European bathing water quality in 2019

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details 01/2020, Number 1
Publication Date June 2020
ISBN 978-92-9480-229-3
ISSN 2315-1846
EC TH-AX-20-001-EN-N
Content Type


Bathing is an extremely popular and important leisure activity in Europe. This annual assessment of European bathing sites shows how well environmental protection measures are implemented, allowing people to make informed decisions on where to go to best enjoy Europe’s inland and coastal bathing sites.

Further information:

In 2019, countries identified 22,295 bathing sites, two thirds of which are located along the sea coasts of Europe. Bathing water quality in Europe remained high, with the minimum water quality standards being met at 95% of sites. The share of excellent sites remained stabilised at around 85%. The quality of coastal sites is generally better than that of inland sites.

Poor bathing waters constituted 1.3% of all sites in the EU in 2019. This was seen as sign of improvement in management of poor bathing sites in Europe.

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The Guardian, 08/06/2020: Only two-thirds of UK bathing waters rated excellent in EU survey
Cyprus Mail, 08/06/2020: Cyprus has cleanest bathing waters in Europe

European Commission: Press Release, 08/06/2020: Quality of Europe's bathing waters remains high, latest annual assessment finds

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