Mission Starfish - regenerating our oceans by 2030

Horizon Europe will incorporate, as a new element, research and innovation missions. One of the five mission area is healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, also referred to as "Mission Starfish". This mission area will support actions that address the water system as a whole looking at the many intertwined challenges to have healthy oceans and waters. 

The interim report published on 25 June 2020, identifies the objectives and approach of the mission and proposes five targets:

i) generate and organise the necessary science and data
ii) tackle pollution
iii) sustainable use and management of aquatic resources
iv) accelerate decarbonisation
v) improve effective governance

Starfish on the ocean floor

ERRIN input


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 Growth WG organised a webinar to discuss the development of the mission on healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters with the European Commission and a member of the Mission Board.

Building on this, ERRIN will in June 2021 organise a dialogue with the European Commission on the foreseen "area-based lighthouse demonstrators" looking at objectives, activities and scale, as well as what support would be needed. ERRIN members can read more and get engaged here.  The dialogue will take place shortly before the publication of the implementation plan at EU R&I Days 2021, which the Blue Growth WG will follow closely. 

Latest Updates

  • By Hilary Webb

Be Green Go Blue: Commission launch new approach to sustainable blue economy

The European Commission is proposing a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU, with plans to support industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts as they work towards the objectives of the Green Deal.

  • By Hilary Webb

Commission adopts its Zero Pollution action plan

The Commission has now adopted the EU Action Plan: 'Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil'. The subject is a key deliverable of the Green Deal and an important topic at EU Green Week 2021. 

  • By Hilary Webb

Call for input - Dialogue with European Commission on Mission Starfish 2030

ERRIN is organising an informal discussion together with the European Commission on the Mission area: healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters with a particular focus on exploring the proposed 'area-based lighthouse demonstrators'. Ahead of the dialogue, ERRIN members are invited to provide input.

  • By Hilary Webb

ERRIN dialogue with European Commission on the Starfish Mission

ERRIN and the European Commission are preparing for a dialogue on the role of regional and local actors in the Mission Area: Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters. Members and their relevant stakeholders are invited to take part in the active discussion, which will include two breakout sessions focused on the 'area-based lighthouse demonstrators' described in the Mission proposal. 

  • By Anna Tranberg

Blue Growth WG webinar: Mission Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters

Join the Blue Growth WG to get an update on the mission area healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters and discuss the involvement of regional and local stakeholders.

  • By Lina Forsman

EU Policy and Urban Water Management - Challenges of Implementation

Ensuring a steady supply of clean water in cities is not simple; pollution, population growth and flooding pose real challenges. Our workshop explores challenges faced by municipal water companies in implementing the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD). By focusing on 1) water quality objectives, 2) rising sea-levels and cloudbursts, and 3) circularity and reuse of water, we consider how revising the UWWTD can help meet the zero-pollution ambition and increase coherence of EU water policy.