The overarching goal of the Aberdeen Declaration was to embed marine science as a central pillar of a future Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) for Europe and to call for a European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research as an integral part the IMP.

EurOCEAN 2010 (12-13 October 2010, Ostend, Belgium) continued the tradition of the previous conferences with the adoption of the Ostend Declaration. This Declaration represented a call from the European marine science community for specific actions from the Member States and the European Union in support of essential marine science and technology research challenges in the coming decade (2010-2020). 

EurOCEAN 2014 (07-09 October 2014, Rome, Italy), adopted the Rome Declaration, setting out a vision for the European marine and maritime research and technology to deliver global leadership and sustainable blue growth. The conference pointed to major societal and economical opportunities offered by the seas and oceans to create jobs after one of the worst economic crises in recent history. Making blue growth sustainable, however, requires a greater investment in scientific research to deliver knowledge, tools and advice on sustainable management of marine resources and a better understanding of ecosystems underpinning the maritime economy.

More on the EurOCEAN conferences outputs here