Vast majority of Europe's bathing waters meet the highest quality standards

 

The annual Bathing Water report published last week shows that in 2020 almost 83% of Europe's bathing water sites met the European Union's most stringent ‘excellent' water quality standards.

The latest assessment, put together by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, is based on the 2020 monitoring of 22,276 bathing sites across Europe. These cover the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland throughout 2020.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, said: “Bathing water quality in Europe remains high and it's a good news for Europeans, who will be heading to beaches and bathing sites this summer. This is the result of more than 40 years of Bathing Water Directive, hard work by dedicated professionals and cooperation. The Zero Pollution Action Plan adopted in May will help to keep the waters healthy and safe and our seas and rivers clean.”

The share of ‘excellent' coastal and inland swimming sites has stabilised in recent years at around 85% and in 2020 was 82.8% across Europe. The minimum ‘sufficient' water quality standards were met at 93% of the sites monitored in 2020, and in five countries - Cyprus, Austria, Greece, Malta and Croatia - 95 % or more bathing waters were of excellent quality.

As part of the Zero Pollution Action Plan and in line with the Biodiversity Strategy the Commission has recently launched a review of the Bathing Water Directive and will soon open an online public consultation