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You are here: Home / Media / News / Commission reviews the Regulation governing the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Commission reviews the Regulation governing the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Brussels, 16 June 1997

Commission reviews the Regulation governing the European Environment Agency (EEA)

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to amend the Regulation which governs the functions and tasks of the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen. The proposal includes a report which recognizes the promising results from the first full two years of work of the Agency. The proposal affirms the existing tasks and mandate of the Agency, and defines certain tasks relating to support to the implementation of European Union environmental legislation and the diffusion of environmental information, where the Agency's role could be enforced. The Agency should develop into a one-stop-shop for environment information and data with modern Internet-based communications to facilitate access across Europe.

Upon a proposal of Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner for the Environment, the European Commission has today adopted a proposal to amend the Regulation 1210/90 which governs the functions and tasks of the European Environment Agency. This revision was required by the terms of the Agency Regulation.

This proposal includes a report that illustrates good progress and promising first results from the first full two years of work of the European Environment Agency. In this short period of time, the agency has succeeded in building the basis of a European network of institutions and individuals who can contribute to our knowledge on the state and prospects of the environment. The first fruits of this collaboration are now available, notably information on air pollution, water issues, land cover and the 1995 reports 'Europe's environment: the Dobris assessment' and 'Environment in the European Union'.

To build on these first results, the Commission has agreed a programme of co-operation with the Agency, notably on the production of a pan-European State of the Environment Report in 1998. This sort of detailed information will be an important component of environment policy making and the Agency is now well placed to deliver the goods.

However, to be able to produce this report and the supporting work which underpins it, the Agency must have the opportunity to build upon the progress it has achieved. This proposal is aimed at ensuring just that. This proposal recognises the promising start made by the Agency and the need to ensure that these first efforts are consolidated and reinforced.

The proposal affirms the existing tasks and mandate of the Agency but defines in more detail certain tasks where the participation of the Agency could be strengthened, such as support to the implementation of Community environmental legislation; diffusion of information on environmental research of relevance to policy makers; and in particular, the Agency should develop into a European Reference Centre, a one-stop-shop for environment information and data with modern Internet-based communications to facilitate access across Europe.

This review is the first step in an on-going process to ensure the best possible orientation and relevance of the Agency's work and products. This first assessment is- positive and the consequent proposal will give the Agency the opportunity to progress further and to provide much needed information on the state of the environment.

Background Information

The decision to establish the Agency in Denmark (Copenhagen) was taken in October 1993. It has 60 or so staff and an annual budget which is currently 16.7 Mecu. Its remit was to provide policy-makers at national and European level with comparable, objective and reliable information on the environment.

Article 20 of the Regulation 1210/90 required a review of tasks by October 1995, but this was postponed for two years by Council following initial delays in getting the Agency to full operational capacity.



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