Bathing Water: Commission moves against France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Italy

The European Commission has given a final warning to France and sent formal notices to Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Italy for failure to comply with the Bathing Water Directive.


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For France, Denmark and Italy, the deadline for compliance with the parameters of the Directive was 1985. In the case of Finland and Sweden, it was 1995.

The decision against France relates to a failure since 1995 to monitor bathing waters for the obligatory parameter, “total coliforms”. In 1998, the Commission started a concerted set of procedures for non-monitoring of this parameter.

The decisions taken against Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Italy arise from evidence contained in the annual bathing water reports. These reports show persistent non-compliance with both binding standards and sampling requirements in the four Member States. Details are shown below:

Finland, coastal zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 25%, non-complying zones: 2%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 19,8%, non-complying zones: 0,0%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 6,4%, non-complying zones: 34,0%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 4,3%, non-complying zones: 10,6%

Finland, freshwater zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 16,4%, non-complying zones: 0,5%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 22,8%, non-complying zones: 0,3%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 3,6%, non-complying zones: 35,3%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 14,9%, non-complying zones: 1,9%

Sweden, coastal zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 54,4%, non-complying zones: 0,8%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 42,2%, non-complying zones: 2,0%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 10,5%, non-complying zones: 18,0%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 10,3%, non-complying zones: 4,8%

Sweden, freshwater zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 37,4%, non-complying zones: 0,3%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 36,7%, non-complying zones: 0,6%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 21,3%, non-complying zones: 24,3%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 23,2%, non-complying zones: 2,8%

Denmark, coastal zones (Total Coliforms not measured):

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 4,3%, non-complying zones: 3,4%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,3%, non-complying zones: 1,3%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,5%, non-complying zones: 2,9%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,6%, non-complying zones: 4,1%

Denmark, freshwater zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 9,9%, non-complying zones: 5,4%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 8,0%, non-complying zones: 1,8%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 8,0%, non-complying zones: 0,9%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 3,5%, non-complying zones: 4,4%

Italy, coastal zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 2,9%, non-complying zones: 5,6%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 1,2%, non-complying zones: 6,3%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,7%, non-complying zones: 4,7%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,7%, non-complying zones: 4,9%

Italy, freshwater zones:

1995: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,4%, non-complying zones: 10,6%

1996: insufficiently sampled zones: 1,1%, non-complying zones: 9,3%

1997: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,5%, non-complying zones: 10,9%

1998: insufficiently sampled zones: 0,1%, non-complying zones: 14,1%

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