Back in 2014, the European Machine Translation research community had been facing exciting challenges but also experiencing increased pressure for success. Both originated from the frameworks and schedules of the EU, especially regarding the Digital Single Market, the commitment to the preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity, the commitment to personal mobility and the goal of a fair society. But MT research had also been facing increasing expectations and demand from the business world, where globalisation has multiplied linguistic markets. The only way to address these issues was an improvement of research in terms of efficiency and effectiveness through new modes of collaborative research that include shared challenges, intermediate targets and success metrics. CRACKER built upon existing efforts to meet its goals: community building, networking, roadmapping; organising benchmarking and evaluation campaigns; extending, administering and promoting resource infrastructures; coordination between H2020 MT research and innovation actions; coordination between the European MT research community and European user organisations and deployment actions; promotion of MT; training of skills and promoting education. CRACKER consisted of a carefully selected consortium: DFKI (DE), Charles University Prague (CZ), ELDA (FR), FBK (IT), Athena Research and Innovation Center (GR), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Sheffield (UK). The language resources community was featured through ELDA. ATHENA RC lead the META-SHARE development with DFKI, FBK and ELDA being partners that contributed significantly to its design and implementation. The MT evaluations were represented through UEDIN (WMT) and FBK (IWSLT). USFD works on the interface between MT, Quality Translation and metrics-based evaluations. CUNI continued the QT/MT Marathon events. Our community building activities included all organisations and projects working on technologies for Multilingual Europe – this group is now known as the Cracking the Language Barrier federation. CRACKER built upon META-NET and continued the successful META-FORUM series of events in 2015, 2016, 2017. CRACKER conducted surveys to find out the impact of MT on society and economy, including the Human Language Project. CRACKER built bridges between the MT research and innovation activities carried out in H2020 and the deployment and service-oriented work in CEF AT. Evaluation campaigns were organised by continuing two series of dedicated workshops: WMT (Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation) for written text translation in 2016 and 2017 and IWSLT (International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation) for spoken language translation in 2015, 2016 and 2017. CRACKER supported the resource sharing activities by building upon and extending META-SHARE. The organisation of two MT Marathons served as a means for skill building, kicking off open-source tool development and external communication.