Scientific knowledge about the European Seas is the basis for understanding and protecting them. Science and policy need to be closely linked in order to effectively protect the seas and efficiently manage natural marine resources.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Competence Centre (MCC), hosted and supported by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission's in-house science service, supports the MSFD Common Implementation Strategy with up-to-date, harmonized policy and science knowledge. In close collaboration with a number of partners, the MCC provides a link between science and policy, bridging between marine scientific community expertise and the MSFD implementation strategy.

The MCC provides users with:

  • easy access to scientific knowledge related to the monitoring and assessment of the environmental status of the European Seas,
  • information about relevant policy structures and scientific information regarding environmental data acquisition, modelling and evaluation, and
  • a common platform for shared guidance on MSFD implementation.

Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The MCC directly exchanges with all the CIS players: Marine Directors, Marine Strategy Coordination Group (MSCG), the Working Groups: Program of Measures, Economic and Social Assessment (WG POMESA); Data, Information and Knowledge Exchange (WG DIKE); Good Environmental Status (WG GES), and the Technical Groups (TGs) on Data, Litter and Noise.


The MCC provides a platform through which information can be shared at regional and EU levels; it includes the European Environment Agency (EEA), the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) as close partners. In addition, the MCC manages ad-hoc expert networks which can be adapted to specific needs and requests (e.g. the creation of networks of experts nominated by Member States for the review of Commission Decision 2010/477/EU on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters).

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