EuroGOOS and the European Marine board have started an initiative to build a European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to align activities in ocean observing at European level, ensure that oceanographic parameters of scientific, societal and policy relevance are collected on a sustainable basis and that the economic basis for investments in ocean observing is well developed. Such a system will provide the basis for real time oceanographic services, ocean health applications and climate and environmental assessments. The proposed system can satisfy the considerable demand for ecosystem products and services, in particular the need for biogeochemical observations that are still relatively sparse in coastal and shelf seas. A broader technique for assessing the fitness for purpose and gaps in the ocean observing system will be presented. Progress towards developing new partnerships in particular with the biological community to build EOOS will be elaborated. The results of a recent stakeholder consulation on EOOS will also be presented.