Report: EU bathing water clean but unmonitored

31st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 May 2007, Brussels (dpa) - Bathing water across the European Union is clean, the European Commission said Thursday, but warned EU governments against removing bathing sites from the bloc's control list. In 2006, EU member states took some 88 coastal and 166 freshwater bathing zones from their national lists of sites which are subject to EU controls, said the commission's 2006 report on the quality of bathing water in the 27-member bloc. The commission said that in some cases bathing sites were being de-

31 May 2007

Brussels (dpa) - Bathing water across the European Union is clean, the European Commission said Thursday, but warned EU governments against removing bathing sites from the bloc's control list.

In 2006, EU member states took some 88 coastal and 166 freshwater bathing zones from their national lists of sites which are subject to EU controls, said the commission's 2006 report on the quality of bathing water in the 27-member bloc.

The commission said that in some cases bathing sites were being de-listed to mask pollution problems.

EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas warned member states against trying to fake their results by removing bathing sites from the EU list and urged governments to step up clean-up efforts.

Bathing water in the EU's new member states, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, is cleaner than in the old EU countries.

While compliance with EU standards on bathing water increased in the EU's new member states by 25 per cent, bathing sites in the old member states became more polluted, the report said.

Some 96 per cent of Europe's coastal waters comply with EU cleanliness standards and 89 per cent with stricter values.

But the quality of inland bathing sites was only slowly improving, the report said. About 88 per cent of lakes and rivers comply with mandatory EU standards (85 per cent in 2005) and the number meeting stricter standards remained at 63 per cent compared to last year.

Dimas said that he has opened legal infringement procedures against 11 EU member states over removing some 7,000 sites from the national lists of bathing areas since the 1990s.

The countries facing legal action by the EU executive body are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

The commission's report covers a total of 21,094 bathing areas in the EU, some 14,345 coastal and 6,749 inland.

DPA

Subject: German news

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