In particular, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) entails Member States to take measures to achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status (GES) of their marine waters by 2020.
To achieve the objectives of the MSFD Directive, a knowledge-based approach is essential to:
 
  • assess European marine waters;
  • determine their environmental status;
  • identify environmental targets;
  • and establish monitoring programmes.
To this end, EMIS has been developed as part of the MSFD Competence Centre (MCC) for GES to assist Member States with the monitoring and assessment of their marine and coastal waters.

It provides access to key marine and coastal bio-physical variables of importance to assess MSFD indicators.

The system operation includes:
 
  • The provision of continuous, detailed and accurate marine/coastal data as derived from satellite and model outputs;
  • The generation of indicators for global diagnostic of the coastal state and analyses of changes in marine ecosystems;
  • Basic navigation and interrogation tools with time-series and statistical analyses generated automatically in a format ready for publication/reporting, enabling decision makers to make full and lasting use of this information.

The Marine Competence Centre (MCC) is the JRC's resource for supporting marine environmental policy:
 
  • It supports the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as the environmental pillar of the EU Maritime Strategy
  • It supports the Blue Growth Agenda in order to sustain the ability for long term growth through clean and healthy oceans
The MCC acts as a science-policy interface, facilitating cooperation and information exchange between several ongoing activities that support the MSFD.
The MCC provides a "platform" for sharing knowledge and scientific expertise on methods and modelling tools.
The MCC "platform" provide users with:
 
  • easy access to scientific knowledge related to the monitoring and assessment of the environmental status of 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.
Eleven Descriptors of the marine environmental Status Multidisciplinary and closely linked to other EU legislation
 
  • Biodiversity
  • Alien species
  • Fisheries
  • Foodwebs
  • Eutrophication
  • Seafloor
  • Hydrographical changes
  • Contaminants
  • Contaminants in Seafood
  • Marine Litter
  • Noise and Energy
MCC activities
 
  • MSFD Task groups 2009/2010
  • Technical guidance on monitoring
  • Recommendations for Marine Litter
  • Marine Litter monitoring guidance
  • In-depth assessment of MS reports
  • Review of ComDec 2010/477/EU
  • ...