The EuroGOOS 2018 General Assembly took place from 23 to 25 May at the organization’s Brussels headquarters. The meeting brought together the EuroGOOS members, chairs of the regional systems, ROOS, working groups and task teams, as well as invited speakers and guests.
On 23 May, the opening special session discussed the European and global ocean observing developments, including the UN Ocean Decade, new GOOS strategy, EOOS strategy and implementation plan 2018-2022, and development of the new EuroGOOS strategy. Invited speakers shared their perspectives from the point of view of the ocean observing users: ECMWF by Roberto Buizza, European Environmental Policies by David Connor of the European Commission, and the International Hydrographic Organization by Laurent Louvart of SHOM. The ongoing ocean science and technology activities bringing together member states were presented by Kathrine Angell-Hansen of JPI Oceans. Pierre-Yves Le Traon explained the evolution of the Copernicus Marine Service and the internationalization of Mercator Ocean, the CMEMS entrusted entity.
On 24 May, the Assembly discussed the EuroGOOS activities’ achievements and work plans. The meeting stressed the need for a better coordination among the broad communities of the EuroGOOS network, while also recognized the importance of an open and inclusive approach. The new EuroGOOS Coastal Working Group was presented, having had its kick-off in early May. It is the only EuroGOOS activity with an excellent gender balance, and the Assembly stressed the need to address this in the other EuroGOOS groups as well as the Executive Directors Board. Among the other new activities approved, is an update of the EuroGOOS Data Policy taken up by the EuroGOOS Data Management Working Group (DATAMEQ). The Assembly also approved a new activity on Ocean Literacy, which will link the local EuroGOOS member activities with international initiatives by IOC UNESCO and others and help promote the value of ocean observing at both national, European and global levels.
The formal meeting on 25 May approved the EuroGOOS Chair-Elect, George Petihakis, HCMR, Greece, taking over from Erik Buch having completed two mandates as EuroGOOS Chair. Erik Buch’s invaluable contribution to EuroGOOS as Chair from 2013 to 2018, as acting Secretary General during 2014-2015, and as the Executive Directors Board member over the years, has been gratefully acknowledged. Erik Buch has also represented EuroGOOS at many international high-level panels, including GOOS, JCOMM, GEO and others. A new Board member was elected, Enrique Alvarez Fanjul, Puertos del Estado, Spain and Co-Chair of MONGOOS, while the current Board member Henning Wehde, IMR, Norway, was elected as Vice-Chair of EuroGOOS. Rosalia Santoleri, CNR, Italy, was re-elected as Board member for the second term. The Formal meeting also approved the application from a new EuroGOOS Member Organization, AZTI, Spain, bringing the EuroGOOS membership to 42 organizations.