EUR-OCEANS 2012 Council meeting was held at CRH in Sète (France) on 7-8 February.
Despite the difficult budgetary context which affects most Member Organizations and caused a decrease in contributions, the 2012 budget which was voted by the Council maintains funding of scientific activities at the same level as in previous years.
A single call for projects will be launched. All topics addressing the themes and priorities outlined in the EOC 2011 strategic views document will be elegible for funding. Proposals originating in the MarBEF or Marine Genomics Europe communities (but involving at least one EUR-OCEANS Consortium Member Organization) will be encouraged in order to favour transdisciplinary approaches of EOC hot topics and future collaborations within EuroMarine+ (the structure that the EuroMarine FP7 coordination action which involves the three former FP6 marine research networks of excellence should define by the end of 2012).
Considering that a precise timeline for the launch of an operational EuroMarine+ structure did not exist yet, and anticipating that a delay would be necessary to implement EuroMarine+ after its concrete definition (expected for the end of 2012), the Council decided: to renew the EO Consortium after its first four-year term (expiring on 31 December 2012), until 31 December 2013; to extend IRD coordination mandate accordingly; and to maintain the Project Office based in Sète.
A working group will produce a brief document, intended for EuroMarine coordinators, in which EOC will summarize lessons learnt after four years of operation, and also list items that EOC Member Organisations would like to see taken over in EuroMarine+.