Data support for GES assessment under the MSFD will require subregion-scale Joint Monitoring Programmes (JMPs). These JMPs must be cost-efficient and produce the necessary evidence-base to support management decisions. This review summarises the outputs of a 2.5-day multidisciplinary workshop where scientists and programme managers developed monitoring scenarios as examples of how current sampling activities could be extended and combined into framework JMPs. The objective was to explore opportunities for improved i) integration of monitoring, ii) international collaboration and iii) multi-disciplinary use of platforms. The workshop identified opportunities to upgrade current monitoring programmes, to include additional sampling activities, and to support integration of resources and activities. We found that developing JMPs using this bottom-up approach has potential benefits but requires commitment and expert coordination. Coordination needs include definition of data requirements, common sampling methodologies and data exchange.