European Environment Agency

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) which provides independent information on the environment.

European Environment Agency
Agency overview
Formed30 October 1993 (1993-10-30)
JurisdictionEuropean Union
HeadquartersCopenhagen, Denmark
55°40′52″N 12°35′12″E
Agency executives
  • Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director
  • Elisabeth Freytag-Rigler, Chairwoman of Management Board
Key document
European Environment Agency (European Union)


The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) which provides independent information on the environment. Its goal is to help those involved in developing, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and to inform the general public.


The EEA was established by the European Economic Community (EEC) Regulation 1210/1990 (amended by EEC Regulation 933/1999 and EC Regulation 401/2009) and became operational in 1994, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The agency is governed by a management board composed of representatives of the governments of its 33 member states, a European Commission representative and two scientists appointed by the European Parliament, assisted by a committee of scientists. The current Executive Director of the agency is Professor Hans Bruyninckx, who has been appointed for a five-year term. He is the successor of Professor Jacqueline McGlade.

Member countries

The member states of the union are members; however other states may become members of it by means of agreements concluded between them and the EU.

It was the first EU body to open its membership to the 13 candidate countries (pre-2004 enlargement).

The EEA has 33 member countries and six cooperating countries. The 33 member countries include the 28 European Union member states together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

The six Western Balkan countries are cooperating countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as Kosovo under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99.[1] These cooperation activities are integrated into Eionet and are supported by the EU under the "Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance".

The EEA is an active member of the EPA Network.[2]

EU Member countriesnon-EU Member countriesCooperating countries
 Austria Iceland Albania
 Belgium Liechtenstein Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bulgaria Norway Kosovo[3]
 Croatia  Switzerland Montenegro
 Czech Republic Turkey North Macedonia
 Cyprus Serbia
 United Kingdom


The European Environment Agency (EEA) reported in 2017 that climate-related extreme events accounted ca €400 billion ($430 billion) of economic losses in EEA area from 1980 to 2013, and were responsible for 85,000 deaths during 1980-2013.[4]

European environment information and observation network

The European environment information and observation network (Eionet) is a partnership network of the EEA and the countries. The EEA is responsible for developing the network and coordinating its activities. To do so, the EEA works closely together with national focal points (NFP´s), typically national environment agencies or environment ministries which are responsible for coordinating national networksof the National Reference Centres (NRCs) involving many institutions (about 350 in all).

Apart from the NFPs and NRCs, Eionet covers six European Topic Centres (ETCs) in the areas of air and climate change, biological diversity, climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, water, land use and spatial information and analysis and sustainable consumption and production.

Annual discharge process

In February 2012, the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control published a draft report, identifying areas of concern in the use of funds and its influence for the 2010 budget such as a 26% budget increase from 2009 to 2010 to €50 600 000.[5]:8 and questioned that maximum competition and value-for-money principles were honored in hiring, also possible fictitious employees.[5]:10

The EEA's Executive Director refuted allegations of irregularities in a public hearing.[6]

On 27 March 2012 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted on the report [7] and commended the cooperation between the Agency and NGOs working in the environmental area. On 23 October 2012, the European Parliament voted and granted the discharge to the European Environment Agency for its 2010 budget.

In April 2013, the MEPs voted and granted the discharge to the EEA for its 2011 budget.[8]

Executive directors

Name Nationality Term(s)
Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán Spain1994 – 2003
Jacqueline McGlade United Kingdom2003 – 2013
Hans Bruyninckx Belgium2013 –

International cooperation

In addition to its 33 members and six Balkan cooperating countries, the EEA also cooperates and fosters partnerships with its neighbours and other countries and regions, mostly in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy:[9]

  • EaP states: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • UfM states: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia
  • other ENPI states: Russia
  • Central Asia states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Additionally the EEA cooperates with multiple international organizations and the corresponding agencies of the following countries:

Official languages

The 26 official languages used by the EEA are: Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Malti, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish and Turkish.

See also


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