Sunday

28th Aug 2016

More bathing bans at Italian beaches than anywhere in Europe

  • Safest way to enjoy an Italian beach (Photo: Stuck in Customs)

The quality of bathing waters at European beaches, both inland and at the seaside, have improved steadily over recent years.

As of last year, a full 96 percent of coastal beaches met EU minimum standards and 90 percent of beaches next to rivers and lakes, according to the latest annual "bathing water report" from the European Commission.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

This is up from an 80 percent compliance rate for seasides in 1990 and 52 percent for inland waters.

"Over the last 30 years, EU and national legislation has significantly improved the quality of Europe's bathing waters but our work does not end here," said environment commissioner Janez Potocnik upon the report's publication on Thursday (10 June).

"Despite our decade-long track record of high quality, we need to keep up the effort constantly to both improve and maintain what we have achieved."

Almost all the seaside beaches in Cyprus, France, Greece and Portugal complied with the EU's tougher "guide values."

However, some two percent of coastal bathing sites had to be banned in 2009 and most of these were in one member state - Italy.

Additionally, just 46.4 percent of Italian inland bathing sites met the EU's minimum quality levels last year, down 19.4 percent from 2008.

The findings prompted the commissioner to suggest he would not go swimming in the country.

"Italy has work to do," he said. "I don't know about the discrepancies, but I'm swimming on the other side."

Freshwater bathing sites showed greater variation in their water quality, according to the commission, but the best lakeside or riverside places to swim are in Finland, France, Germany and Sweden.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey