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European Environment Agency

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European Environment Agency

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is a European Union agency based in Copenhagen. Its aim is to provide reliable and independent information on the environment. It is one of the main sources of information for political decision-makers. This information is used to develop, adopt, implement and evaluate environmental policy. The EEA has 32 member countries at present.


Regulation (EC) No 401/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the European Environment Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Codified version).


The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) were established in 1990. However, the Agency’s activities actually started in 1994.

The EEA is an independent body whose objective is to support sustainable development and to improve the European environment. For the purposes of achieving this objective, the Agency has the following tasks:

  • to establish and coordinate the Eionet Network;
  • to provide the Community and the Member States with the objective information necessary for framing and implementing sound and effective environmental policies;
  • to assist the monitoring of environmental measures;
  • to record, collate, assess and disseminate data on the state of the environment;
  • to help ensure that data are comparable at European level;
  • to foster the development and integration of environmental forecasting techniques;
  • to ensure the broad dissemination of reliable environmental information.

The information provided by the EEA concerns:

  • air quality;
  • water quality;
  • the state of the soil, of the fauna and flora;
  • land use and natural resources;
  • waste management;
  • noise emissions;
  • chemical substances;
  • coastal and marine protection.

The Eionet Network comprises the main component elements of the national information networks, the national focal points and the five European topic centres (ETCs). The centres’ activities cover the following areas:

  • water;
  • air and climate change;
  • protection of nature and biodiversity;
  • flows of waste and materials; and
  • the terrestrial environment.

The EEA has 32 member countries at present: the 27 EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

The Agency’s Management Board includes one representative from each member country, two representatives from the DG Environment and the DG Research of the European Commission and two scientific experts appointed by the European Parliament. The main tasks of the Management Board are to adopt the EEA’s work programmes, to appoint the Executive Director and to designate the members of the scientific committee. The latter serves as an advisory body to the Management Board and the Executive Director on scientific issues.

The Executive Director is responsible to the Management Board for the implementation of the work programmes and the day-to-day management of the Agency.

The Agency organises its activities within the framework of annual work programmes under a five-year strategy and a multiannual work programme. The current strategy covers the period 2009 – 2013.

The Agency cooperates closely with other European and international institutions, such as the Statistical Office (Eurostat) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).


The EEA and the Eionet Network will work together with the European Commission and other stakeholders to implement a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS). To this end, the EEA will utilise the existing notification tools and systems (Reportnet), eGovernment initiatives, the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE), the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 1210/90.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 401/2009



OJ L 126 of 21.5.2009

Last updated: 10.12.2009