European Environment Agency marks its 25th anniversary by reflecting on future challenges at high-level seminar


The European Environment Agency (EEA) is marking its 25th anniversary today with a special meeting involving senior officials and experts from the EEA’s 39 member and cooperating countries, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. The participants will contribute to a new, 10-year strategy to steer the future work of the Agency and its network in providing sound, independent and reliable environmental information amid growing demand across Europe for more action on the environment

The EEA marks its 25th anniversary with a special seminar for the EEA’s Management Board — the Agency’s top decision-making body — gathering participants from the EEA’s European environment information and observation network (Eionet) to discuss how the EEA and the network can further enhance their relevance and impact over the coming decade.

In addition to the EEA/Eionet seminar, to commemorate its 25 years of contributions to Europe’s environment, the EEA also prepared EEA at 25 — a book looking back at the achievements of the Agency and pointing to challenges ahead. The Agency also organised a commemorative ceremony where current and some former EEA staff will be joined by seminar participants as well as high-level representatives from Denmark, the Agency’s host country.

“The European Environment Agency provides European institutions, decision makers, and Europeans at large, with fact-based syntheses of the trends we face. In today’s world, this is a truly precious resource. It gives us the ability to make informed environmental policy based on brilliantly presented realities. I congratulate the staff and management for a quarter century of enduring excellence and dedication,” said Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

“Environmental issues and their solutions often extend beyond regional and national boundaries.  This is true of air and water quality or climate-related challenges, for example.  The European Environment Agency plays an important role in providing reliable, independent and timely information about Europe’s environment to policy makers and the public.  Its high-quality data contributes to European Union policies, supporting the development of a resilient society. And, through widely sharing its knowledge, the EEA assists European citizens to understand the vital role the environment plays in our everyday lives,” said Laura Burke, Chair of the EEA Management Board and Director General of Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency.

“The European Environment Agency has been a global pioneer in the creation of a single environmental monitoring network for Europe. We set a high standard providing timely and targeted environmental information to policy makers and the public. Our role is more important than ever, keeping a close eye on Europe’s environment amid the growing impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, over-exploitation of natural resources and air pollution. European citizens are demanding more action to address these complex challenges. The EEA stands ready to take them on so we can build a resilient, sustainable Europe,” said Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director.

Unique knowledge hub for the environment and climate

The EEA is a knowledge hub connecting the science and policy worlds. It is also a networking organisation, bringing together hundreds of actors — environment agencies and ministries, public administrations and research organisations — in its network Eionet, which is unique in its size, scope and expertise.

The EEA set up its office in Copenhagen in 1994, starting as a network of 12 EU countries and some dozens of staff. Since then it has evolved and expanded to 33 member and 6 cooperating countries across Europe with highly dedicated staff working on a wide range of issues. These include air and water pollution, biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, transport, energy, waste prevention and sustainability. Published reports and analysis in these areas are based on regular submission of data and information from member countries.

EEA turns 25: Building on experience to achieve sustainability in Europe – Editorial by Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx

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