European Environment Agency


The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) which provides independent information on the environment.

European Environment Agency
Agency overview
Formed30 October 1993 (1993-10-30)
JurisdictionEuropean Union
HeadquartersCopenhagen, Denmark
55°40′52″N 12°35′12″E
Agency executives
  • Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director
  • Laura Burke, Chairwoman of Management Board
Key document
Websitewww.eea.europa.eu
Map
Copenhagen
European Environment Agency (European Union)
European Environment Agency Building in Copenhagen in winter

Definition


The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) which provides independent information on the environment. Its goal is to help those involved in developing, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and to inform the general public.

Organization


The EEA was established by the European Economic Community (EEC) Regulation 1210/1990 (amended by EEC Regulation 933/1999 and EC Regulation 401/2009) and became operational in 1994, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The agency is governed by a management board composed of representatives of the governments of its 32 member states, a European Commission representative and two scientists appointed by the European Parliament, assisted by its Scientific Committee.

The current Executive Director of the agency is Professor Hans Bruyninckx, who has been appointed for a five-year term. He is the successor of Professor Jacqueline McGlade.

Member countries


The member states of the European Union are members; however other states may become members of it by means of agreements concluded between them and the EU.

It was the first EU body to open its membership to the 13 candidate countries (pre-2004 enlargement).

The EEA has 32 member countries and six cooperating countries. The 33 member countries include the 27 European Union member states together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

Since Brexit in 2020, the UK is not a member of the EU anymore and therefore not a member state of the EEA.

The six Western Balkan countries are cooperating countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as Kosovo under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99.[1] These cooperation activities are integrated into Eionet and are supported by the EU under the "Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance".

The EEA is an active member of the EPA Network.[2]

EU Member countriesnon-EU Member countriesCooperating countries
 Austria Iceland Albania
 Belgium Liechtenstein Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bulgaria Norway Kosovo[3]
 Croatia  Switzerland Montenegro
 Czech Republic Turkey North Macedonia
 Cyprus Serbia
 Denmark
 Estonia
 Finland
 France
 Germany
 Greece
 Hungary
 Ireland
 Italy
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Malta
 Netherlands
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 Spain
 Sweden

Reports, data and knowledge


The European Environment Agency(EEA) produces assessments based on quality-assured data on a wide range of issues from biodiversity, air quality, transport to climate change. These assessments are closely linked to the European Union's environment policies and legislation and help monitor progress in some areas and indicate areas where additional efforts are needed.

As required in its founding regulation, the EEA publishes its flagship report the State and Outlook of Europe's environment (SOER), which is an integrated assessment, analysing trends, progress to targets as well as outlook for the mid- to long-term.

The EEA shares this information, including the datasets used in its assessments, through its main website and a number of thematic information platforms such as ClimateADAPT and Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE).

European environment information and observation network


The European environment information and observation network (Eionet) is a partnership network of the EEA and the countries. The EEA is responsible for developing the network and coordinating its activities. To do so, the EEA works closely together with national focal points (NFPs), typically national environment agencies or environment ministries which are responsible for coordinating national networks of the National Reference Centres (NRCs) involving many institutions (about 350 in all).

Apart from the NFPs and NRCs, Eionet currently includes covers seven European Topic Centres (ETCs):

  • ETC on Air Pollution, Transport, Noise and Industrial Pollution (ETC/ATNI)
  • ETC on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD)
  • ETC on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA)
  • ETC on Climate Change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME)
  • ETC on Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC/ICM)
  • ETC on Urban, Land and Soil Systems (ETC/ULS)
  • ETC on Waste and Materials in Green Economy (ETC/WMGE)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) implements the "Shared Environmental Information System" principles and best practices via projects such as the "ENI SEIS II EAST PROJECT" & the "ENI SEIS II SOUTH PROJECT" to support environmental protection within the six eastern partnership countries (ENP) & to contribute to the reduction in marine pollution in the Mediterranean through the shared availability & access to relevant environmental information. [4]

Budget management and discharge


As for every EU body and institution, the EEA's budget is subject to a discharge process, consisting of external examination of its budget execution and financial management, to ensure sound financial management of its budget. Since its establishment, the EEA has been granted discharge for its budget without exception. The EEA provides full access to its administrative and budgetary documents in its public documents register.

The discharge process for the 2010 budget required additional clarificatios. In February 2012, the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control published a draft report, identifying areas of concern in the use of funds and its influence for the 2010 budget such as a 26% budget increase from 2009 to 2010 to €50 600 000.[5]:8 and questioned that maximum competition and value-for-money principles were honored in hiring, also possible fictitious employees.[5]:10

The EEA's Executive Director refuted allegations of irregularities in a public hearing.[6] On 27 March 2012 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted on the report[7] and commended the cooperation between the Agency and NGOs working in the environmental area.[citation needed] On 23 October 2012, the European Parliament voted and granted the discharge to the European Environment Agency for its 2010 budget.[8]


Executive directors


Name Nationality Term(s)
Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán Spain1994–2003
Jacqueline McGlade United Kingdom2003–2013
Hans Bruyninckx Belgium2013–

International cooperation


In addition to its 32 members and six Balkan cooperating countries, the EEA also cooperates and fosters partnerships with its neighbours and other countries and regions, mostly in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy:[9]

  • EaP states: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • UfM states: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia
  • other ENPI states: Russia
  • Central Asia states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Additionally the EEA cooperates with multiple international organizations and the corresponding agencies of the following countries:


Official languages


The 26 official languages used by the EEA are: Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Malti, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish and Turkish.

See also


References