EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters’: over 400 pledges, 20 new projects and 4 lighthouses to restore our blue planet by 2030

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “This Mission is more than timely or relevant. This Mission is urgent. Preserving and restoring the health of our ocean and waters is about preserving our life and all life on this planet. It is by joining our efforts that we will regenerate marine habitats, bring back fish populations, and make our blue economy more sustainable. Thanks to EU-funded projects, research, citizen activism and the growing number of organisations, we are on our way to achieving this critical Mission.”

Mission Charter Actions: Over 400 actions are pledged in support of the Mission Charter contributing to the implementation of the Mission. They are either research and innovative solutions to address the objectives of the Mission, upscaling or replication of existing solutions, outreach activities for citizen engagement, tools and data to build a blue knowledge system, or education and training activities.

Mission projects: a first wave of 20 multinational projects will receive over EUR 117 million to contribute to the objectives of the Mission: protect and restore biodiversity, cut pollution, and support a sustainable blue economy. The projects gather 297 partners from 39 countries, including most of the EU Member States. Here’s an overview of the projects. The Grant Agreements for a second wave of 18 projects, for a total EU funding of nearly 112 million euro, are currently being signed; the projects will be starting in the coming weeks and months. The funding comes from Horizon Europe, the EU’s programme for research and innovation.

Open calls: A new call for proposals on Mission projects is open until 20 September 2023. The first call for associated regions through the project Danube4all is also open until 31 May 2023.

Mission lighthouses: Mission Charter actions and Horizon Mission projects formulate four lighthouses in major basins with coordination structures in the Atlantic and Arctic, the Baltic and North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and along the Danube river. A cross-basin support platform will facilitate the horizontal communication and the Mission Implementation Platform will act as a one-stop-shop to integrate actions and activities across Mission lighthouses and Charter actions.

Events: The 1st annual Mission Forum, which took place in Brussels on 17 February 2023, gathered the communities of stakeholders involved in the Mission with representatives of EU institutions, national and regional public authorities, SMEs and other organisations. It took stock of the first year of implementation of the Mission and presented inspiring initiatives. Each lighthouse was also launched in basin dedicated events: on June 2022 in Marseille for the Mediterranean, November 2022 in Cork for the Atlantic-Arctic and April 2023 in Bucharest for the Danube and Black Sea and in Hamburg for the Baltic and North Sea.

Get involved

Your country, region or organisation can:

  • endorse theMission Charter and pledge actions that will contribute to the successful implementation of the Mission and its lighthouses;
  • search for partners and apply for the different Mission topics under Horizon Europe;
  • check out and apply for the associated regions calls that will come through the projects of the previous Horizon Europe work programmes; and
  • contact the lighthouse basin coordinators of your preference and learn more about news and available support.


Launched in September 2021, the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters’ aims to protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and investments in the blue economy. The Mission supports regional engagement and cooperation through area-based “lighthouses” in major sea and river basins: Atlantic-Arctic, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic-North Sea, and Danube-Black Sea. Mission lighthouses are sites to pilot, demonstrate, develop and deploy the Mission activities across EU seas and river basins.

The Mission Charter was launched in June 2022. The actions pledged are assessed to confirm the relevance and contribution to the Mission objectives. Positively assessed actions may then be assisted in searching ways to scale up and finding partners or funding for their next endeavours.

The 20 mission projects under Horizon Europe funding were selected following a call for proposals launched in 2021. The selected projects received the highest marks in a peer evaluation run by independent experts. The projects have recently signed their grant agreements with the Commission and can therefore start their activities.

For more information:

Website of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters’
Mission Charter Actions
Virtual exhibition of Mission Ocean projects

Further information about this opportunity can be found here.

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