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EUREF is the IAG Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe, integrated in the Sub-Commission 1.3, Regional Reference Frames, under Commission 1 – Reference Frames, following the implementation of the new IAG structure at the IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) General Assembly held in Sapporo, 2003.

The Sub-Commission EUREF was founded in 1987 at the IUGG General Assembly held in Vancouver.

EUREF deals with the definition, realization and maintenance of the European Reference Frame - the geodetic infrastructure for multinational projects requiring precise geo-referencing (e.g. three-dimensional and time dependent positioning, geodynamics, precise navigation, geo-information) - in close cooperation with the IAG components (Services, Commissions, and Inter-commision projects) and EuroGeographics, the consortium of the National Mapping Agencies (NMA) in Europe.

EUREF, the “Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe” is part of the Sub-Commission 1.3, Regional Reference Frames, under Commission 1 of the IAG. The activities and tasks of EUREF are to: 

  • develop, in close cooperation with the IGS (International GNSS Service), the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) for the maintenance of the European Reference Frame, as contribution to the ITRF and as infrastructure to support other relevant projects, namely the European initiatives related to Galileo; 
  • improve the United European Leveling Network (UELN) by extending it to all European countries, taking into account the perspective of a geokinematic computation; 
  • implement the necessary projects for the long-term maintenance of the ETRS89 (European Terrestrial Reference System) and the EVRS (European Vertical Reference System), as well as for the improvement of the coherence between both systems, and this in close cooperation with other IAG components; 
  • promote the adoption of the reference systems defined by EUREF (ETRS89 and EVRS) in the European countries and European-wide organizations involved in geo-referencing activities.


The complete Terms of Reference (ToR) for EUREF have been updated at the EUREF 2017 Symposium held in Wroclaw.

EUREF established partnerships through a Memorandum of Understanding with the following organizations:

is the umbrella organization of the European National Mapping and Cartographic Agencies. The Memorandum of Understanding between EUREF and EuroGeographics is a more intensive continuation of the hitherto cooperation for common interests between both organizations. It guarantees on one hand that the developments made by EUREF are absorbed and implemented by the NMCA; and on the other hand, brings to EUREF the NMCA concerns and problems on geodetic issues that must be solved in a European and global perspective. The cooperative activities will be developed in the following areas: the European Spatial Data Infrastructure (INSPIRE), Global Monitoring for Environment & Security (GMES), Galileo and its applications related to geo-information, and sharing of best practice within and between the participants’ members. 
More details: Memorandum of Understanding 

is a network of European national meteorological services, facilitating committing inter-European collaboration within meteorology. The goals of the Memorandum of Understanding between EUREF and EUMETNET are to increase synergies and collaborations between the geodetic and meteorological communities and to facilitate the data exchange between the two parties. On one hand, E-GVAP, a program running under the aegis of EUMETNET, aims at establishing a European observing system for delivering near real-time GNSS-based tropospheric zenith path delay (ZPD) estimates for operational numerical weather prediction (NWP). For that, meteorologists need continued access to GNSS raw data and products. On the other hand, EUREF needs access to meteorological observations over all Europe In order to improve its GNSS data processing and to validate its GNSS-derived products from the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN). 
More details: Memorandum of Understanding

is a scientific Consortium of Research Institutions committed to a coordinated programme of measurements, technical developments and for international access to monitoring geodetic and geodynamic processes for a long period of time in Central Europe. The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is, in general, to create the conditions to facilitate the data exchange and to promote the increase in the co-operation between the two parties, and in particular, to facilitate the densification of the European GNSS network for reference frame definition and geokinematical applications, and to support the ECGN (European Combined Geodetic Network) project. It is expected that a closer co-operation between EUREF and CEGRN will increase the level of support to the IAG Dense Velocity Field Project, and the availability of a combined solution with respect to a denser network. 
More details: Memorandum of Understanding

EUPOS - European Position Determination System
is an organisation of the European national dense GNSS networks and services. The contributing national services – at the moment mostly covering Central and Eastern Europe - are providing correction data for real time positioning and navigation, and observation data for geodetic post-processing fulfilling all positioning requirements. EUPOS acts to homogenize the national positioning services providing unified, well determined, commonly agreed standards and also support countries, where such services are under preparation providing the elaborated standards and expertise. EUPOS represents the GNSS service providers in international bodies like UN OOSA, RTCM 104 and signed MoU with EUMETNET E_GVAP and EUREF to facilitate the multifunctional use of the data and results stemming from the dense GNSS networks. EUPOS willing to attract all European GNSS service providers and partially transform to a discussion forum and a stronger lobby group, where the interests of the partners are better represented. 
More details: Memorandum of Understanding


The International GNSS Service (IGS), formerly the International GPS Service, is a voluntary federation of more than 200 worldwide agencies that pool resources and permanent GPS & GLONASS station data to generate precise GPS & GLONASS products. The EUREF Permanent Network is considered as the European regonial densification of the IGS. In a spirit of cross-fertilization, EUREF members are participating to the IGS real-time Pilot Project, the IGS GNSS Working Group, the IGS antenna calibration Working Group and the IGS Infrastructure Committee. In addition, IGS standards are used for the routine EPN operations. 

IAG WG on "Regional Dense Velocity Fields"

The IAG Working Group on 'Regional Dense Velocity Fields' is part of IAG Sub-Commission 1.3 'Regional Reference Frames' which is embedded in IAG Commission 1 on Reference Frames.In a collaborative effort with the regional sub-commissions within IAG sub-commission 1.3 (such as EUREF), the IAG Working Group on 'Regional Dense Velocity Fields' aims at creating a dense global velocity field. For that purpose, EUREF collects GNSS-based velocity solutions from all over Europe and combines them into one single solution which is submitted to the Working Group. The Working Group then combines all regional and global velocity solutions to obtain a global dense velocity field. 

ICG (International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems) 

The International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) had been established on a voluntary basis as an informal body to promote cooperation on matters of interest related to civil satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing and value-added services, as well as the compatibility and interoperability of global navigation satellite systems, while increasing their use to support sustainable development, particularly in developing countries. Members of ICG are providers of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). EUREF is associated member of ICG. Goals of the annual meetings are reviewing and discussing developments in GNSS and to allow ICG members, associate members and observers to consider matters of interest. ICG also addressed GNSS technology in the era of multi-systems receivers and the impact of GNSS interoperability on timing and other user applications. Representatives from industry, academia and Governments shared views on GNSS compatibility and interoperability. 

FIG Commission 5 – Positioning and Measurement

FIG was founded in 1878 in Paris and was known as the Fèdèration Internationale des Gèometres. This has become anglicized to the International Federation of Surveyors. It is an UN-recognized non-government organization (NGO), representing more than 100 countries throughout the world, and its aim is to ensure that the disciplines of surveying and all who practise them meet the needs of the markets and communities that they serve. FIG is the premier international organization representing the interests of surveyors worldwide. It is a federation of the national member associations and covers the whole rage of professional fields within the global surveying community. It provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards. 

Ten commissions lead FIG’s technical work. Each member association appoints a delegate to each of the commissions. Detailed information on the work of the commissions, their work plans, working groups, seminars, newsletters and publications can be found in the FIG webpage

FIG Commission 5 (Positioning and Measurement) has the strongest links with IAG. A MoU between FIG and IAG was signed in 2001 and Commission 5 has the lead within FIG on the collaboration with IAG. 

FIG Commission 5 deals with the science of measurement (instrumentation, methodology and guidelines) and the acquisition of accurate and reliable survey data related to the position, size and shape of natural and artificial features of the earth and its environment and including variation with time. The work plan of the commission covers the development, use and integration of technologies for positioning and measurement and the associated standardisation, best practice and fundamental reference frame issues. Many of the issues are global in nature and Commission 5, working with like-minded Sister Associations as IAG, is well placed to deal with them. FIG Council has also asked the Commissions to cooperate with United Nations Agencies to address global problems such as sustainable development and humanitarian needs. The disciplines covered by Commission 5 are at the heart of delivering solutions for the spatial aspects of these important global problems. Specific activities aimed at developing countries include examination of Low Cost Surveying Technologies, assistance with implementation of modern Geodetic Reference Frames and associated infrastructure and contribution to appropriate Continuing Professional Development programs. 

FIG Commission 5 has during the last 10 years focused on facilitating the exchanging of information and knowledge regarding national GNSS CORS and the services connected to them, GNSS modernisation, new positioning and measurement techniques, as well as the development of regional reference frames. FIG has assisted and supported the work run by IAG on projects such as AFREF and more recently APREF. 


WEGENER (Working Group of European Geoscientists for the Establishment of Networks for Earth science Research) is a IAG Inter commission project with Commission 1 and Commission 3. Commission 1 is responsible for regional and global reference frames, for the coordination of space techniques and for satellite dynamics. WEGENER contributes significantly to each one of these areas and, in particular, to regional and global reference frames by making available, in its study area, quality-tested regional data sets acquired with different space and terrestrial techniques, as well as relevant quality-tested solutions. Commission 3 is responsible for earth rotation and geodynamics. WEGENER provides its main contribution in the field of geodynamics by studying, regionally, both short and long-term crustal motions.