Independent evaluation commends EEA impact and efficiency
European Environment Agency
the EEA and Eionet are well established and well-functioning structures, delivering comprehensive and reliable outputs which, to a large extent, satisfy stakeholders' needs.
Evaluation of the European Environment Agency by COWI
The EEA is required to carry out an evaluation every 5 years to ensure it is working in an effective and efficient way. This evaluation covered the period 2008-2012, coinciding with the multi-annual work programme of the Agency.
Independent management consultants COWI assessed the effectiveness of the EEA, and the organisation’s efficiency. Effectiveness covers the EEA’s impact in the wider world, assessing needs of and satisfaction with EEA outputs among stakeholders, while the efficiency part examined the internal working processes of the EEA and cooperative relations within the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet). The evaluation was steered by the EEA Management Board.
The evaluation report concludes:
"the EEA and Eionet are well established and well-functioning structures, delivering comprehensive and reliable outputs which, to a large extent, satisfy stakeholders' needs. The qualitative assessment inherent in this evaluation indicates that the EEA continues to be the most effective and efficient solution to providing credible information on the state of the European environment."
Outputs, such as EEA reports and datasets, were described as being of “high quality” by the evaluators, while methodologies used by the EEA for defining and compiling data were described as “state of the art”. Overall, the EEA was commended for balancing the needs of different stakeholders at national and European level.
Internally, the EEA was found to have well-functioning management systems. The efficiency part of the evaluation found that the organisation provided good value for money for EU taxpayers.
As a network, the EEA and the Eionet, is stable and functions well, the report says, although it points to some working practices which could be improved.
The report recommends that the EEA continues to strengthen dialogue with stakeholders and maintain its high quality outputs. The planning system used by the EEA should be reviewed and upgraded, the report says, while the use of the Scientific Committee should be reassessed to ensure enhanced value to EEA’s work.