EEA MISSION AND GOALS
In line with its Multiannual Work Programme 2014-2018 (MAWP), the EEA, according to its mission, aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvements in Europe’s environment, through the provision of relevant, reliable, timely, and targeted information to policy-making agents and the public.
The EEA operates in a complex multi-level and multi-actor governance setting at EU, national and global levels, and also works with research institutes and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The specific role of the EEA is to support policy making at the EU level and to build capacity in countries, using Eionet as its unique partnership to generate two-way quality-assured environmental data and information.
The nature of environmental challenges has evolved over decades, requiring parallel adaptations to information flows and their assessment. Looking ahead at the challenges Europe is likely to face in coming decades, there is an increasing need to speed up the adaptation of environmental information flows and assessments to support transition objectives, while maintaining and improving the knowledge base supporting established and developing policies across the policy cycle.
Continuously emerging, new and updated scientific insights into environment and climate issues improve the knowledge base for environment and climate policies. Fulfilling its science-policy interface role, the EEA will work closely together with the Joint Research Centre, ESTAT and others in seeking to influence activities under – and exploit insights coming from – the EU Framework Research Programme (Horizon 2020), that will play a major role in developing such insights.
Based on this and the mandate set out in the EEA/Eionet Regulation, the key goals of the EEA in the 2014-2018 period of the MAWP are as follows:
- To be the prime source of knowledge at European level informing the implementation of European and national environment and climate policies;
- To be a leading knowledge centre on the knowledge needed to support long-term transition challenges and objectives;
- To be the lead organisation at European level facilitating knowledge-sharing and capacity-building in the field of environment and climate change.
KEY ACTIVITIES IN 2015
The Annual Work Programme 2015 (AWP 2015) will continue many lines of work from previous annual work programmes along with some new emphases. Across the four strategic areas structuring the MAWP 2014-2018, the highlights for 2015 are:
Strategic area 1: Informing policy implementation
- implement key monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) provisions under climate change mitigation legislation, and support the lead-up to UNFCCC CoP 21 in Paris;
- support the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020;
- prepare for the 2016 country reporting on the second round of River Basin Management Plans under the Water Framework Directive (WFD);
Strategic area 2: Assessing systemic challenges
- publish, promote and evaluate SOER 2015;
- prepare support to the monitoring and evaluation of the 7th EAP;
- further develop the knowledge base for transitions, including green/circular economy transitions, through work for example on foresight, uncertainty and risk, and socio-technical systems, especially food.
Strategic area 3: Knowledge co-creation, sharing and use
- improve online access to the latest SOER data and information ( referred to as ‘SOE-online’);
- support the further implementation of Inspire across thematic areas;
- use data from Copernicus to improve the timeliness and quality of EEA products and services;
- communicate around the above issues, focusing on SOER 2015, the lead-up to CoP 21 in Paris, biodiversity, and efforts in connection with the UN Year of Soil.
Strategic area 4: EEA Management
- continue the EEA leadership programme;
- continue the implementation of new Staff and Financial Regulation;
- develop a new personnel database and leave-management system.
The annual work programme will be undertaken with Eionet partners (National Focal Points, National Reference Centres and European Topic Centres), cooperating countries, and a wide range of partner institutions, including the European Commission’s Directorate Generals, government departments and agencies, international conventions, UN bodies, the scientific technical and research communities, the private sector, and civil society, in order to assure the relevance and quality of the data, information and analyses that we provide.
INFORMING POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
MAWP 2014-2018 goals and objectives
Improve content, accessibility and use of European-level environmental information by providing policy-relevant feedback to long-established and emerging policy frameworks, objectives, and targets through reporting on progress in recognised environmental themes across the DPSIR assessment chain.
- Tailor, harmonise and speed up data flows (including near-real time where appropriate), and their integration in information systems for the production of indicators and assessments in order to be relevant and up to date by, in particular, providing targeted technical and methodological assistance to reporting obligations and information requirements under the legislative processes and related SIIFs;
- Timely provision, analysis and dissemination of data sets, indicators and assessments across the policy cycle for the themes and sectors of most relevance for achieving environmental policy implementation and effectiveness analysis at different geographical scales;
- Close important information gaps by further developing concepts, analytical methods, and indicators to better understand the inter-linkages between different themes and sectors in support of enhanced policy coherence;
- Mainstream new data and information needs through incorporating the outcomes of EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (7th EAP) and Horizon 2020 research projects, as well as of similar ventures at national and international level;
- Continuous active engagement with stakeholders as a policy-science interface across themes and sectors to ensure relevant findings are taken up and used, thereby contributing to the achievement of significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment.
Key performance indicators
- Measurable uptake of EEA findings in policy documents;
- Measurable and acknowledged contribution to reporting processes under EU comitology and multi-lateral agreements;
- Timely and reliable delivery of annual briefings and workshops, as well as assessments, indicators, databases, and information services, based on a timetable agreed with EEA stakeholders.
AIR POLLUTION, TRANSPORT AND NOISE
To support and inform policy development and implementation in the areas of air pollution, transport and environment, and noise by means of data, information/indicators, and assessments.
Multiannual performance indicators
- Data reported by EEA member countries collected, processed, quality-assured, stored, and disseminated according to agreed deadlines in a timely manner;
- EEA member countries assisted effectively in their reporting, and capacity-building support provided as needed;
- EEA member countries and the European Commission supported in a timely manner with relevant analysis and compilations of reported information and with direct policy support;
- EEA information systems adapted and improved to accommodate changes in reporting and user needs;
- Sound, timely, and policy-relevant indicators and assessments, including policy effectiveness assessments of air pollution, transport and environment and noise, interactions between various environmental areas and policies, and impacts on health, on the environment, climate change and on the economy.
Highlights for 2015
- Further developing EEA information systems to support countries with the reporting of data, particularly under the new or amended reporting regimes for the Fuel Quality Directive, air quality data (AQ e-reporting), and air emissions data under the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive and the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), and CO2 emissions from new vehicles;
- Producing targeted reports assessing the state of Europe’s air and noise pollution and associated impacts on human health and the environment, and the integration of environmental considerations into transport policies;
- Continuing support to countries and the European Commission by producing data and statistics, fact sheets and indicators tracking progress towards the achievement of targets as defined in relevant EU and international legislation and the implementation of targeted measures, including the long-term objectives of minimising impacts from air pollution and the decarbonisation of the transport sector, etc.