Ninety-four per cent of bathing sites in the European Union meet minimum standards for water quality. Water quality is excellent at 78 % of sites and almost 2 % more sites meet the minimum requirements compared to last year's report. Cyprus and Luxembourg stand out with all bathing sites achieving excellent water quality. Eight other countries have excellent quality values above the EU average: Malta (97 %), Croatia (95 %), Greece (93 %), Germany (88 %), Portugal (87 %), Italy (85 %), Finland (83 %) and Spain (83 %).
The report is based on data from the 2012 bathing season. Spite the general improvement, this year's report reveals that almost 2 % of bathing sites have poor water quality. Some countries still have high rates of non-compliant bathing sites, like Belgium (12 %), the Netherlands (7 %) and the United Kingdom (6 %).
In general, coastal bathing sites score highly, with more than 95 % of EU sites meeting the minimum requirements and 81 % rated as excellent. In comparison, 91 % of bathing waters in lakes and rivers score above the minimum threshold and 72 % have excellent quality.