The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released its fourth assessment report on the environmental situation in 53 European countries, highlighting significant air pollution, biodiversity loss and poor water quality across the region.

The EEA, a 150-staff EU agency based in Copenhagen, has been publishing various reports on the state of Europe's natural environment for over 15 years. The third comprehensive assessment report, released in 2003, presented a 'bleak' picture of Europe's environment.

Other EEA reports are published more frequently and include a 2006 report on climate change policies and a 2005 report to the Parliament, which highlighted a shift in the policy priorities of the enlarged EU towards less stringent environmental policies. Issues Presented to delegates in Belgrade during the sixth ministerial conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 'Environment for Europe' process, the EEA's fourth assessment report provides an overview of the environmental progress made by the pan-European region - stretching from Western Europe across the Balkans and Eastern Europe to Central Asia - over the last five to seven years.

The report points to the environmental impact of agriculture, transport, energy and other economic activities, adding that "consumption and production also place an increasing demand on natural resources, putting our environment at further risk", the EEA said in a press statement.


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