Most environmental issues go beyond regional and country borders. International cooperation is vital when considering the global and regional connections and processes at play.

In addition to EU institutions, we have a long legacy of working with key regional and international bodies and programmes. Building on our current EEA-Eionet Strategy, the overarching objectives for the EEA’s engagement in international environmental activities are twofold:

  • to contribute to international processes with high-quality environmental knowledge to support and influence ambitious and progressive international policy processes and solutions.
  • to strengthen the EEA knowledge base through cooperation with international stakeholders and partners on environmental data and indicator development, methodologies, tools and integrated assessments.
Map of the world centered on Europe with four groups of countries highlighted.  In green are the 32 EEA member countries,  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Türkiye. In blue are EEA cooperating and observer countries,  Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greenland, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. (The designation Kosovo is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.)

International engagement activities

The EEA's international engagement activities fall into four groups.

Support to EU institutions under international obligations

The EU and EEA member and cooperating countries have reporting obligations under regional and international agreements.

We support them, among others, to fulfil these obligations, provide assessments and (co-)develop EU positions on major political processes, such as the climate and biodiversity conventions (COPs) or the development of a new global agreement to end plastic pollution.

Capacity building and knowledge sharing with neighbouring regions and beyond

While the focus of our knowledge network remains with EEA member countries, we also cooperate with institutions in non-member countries. Our cooperation activities bring together data and expertise from these countries, enriching the knowledge and data available on the state of the environment. These joint activities also help these countries develop their environmental reporting and assessment capabilities.

The EEA especially supports Western Balkans and neighbouring countries to modernise their approaches, systems and processes to ease data reporting and bring them in line with Eionet practices. Our work includes:

  • continuous cooperation with the Western Balkans
  • support to Eastern and Southern neighbours via various EU assistance programmes
  • support to the environmental and climate dimension of EU external policy

Engagement in international partnerships and collabortive arrangements

We are committed to finding solutions to the triple planetary crisis with climate, biodiversity and pollution challenges. To this end, we work with international organisations, especially the UN Environment Programme at a global level and the UN Economic Commission for Europe at a pan-European level.

The EEA actively contributes to global processes, including:

  • the monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • the Paris Agreement on climate change
  • the Global Biodiversity Framework
  • the Global Environmental Outlook report (currently GEO-7)

Our contributions may take the form of direct input to such international processes or support to the EU/EEA member and cooperating countries.

Promote green diplomacy and international exchange

In international debates and discussions, we actively promote the EU’s science-based policies and positions shaped by the European Green Deal and the Digital Agenda. In this context, we hold regular dialogues with the US Environmental Protection Agency and other partner countries. We also have information exchanges with institutions, for example, in Australia, Canada, China, India and South Korea, and at the regional level with African, Asian, Central Asian and South American bodies.

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