Governance and Legal Framework

The statutes of the Euro-Argo ERIC and its technical & scientific description have been validated at institute level.

1. The Euro-Argo ERIC

Called the “Central-RI”, has its registered office in France for the first 5 years. The official address of the Euro-Argo ERIC is Euro-Argo ERIC Office, Ifremer, Z.I de la Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France. The Euro Argo infrastructure is made up of a central infrastructure based in the Host Member country which is owned and controlled by the Euro-Argo ERIC (the “Central Infrastructure”). The Central Infrastructure will coordinate Euro-Argo activities under arrangements with independent distributed national legal entities and facilities.

The Euro-Argo ERIC shall have the following organs, possessed of the powers as defined in the following sub-sections :

- a Council as the body having ultimate decision-making authority. The Council shall be composed of the Members acting collectively; each Member may be represented by one delegate. Observers may attend Council meetings and may be represented by one delegate. Each delegate can attend the Council meeting with appropriate experts (such experts without voting rights). The Council elects its Chair among its members by a doubly qualified majority of the Members for a duration of three (3) years, renewable once for a further period of three (3) years. A vice-Chair shall be elected by qualified majority of the Council to carry out the duties of the Chair in case of her/his absence.

- a Management Board to supervise operation of the infrastructure and to ensure that it operates and evolves in accordance with the strategic direction set by the Council, and the requirements set forth by the research and operational communities. The Management Board is composed of delegates designated by the Members. Each Member shall be entitled to designate one delegate or one substitute for such delegate. The Programme Manager and the Chair of the STAG take part in a consultative capacity in the Management Board meetings. Observers shall be entitled to attend or be represented on the Management Board, without voting rights. Experts and other persons particularly qualified in matters which are to be discussed may be invited by the Chair, without voting rights.

- a Programme Manager appointed by the Council, as the executive officer and legal representative of the Euro-Argo ERIC.

- a Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAG), consisting of independent experts, is established to advise the Council on any scientific or technical matters (including data management and instrumentation) relevant to the operation, development, and evolution of the Euro-Argo ERIC, and access to its data by research and operational users. 

The Management Board may request the STAG to consider, and make recommendations on, issues that it needs to resolve. The terms of reference of the STAG, defined by the Management Board and approved by the council are given in the Internal Working Procedures.

The STAG formulates recommendations to the Council on scientific and technical aspects and direction of the Euro-Argo ERIC, taking into account the European and international context. 

2. The E-A ERIC is comprised of Members and Observers :

- Members are states and intergovernmental organisations.The Members shall have the power to vote on all the questions raised during the Council meetings and mentioned in the agenda. The members are Finland, France, Germany, Greece,  Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, UK. They will contribute to the Euro-Argo ERIC with a subscription fee of 30 k€ and the minimum deployment of 3 Argo floats.

- Observers may be Member States, agencies, institutes, public entities, including regions or private entities with a public service mission, or third parties contributing to the Euro-Argo ERIC. They may be represented in all the governing bodies, on a consultative basis without voting rights. The observers are Norway and Poland. They will contribute to the Euro-Argo ERIC with a subscription fee of 10 k€.