SC 1.3a: Europe

Chair: Markku Poutanen (Finland)

Secretary: Wolfgang Söhne (Germany)


Terms of Reference

EUREF, the Regional Reference Frame Sub-commission for Europe, deals with the definition, realization and maintenance of the European Reference Frames. EUREF is focusing on both the spatial and the vertical components in close cooperation with the pertinent IAG components (Services, Commissions, and Inter-commission projects) and EuroGeographics, the consortium of the National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies (NMCA) in Europe. For more information, see



EUREF’s objectives are

  • The definition, realization and maintenance of the European Geodetic Reference Systems;
  • The promotion and assistance of the adoption and use of European Terrestrial Reference System (ETRS89) and European Vertical Reference System (EVRS) in our partner countries;
  • The development and maintenance of the EUREF GNSS Permanent Network (EPN) which is the ground based GNSS infrastructure for scientific and practical applications in positioning and navigation (GGOS, IGS Real-time Service);
  • The development of strategies and technologies for the realization of geodetic reference systems.



EUREF is composed of representatives from European IAG member countries.

The TWG (Technical Working Group) is composed of members elected by the plenary, members in charge of special tasks and ex-officio members.


Program of Activities

  • Continue to develop the EPN in close cooperation with IGS (International GNSS Service), for the maintenance of the European Terrestrial Reference Frame (ETRF), as a contribution to the ITRF and as an infrastructure to support practical applications for precise positioning and referencing geo-information;
  • Extend the Unified European Levelling Network (UELN) and prepare it to be computed under a geokinematic approach using the European Combined Geodetic Network (ECGN) for a long-term maintenance of the European Vertical Reference Frame (EVRF);
  • Support new developments in reference frame realization and application by introducing new technologies like real-time GNSS data transfer and products, as well as Galileo for precise positioning;
  • Realize a dense and homogeneous position and velocity product for Europe;
  • Establish a dense velocity field model in Europe for the long-term maintenance of the European reference frame;
  • Cooperate with European political and scientific organisations and projects, e.g. EuroGeographics, EUMETNET, CEGRN (Central European GPS Geodynamic Reference Network), EPOS (European Plate Observing System), UN-GGIM: Europe, etc.
  • Consider the contribution to the IAG Programme GGOS (Global Geodetic Observing System) using the installed infrastructures managed by the EUREF members;
  • Promote the adoption of the reference systems defined by EUREF (ETRS89-European Terrestrial Reference System 1989 and EVRS - European Vertical Reference System) in the European countries and European-wide initiatives related to geo-referencing activities like INSPIRE;
  • Organize annual symposia addressing activities carried out at national and Europe-wide levels related to the global work and objectives of EUREF.