EMSO aims to explore the oceans, to gain a better understanding of phenomena happening within and below them, and to explain the critical role that these phenomena play in the broader Earth systems. EMSO consists in a system of regional facilities placed at key sites around Europe, from North East to the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, to the Black Sea. Observatories are platforms equipped with multiple sensors, placed along the water column and on the seafloor. They constantly measure different biogeochemical and physical parameters, that address natural hazards, climate change and marine ecosystems. EMSO offers data and services to a large and diverse group of users, from scientists and industries to institutions and policy makers. It is an extraordinary infrastructure to provide relevant information for defining environmental policies based on scientific data. EMSO is a consortium of partners sharing in a common strategic framework scientific facility (data, instruments, computing and storage capacity). Formally it is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), legal framework created for pan-European large-scale research infrastructures.