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International Ocean Governance Forum

The European Commission (EC) with the European External Action Service (EEAS) launched the European Union (EU) International Ocean Governance Forum (IOG Forum) in 2020. It was created as a platform for ocean stakeholders within and beyond Europe to share knowledge, experiences and good practices on ocean governance, and to support the further development of the EU’s International Ocean Governance Agenda (IOG Agenda).

The EU has made healthy, productive, safe, secure and resilient oceans its mission, through a coherent cross-sectoral and rules-based international approach with the development of it's IOG agenda in 2016 as the EU's plan of action for ocean sustainability. However, there is still significant work ahead. The IOG Forum enabled the online engagement of experts and stakeholders from Europe and beyond via webinars, online workshops and a targeted public consultation throughout 2020 to help identify key actions that could be implemented by the EU to improve international ocean governance and help set the course for a sustainable blue planet. Contributions obtained have been compiled by the consortia of scientific institutions and think tanks supporting the European Commission. Through a co-creative process with experts from the EC and the EEAS, these contributions were turned into recommendations for priority EU Actions and proposed implementation pathways.

The final recommendations were presented during the third IOG Forum event held on 20th April, and can be downloaded here.


The consortium was led by Fresh Thoughts and EMB are partners along with Acteon, IASS Potsdam and TMG.

EMB role

EMB led thematic working group three (TWG3) on ‘Strengthening International Ocean Research, Data and Knowledge’, which focused on how the EU can provide leadership to further advance the role of science in international ocean governance particularly within the framework of the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030). Five sub-topics are covered within this working group: improving the ocean science, society, policy interface; supporting ocean research; strengthening ocean observations; improving research alliances; and supporting data frameworks.

More Information

You can find more information on the IOG Forum and working groups on the European Commission's Maritime Forum. You can also follow twitter discussions using #IOGWebinars, #IOGForum, #IOG, #OceanEU, #OceanKnowledge.

Contact at European Marine Board Secretariat: Britt Alexander