Every summer millions of Europeans head for the beach to enjoy the sun and to cool down in refreshing clean water. To allow Europeans to make an informed choice on which beach to choose a yearly report is published on the quality of coastal and freshwater bathing areas as reported by Member States for the beaches located within their territory. This year the report is being published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which is also making available on its website maps and tables with detailed information on specific bathing areas.
The overall quality of bathing waters in the EU has markedly improved since 1990. Compliance with mandatory values (minimum quality requirements) increased over the 1990 to 2008 period from 80% to 96% and from 52% to 92% in coastal and inland waters respectively. From 2007 to 2008 compliance increased both for inland and coastal waters (by 1.1 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively).
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