EU Science Hub

The State of Soil in Europe : A contribution of the JRC to the European Environment Agency’s Environment State and Outlook Report— SOER 2010

This report presents a pan-European perspective on the state soil in Europe in light of available data held within the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and the research activities within the Joint Research Centre’s Soil Action. Managed by the JRC on behalf of EU institutions, the ESDAC operates as a focal point for pan-European data and information on soil. The core of this report was prepared as the Soil Assessment (EEA, 2010f) of the ‘Environment — state and outlook 2010 Report’, generally referred to as the SOER 2010. Coordinated by the European Environment Agency, the SOER series is aimed primarily at policymakers, in Europe and beyond, involved with framing and implementing policies that could support environmental improvements in Europe. The information also helps European citizens to better understand, care for and improve Europe's environment. The soil assessment was one of a set of 13 Europe-wide thematic assessments of key environmental themes and the only one coordinated by the JRC. The initial contribution from the JRC to the SOER exercise has been updated with additional material that could not be included in the SOER due to space restrictions, together with supplementary information that was not available at the time of the publication of the original text. The report describes the knowledge and understanding of the state of soil in Europe and the main trends, outlook and policy responses for the key processes affecting soil resources in Europe. Unfortunately, our knowledge base on many of the key functions of soil that deliver vital environmental services and goods are still poorly developed. This aspect will be a key focus of the activities of the Soil Action for the next SOER, foreseen for 2015. A set of pertinent issues and facts from the assessment are presented in the Key Messages section that can be found at the start of this report. Much more information and data can be found that the web sites of the ESDAC ( or the JRC Soil Action ( All SOER 2010 outputs are available on the SOER 2010 website:
JRC wide hidden block