Science-based approaches in addressing future risks and challenges for forests require close collaboration among the communities operating different monitoring and research networks as well as experts in process and large-scale modelling. Results of the COST FP0903 conference which took place in October 2010 in Rome, reveal valuable results from different European forest monitoring and research networks. However, the need for closer integration of these activities is obvious. In this paper, representatives from major European networks recommend a new approach for forest monitoring and research in Europe, based on a reasonable number of highly instrumented “supersites” and a larger number of intensive monitoring plots linked to these. This system needs to be built on existing infrastructures but requires increased coordination, harmonisation and a joint long term platform for data exchange and modelling.