Publications

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Marine protected areas

Designed to conserve Europe's marine life, marine protected areas are a globally recognised toolfor managing and enhancing our marine ecosystems.

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EEA SIGNALS 2018 Water is life

Europe's rivers, lakes and seas are under pressure from pollution, over-exploitation and climate change. How can we ensure a sustainable use of this vital resource?

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European waters -- Assessment of status and pressures 2018

The main aim of EU water policy is to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good-quality water is available for both people's needs and the environment. The Water Framework Directive (WFD), which came into force in 2000, established a framework for the assessment, management, protection and improvement of the quality of water resources across the EU. Since December 2015, EU Member States have been publishing the second river basin management plans (RBMPs) for achieving the environmental objectives of the WFD. These plans are updates of the first RBMPs, which were published in 2009.

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Marine Litter Watch - Citizens collect plastic and data to protect Europe's marine environment

This briefing highlights the work and results of the Marine Litter Watch clean-up activities held on the beaches of Europe’s four regional seas (the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean) between 2014 and 2017. It also presents the top ten litter items found and attempts to link them to the most likely litter sources.

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European bathing water quality in 2017

The report assesses bathing water quality in 2017, indicating where the quality of bathing water is expected to be good in 2018. The report was compiled using information from more than 21 000 bathing waters in the 28 EU Member States. The report also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission.

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Water management in Europe: price and non-price approaches to water conservation

European Union (EU) water policies encourage Member States to implement better water demand management practices. This is a response to the pressures on water resources that are continuously increasing. Management practices on water demand are being revised to improve the existing supply-demand balance and ultimately to bring about a more water-efficient society.

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The Arctic Environment

This European Environment Agency (EEA) report contributes to the growing international discourse on the Arctic region. It is both timely and important, since it examines the increasingly rapid changes that are taking place in the Arctic from a European perspective. It considers the national, regional and global challenges and opportunities that are emerging as a result

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European bathing water quality in 2016

Every summer, European holiday resorts fill up with tourists eager to enjoy the warmer weather and the beautiful natural surroundings of this diverse continent. For many, the summer vacation is synonymous with swimming in the sea or in a lake, so it is natural that water quality is an important factor in choosing a destination. To help citizens make informed choices, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission publish the annual European bathing water quality report. The information contained in this edition - which covers bathing water quality in 2016 in the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland - indicates where good quality bathing water is likely to be found in 2017.

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European water policies and human health — Combining reported environmental information

Society depends on the satisfactory and sustainable management of water. This report considers three pieces of EU water legislation targeted at particular sectors: the Bathing Water Directive, the Drinking Water Directive and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, and looks at common issues in the context of the Water Framework Directive. A review of the implementation of each of the sectoral directives is provided.

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Rivers and lakes in European cities

Most European cities have at least one river or lake crossing their urban landscape. Urbanisation has come at a cost to rivers and lakes, as they have been heavily degraded to enable development, carry waste, supply drinking water and facilitate transport and industry.

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Seafood in Europe — A food system approach for sustainability

This report builds on a food system approach to explore the knowledge base, and the mesh of actors and activities that enable the EU to produce, trade and consume seafood. It then further assesses the implications of such a food system analysis for EU policy and knowledge development as a means to transform Europe's food system in line with sustainability goals. The report identifies three complementary pathways in the current EU food and seafood related policy framework, and the related knowledge base that can help support a more functional system.

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European bathing water quality in 2015

Every summer, European holiday resorts fill up with tourists eager to enjoy the warmer weather and the beautiful natural surroundings of this diverse continent. For many, the summer vacation is synonymous with swimming in the sea or in a lake, so it is natural that water quality is an important factor in choosing a destination. To help citizens make informed choices, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission publish the annual European bathing water quality report. The information contained in this edition - which covers bathing water quality in 2015 in the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland - indicates where good quality bathing water is likely to be found in 2016.

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Flood risks and environmental vulnerability — Exploring the synergies between floodplain restoration, water policies and thematic policies

This report focuses on the role of floodplains in flood protection, water management, nature protection or agriculture and the impact of hydromorphological alterations on the ecosystem services that floodplains provide. The aim is to support the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EU, 2007), in particular with regard to environmental impacts and how these can be linked to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. It looks at synergies between water management, nature conservation and economic developments both in the field and on policy level.

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Spatial analysis of marine protected area networks in Europe's seas

This European Environment Agency (EEA) technical report presents an overview of the 2012 spatial distribution of the networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) established in the waters of EU), excluding overseas territories.

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Marine protected areas in Europe's seas — An overview and perspectives for the future

Europe's seas are under pressure. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can act as a key conservation measure to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity as well as the services these ecosystems provide. The report provides an overview on progress made to date in establishing MPAs and MPA networks in Europe's seas, specifically MPAs reported by European Union (EU) Member States up to and including 2012. It also discusses how best to assess the effectiveness of these MPAs and determine their effectiveness in protecting biodiversity across Europe's seas.

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Water-retention potential of Europe's forests

This report provides for the first time a European overview of the role of forests in water retention, based on the Water Accounts Production Database developed at the EEA. The results represent 287 sub-basins hosting more than 65 000 catchments across Europe. The impact of forests on water retention is measured according to three parameters/characteristics: forest cover (measured in hectares), forest types (coniferous, broad-leaved, mixed), and the degree of management of the forests (‘protected’ versus unprotected/commercial forests). The estimation of the water-retention potential is derived from the relationships between input (rainfall) and output (water run-off into rivers and lakes) as affected by these three forest characteristics.

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State of Europe's seas

The main aim of this report is to assess whether Europe's seas can be considered healthy, clean and undisturbed, and productive. These are three core aspects of the EU's main marine policy instrument — the Marine Strategy Framework Directive — and relate to the condition of marine ecosystems and the human drivers of ecosystem change. This assessment also involves identifying the main sustainability challenges affecting our seas, and how the EU is responding to these challenges. Ultimately, the report argues that EU is not on the path to fulfil its ambition of achieving sustainable use of its seas; although it is fully empowered to do so through the current array of policies and knowledge. This report also discusses how a long-term transition to sustainability could then be secured using the available policies and knowledge.

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European bathing water quality in 2014

The report assesses bathing water quality in 2014, indicating where the quality of bathing water is expected to be good in 2015. The report was compiled using information from more than 21 000 bathing waters in the 28 EU Member States. The report also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission.

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Public participation:  contributing to better water management

Experiences from eight case studies across Europe

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European bathing water quality in 2013

For many Europeans, summer holidays revolve around bathing water — whether it is snorkelling in turquoise seas, swimming in a lake or surfing. So it is natural that people have a keen interest in the quality of the bathing waters at this time of year. The report assesses bathing water quality in 2013 in all EU Member States plus Albania and Switzerland, indicating where the best quality bathing is likely to be found this year.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
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