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Mission Ocean and Waters service portal

HORIZON-MISS-2024-OCEAN-01-01: European Blue Parks – Offshore marine protected areas


Funding programme or initiative
Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzechiaDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaLuxembourgMaltaNetherlandsPolandPortugalRomaniaSlovakiaSloveniaSpainSwedenAlbaniaArmeniaBosnia and HerzegovinaFaroe IslandsGeorgiaIcelandIsraelKosovoMoldovaMontenegroNorth MacedoniaNorwaySerbiaTunisiaTürkiyeUkraineUnited Kingdom
Atlantic and Arctic basinMediterranean Sea basinBaltic and North Sea basinDanube River basin
Deadline date
18 September 2024
Publication date
23 April 2024
Mission Objectives
1. Ecosystems and Biodiversity
Mission Topics
Relevant to Blue Parks Community
Associated Regions


One of the main challenges for the establishment of offshore MPAs is the lack of knowledge about the distribution and condition of marine habitats, as well as pressures affecting them, due to high cost and effort needed for their surveillance and research. This means that large areas of important habitats offshore remain unprotected (such as soft sediment bottoms or habitats of highly mobile species such as marine mammals), which hinders the achievement of EU and global marine conservation targets to achieve a coherent MPA network.  

Proposals under this topic are expected to show how their activities and results will contribute to achieving the Mission objective 1 – Protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. 


The proposed activities should cover all following objectives: 

  • mapping the distribution and condition of marine (benthic and pelagic) habitats in offshore areas (beyond 12 nautical miles from the coast); 
  • providing the scientific basis for establishing new marine protected areas (or enlarging existing ones) in offshore areas, including strictly protected ones; 
  • assessing pressures (including cumulative ones) in offshore areas and establishing the necessary conservation measures for MPAs, including through elaboration of their management plans and monitoring schemes. 

Proposals addressing the EU Outermost Regions are encouraged, given these regions’ natural assets. 

Eligible applicants: 

Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulations have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call/topic. 

Further information on the application process and on eligibility can be found in the General Annexes of the Horizon Europe 2023-2025 Work Programme.   

Projects are encouraged to actively involve Member States/Associated Countries’ authorities and concerned stakeholders.  


EUR 11,10 million 

Contact points

To get support:  

  • Online Manual is the guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant. 
  • Horizon Europe Programme Guide contains the detailed guidance to the structure, budget and political priorities of Horizon Europe. 
  • Funding & Tenders Portal FAQ – to find the answers to most frequently asked questions on submission of proposals, evaluation and grant management. 
  • Research Enquiry Service – to ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular. 
  • National Contact Points (NCPs) – to get guidance, practical information and assistance on participation in Horizon Europe. There are also NCPs in many non-EU and non-associated countries (‘third-countries’). 
  • Enterprise Europe Network – to contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding. 
  • IT Helpdesk – to contact the Funding & Tenders Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc. 
  • European IPR Helpdesk to be assistsed you on intellectual property issues. 
  • CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk and ETSI Research Helpdesk – the European Standards Organisations to be advised on how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal.   
  • The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment –to consult the general principles and requirements specifying the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers, employers and funders of researchers. 
  • Partner Search Services to be supported on how to find a partner organisation for your proposal. 

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