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Founded in 1994, the European Environment Information and Observation Network — Eionet — is a well-known and trusted provider of high-quality data, information and sustainability assessments for Europe.
Eionet is the European Environment Agency partner network that supports the EEA work programme implementation. Together, the EEA and Eionet implement the EEA-Eionet Strategy for 2021-2030 to give EU policymakers and the public the best available knowledge to reach agreed environmental and sustainability targets.
Eionet consists of the EEA’s member and cooperating countries. The 32 member countries include the 27 European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Türkiye. The six West Balkan countries are cooperating countries. These include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.
Eionet is bringing together around 2,000 experts from more than 400 national institutions that have expertise in environmental issues.
What are Eionet's roles and functions?
The Eionet network has the following roles and functions:
National Focal Points (NFPs) are nominated and funded by countries to act as primary links between the EEA and their country. NFPs organise and develop their country’s Eionet network, as well as facilitate and coordinate contacts, requests and information delivery at national and EU levels. NFPs also advise EEA Management Board members.
The National Data Flow Coordination ensures a coherent and coordinated overview of collecting, collating and sharing data between the country and the EEA to respond efficiently to the needs of the Agency's work programme.
Eionet Groups work with the EEA and European Topic Centres to assess Europe’s environment and climate, and any related impacts on health and ecosystems. Country experts are designated to be members of Eionet Groups, where they share their expertise to develop actionable knowledge in different work areas.
Currently there are 13 Eionet Groups, several of them supported by Thematic Groups:
- Biodiversity and ecosystems - integration of knowledge for policies
- Biodiversity and ecosystems - cumulative pressures and solutions
- Circular economy and resource use
- Climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation
- Climate change mitigation and energy systems
- Data, technologies and digitalisation
- Food systems
- Human health and the environment
- Land systems
- Mobility systems
- State of the environment
European Topic Centres (ETCs) are thematic expertise centres contracted and funded by the EEA for tasks identified in the EEA-Eionet Strategy. These are designated by the EEA Management Board following a European-wide competitive selection process.
ETCs support the EEA in the processing and analysis of the data received from Member Countries. They also work as extensions of the EEA in specific topic areas.
As of 2023, there are seven ETCs working with EEA and national Eionet partners:
- ETC on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (ETC BE)
- ETC on Circular Economy and Resource Use (ETC CE)
- ETC on Climate Change Adaptation and LULUCF (ETC CA)
- ETC on Climate Change Mitigation (ETC CM)
- ETC on Data Integration and Digitalisation (ETC DI)
- ETC on Human Health and the Environment (ETC HE)
- ETC on Sustainability Transitions (ETC ST)
Data reporting and data flows
By maintaining and coordinating key data flows, the EEA assists the European Commission to implement EU environmental legislation in EU Member States.
Data are often reported upwards (i.e. from stakeholder, to competent authority, to the EEA, to the Commission) and then reported to the European Parliament and Council. Monitoring ensures that laws achieve their intended objectives, and that all EU countries respect agreed rules and regulations.
Eionet core data flows are a subset of existing data flows reported to the EEA via Reportnet tools. These are agreed upon by the Management Board and used by the EEA for assessments, products and services.
- For more information about Eionet, contact the Eionet heldpesk at email@example.com.