The Coordinating Earth Observation Data Validation for Reanalysis for Climate Services project (CORE-CLIMAX) aimed to substantiate how Copernicus observations and products can contribute to climate change analyses. CORE-CLIMAX assessed the European capability to provide climate data records (CDRs) of essential climate variables (ECVs), prepared a structured process to derive CDRs, developed a harmonized approach for validating essential climate variable CDRs, identified the integration of CDRs into the reanalysis chain, and formulated a process to compare the results of different reanalysis techniques. With respect to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the systematic application and further development of the CORE-CLIMAX system maturity matrix (SMM) and the spinoff application performance metric (APM) were strongly endorsed to be involved in future implementations of C3S. We concluded that many of the current CDRs are not yet sufficiently mature to be used in reanalysis or applied in climate studies. Thus, the production of consistent high-resolution data records remains a challenge that needs more research urgently. Extending ECVs to close climate cycle budgets (e.g., essential water variables) is a next step linking CDRs to sectoral applications.