Press Release

European Environment Agency adopts new strategy and work programme

Press Release Published 25 Nov 2003 Last modified 28 Jun 2016
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A new strategy for the European Environment Agency covering the next five years as well as the Agency's management plan (work programme) for 2004 were adopted by the EEA management board today.


Copenhagen, 25 November 2003

European Environment Agency adopts new strategy and work programme

A new strategy for the European Environment Agency covering the next five years as well as the Agency's management plan (work programme) for 2004 were adopted by the EEA management board today.

The board also elected Lars-Erik Liljelund, Director General of Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency, as its new chair. He takes over from Professor Kees Zoeteman of the Netherlands, who has led the board for almost four years.

Preparing the new corporate strategy for 2004-2008 and next year's work programme has been a major focus of activity for EEA Executive Director Professor Jacqueline McGlade since she took up the post in June.

In addition to the Agency's core task of reporting on the state of Europe's environment, the strategy sets out two major new priority areas of work. These are:

  • Supporting the integration of the acceding and candidate countries into the European Union and assessing the impacts of EU enlargement on Europe's environment; and
  • Analysing the effectiveness, impacts and benefits of EU environment policies, including sectoral policies in agriculture, energy and transport.

The new strategy is aligned with the EU's 6th Environment Action Programme (6EAP). Many of the EEA's activities over the next five years will be geared towards providing the information and environmental assessments needed to implement the 6EAP as well as the EU Sustainable Development Strategy.

The Agency will work across four major thematic areas: tackling climate change; tackling biodiversity loss and understanding spatial change; protecting human health and quality of life; and sustainable use and management of natural resources and waste.

With streamlining of data reporting a key issue for member countries, the Agency will continue to work with major European and international partners to establish ways in which environmental data need be reported only once but can be used for multiple purposes. The EEA will also improve quality assurance of the information it produces.

The Agency will use selected strategic indicators to measure its performance against its objectives.

Prof. McGlade said:

"The context of the Agency is rapidly evolving. Today the Agency is being asked by the European Parliament, the European Commission and its member countries not only to report and advise on the state of the environment and technical issues concerning environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources, but also the effectiveness of key environmental and sectoral policies and their implementation."

"Over the next five years the Agency will expand its work to support a variety of policy processes by providing knowledge of Europe's environment as well as the actions being taken to protect it."

A limited internal reorganisation will become effective on 1 January to align the EEA's structure with the goals of the new strategy. The biggest change will be the creation of a corporate affairs and communications programme (department).

A major focus of work in 2004 will be preparation of the data, information, assessments and scenarios for the Agency's next five-yearly report on the state of, trends in and outlook for the EU's environment. This is scheduled for publication in 2005.

Mr Liljelund commented:

"I am delighted to be taking over as chair of the board at this exciting time in the Agency's development. With almost a decade of successful work behind it, the EEA is going forward into the next five years with an ambitious strategy to expand and further improve the information and analysis it provides to support environmental protection and sustainable development across an enlarging Europe."

The strategy for 2004-2008 and work programme for 2004 are available on the EEA web site at and

Note for Editors

The Management Board comprises one representative of each of the EEA's 31 member countries plus two representatives of the European Commission and two nominated by the European Parliament. A list of board members is available on the EEA's website at

About the EEA

The European Environment Agency is the main source of information used by the European Union and its Member States in developing environment policies. The Agency aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy-making agents and the public. Established by the EU in 1990 and operational in Copenhagen since 1994, the EEA is the hub of the European environment information and observation network (Eionet), a network of around 300 bodies across Europe through which it both collects and disseminates environment-related data and information.

The Agency, which is open to all nations that share its objectives, currently has 31 member countries. These are the 15 EU Member States; Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, which are members of the European Economic Area; and the 13 EU acceding and candidate countries, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic and Turkey. The EEA is the first EU body to take in the acceding and candidate countries. Negotiations on EEA membership are also under way with Switzerland.


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