A Mission to restore our ocean and waters by 2030

One of the five EU Mission areas is Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030. This Mission aims to protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments. The Mission will address the water system as a whole, with measurable and quantifiable goals for restoring ecosystems and biodiversity, zero pollution, decarbonisation and emissions reductions. 

Following the interim report published in June 2020, the Mission was launched and the Implementation Plan was published alongside this factsheet in September 2021. The plan lays out that the Mission will have been accomplished when quantifiable and measurable goals of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the EU Action Plan Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Soil and Water and the EU Climate Law have been reached.

Main elements of Starfish mission lighthouses



The Mission will strive to reach these goals by deploying innovative solutions at basin scale, with each basin focusing on a particular area in the developing and piloting phase (2021-2025). The Mission lighthouses are: 

  1. Danube river basin: protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity (freshwater)
  2. Atlantic and Arctic coast: protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity (marine)
  3. Mediterranean Sea: prevent and eliminate pollution 
  4. Baltic and North Sea basin: make the blue economy carbon-neutral.

Phase two (2026 - 2030) will focus on deployment and upscaling, with the replication of pilot activities. The scale-up actions would be carried out through annual calls for expressions of interest from 2025 onwards to macroregions, regions and communities looking to become Mission scale-up sites.

ERRIN input to Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030

The governance of our oceans and waters is a fragmented framework spread over all levels – from international to local. Regional and local authorities and stakeholders will be an important player in the development and steering to create more coherence and efficient cooperation both in terms of investments and research and innovation agendas.


In July 2020, the Blue Economy Working Group organised a webinar to discuss the development of the Mission with the European Commission and a member of the Mission Board.


Building on the webinar in 2020, ERRIN’s Blue Economy Working Group organised in June 2021 a dialogue together with the Mission Secretariat focusing on the area-based lighthouses proposed in the Mission. The event presented an opportunity for ERRIN members to come together with those working on the Mission and its Implementation Plan to discuss potential lighthouse activities, scale and governance. During the meeting, inspiring examples were presented from ERRIN members including WaterCampus Leeuwarden, North Norway, Mid-Norway, Turku Southwest Finland, Welsh Higher Education, Emilia Romagna and South Denmark. 

The report on the dialogue includes ERRIN's key messages on the scale, scope, governance and synergies of the area-based lighthouses within the Mission. 


ERRIN provided its input on the Mission Charter in February 2022, which was shared with the Mission Secretariat, and shared its messages for the Horizon Europe Missions Work Programme 2023-2024 in May 2022 where the members' concerns over the rigid and narrow thematic basins of the Mission were raised. 


ERRIN has through its Blue Economy Working Group continued the dialogue with the Mission Secretariat. The project tasked with developing the Mission Implementation Support Platform, in which ERRIN is a partner, kicked off in the beginning of 2023.

Latest Updates

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

EU Missions creating new markets: the crucial role of the triple helix collaboration

ERRIN is collaborating with the TRAMI project to organise a Mutual Learning Event on the Wednesday 17 May from 9:00-12:30, exploring the role of industry, academia and public authorities in achieving the objectives of the five EU Missions through triple helix collaboration.

  • By Lucy Hammond

DG RTD's EU Missions' Study

DG RTD has launched a study to collect insights on the missions' selection process, their governance, budget, instruments and actions as well as their focus and progress to date. The study seeks to identify what has worked well and less well, draw lessons, and make suggestions for improvement in the short and longer-term of EU Missions' implementation. The deadline to complete the survey is 15 March.

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

ERRIN's EU Missions project mapping: express your interest

ERRIN aims to provide support to its members in developing successful proposals under the EU Missions of the Horizon Europe 2023-2024 work programme. ERRIN designed a brief survey with the upcoming EU Missions calls that may be of interest to regional and local stakeholders. Express your interest by 22 March.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

ERRIN input to Horizon 2014-2027 consultation

ERRIN is pleased to share its input to the largest public consultation on the past, present and future of the Horizon programmes 2014-2027. The document is structured around four main areas based on the network’s priorities: EU Missions, European Partnerships, widening, and ecosystem approach.

  • By Helle Bech Sørensen-Hylle

HORIZON-MISS-2023-CLIMA-OCEAN-SOIL-01-01 Consortium Search

The Odense Fjord Collaboration is searching for a consortium to join under the HORIZON-MISS-2023-CLIMA-OCEAN-SOIL-01-01-topic (Mission Climate adaptation, Mission Ocean & waters and Mission Soil Deal for Europe – Joint demonstration of an integrated approach to increasing landscape water retention capacity at regional scale).

  • By Ewa Chomicz

Largest public consultation on Horizon programmes 2014-2027 now open

The Commission has launched the largest public consultation ever held on the past, present and future of the European Research & Innovation Framework Programmes 2014-2027. Stakeholders are invited to share their views on the performance of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, as well as shaping the strategic orientations for the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-2027. The consultation will stay open for 12 weeks, closing in February 2023.