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Indicators and Assessments

Environmental assessment is the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or concrete projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.

One of the main tasks of the European Environment Agency (EEA) is to publish a report on the state of, trends in and prospects for the environment every five years. To date, the EEA has produced four such state of the environment reports (SOER) in 1995, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2015. The next edition is due for publication in 2020 – the working title is SOER 2020.

EEA assessments are comprehensive products which present key information and/or an integrated assessment of the state of the environment, the pressures, driving forces and societal responses. Includes reports, SOER, Signals-style publications, factsheets and country profiles.

The EEA has published a wide range of assessments based on indicators.

Environmental indicators are essential tools for assessing environmental trends, tracking progress against objectives and targets, evaluating the effectiveness of policies and communicating complex phenomena.

The EEA Indicators are designed to answer key policy questions and to support all phases of environmental policy making, from designing policy frameworks to setting targets, and from policy monitoring and evaluation to communicating to policy-makers and the public.

In 2014, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a comprehensive guide to EEA indicators “Digest of EEA indicators 2014” focused on the Core Set of Indicators (CSI). This report reflects developments and provides a comprehensive yet accessible guide to EEA indicators. It acts as a reference document and provides an overview of the EEA indicators, placing them in the context of the wider landscape of European environmental indicators. The report highlights the insights that indicators can provide on progress against environmental priorities. In summary, the digest explains 'what we have, why we have it, and how it can be used'. Read more please use the web link

The EEA's Indicator Management System (IMS) currently contains 127 indicators, covering 22 environmental topics.  The Core Set of Indicators (CSI), which is currently under revision, aims to prioritise improvements in the quality and coverage of data flows, streamline contributions to other international indicator initiatives, and provide a manageable and stable basis for indicator-based assessments of progress against environmental policy priorities. Many of the core set indicators are used in other international indicator processes implemented elsewhere, notably at the European Commission, OECD, WHO and UNECE. The set is often used as a model for indicator sets at country level. 

The indicators maintained by the European Environment Agency are listed in chronological order (the most recently updated indicators on top). More information on the EEA indicators, including definitions of the thematic sets of indicators managed by the EEA, is available on the About indicators page.


The UNECE Environmental Indicators.  The UNECE Joint Task Force revised the Guidelines for the Application of Environmental Indicators in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe. ( With this revision the online version of the Guidelines was created. In the Online Guidelines each indicator is presented through three files: description of the indicator, table for the production of the indicator, and glossary of terms. (


Document Library 

Eurostat: Communicating through indicators

Basic set of environment statistics

UNECE About Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

UNECE Online Guidelines for the Application of Environmental Indicators