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 bathing waters located within their territory. The report has been prepared by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). In addition to the report, other detailed information on specific bathing areas, including maps and tables, is available at the EEA server.
Overall in 2011, 92.1 % of bathing waters in the EU met the minimum water quality standards set by the bathing water directives. The proportion of bathing waters with excellent quality (or complying with the more stringent guide values) increased by 3.5 percentage points compared to 2010, reaching 77.1 %. The share of non-compliant bathing waters was 1.8 %, a 0.1 percentage point increase from 2010. In 2011, 207 bathing waters were banned or closed (1 %), i.e. 57 more than in the 2010 season.
The annual EU wide report and the country reports are available.
Press Release IP/12/501: "Clean water at majority of EU holiday destinations".