Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Commission work programme concerning an experimental project for gathering, coordinating and ensuring the consistency of information on the state of the environment and natural resources in the Community, 1985-1990

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 10,5 million

Official Journal Reference

L 176 of 1985-07-06

Legislative Reference

85/338/CEE of 1985-06-27
To assess the usefulness, technical feasibility and functioning of a permanent information system on the state of the environment for Community environmental policy and to supply information useful for that policy on priority topics (biotopes, acid deposition, the Mediterranean environment).


CORINE was initially set up to provide the 1982-1986 Community action programme on the environment (Official Journal No C 46 of 17.02.1983) with consistent and comparable information on the state of the environment and natural resources in the Community for the purpose of action in the following priority areas: incorporating the environmental dimension into the other Community policies, combating local and transfrontier atmospheric pollution, protecting biotopes of major importance for nature conservation in the Community and protecting the environment in the Mediterranean region.

Data on the priority topics were collected, supplemented by a series of basic data, and organized in an operational geographic information system. Themes covered by the system include: biotopes, protected areas, air pollution (CORINAIR inventory), land and water resources, coastal and soil erosion, natural potential vegetation, land cover, water pattern, bathing water quality, soil types, climate, administrative units, coastline and national boundaries, ERDF regions, urban centres, socio-economic data, air traffic and nuclear power stations. Data from the system is available either on a magnetic support (digital form) or on a "paper" support (maps, extracts from lists, tables, reports).

The results of the programme have demonstrated that a permanent information system on the state of the Community environment is necessary and technically feasible. Furthermore, the programme has permitted the precise definition of the conditions necessary for the realization and operation of such a system. In light of these results, the Council of Environment Ministers took the decision to transform the CORINE prototype into a permanent information system within the framework of a European Environmental Agency supported by a European Environment Information and Observation Network (Council Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 of 7 May 1990, Official Journal No L 120 of 11.5.1990).


- Priority application of the programme to Community-scale problems:
. Biotopes of major importance for nature conservation in the Community:
Identification and description of these biotopes;
. Acid deposition:
To contribute to the solution of the problem of local transfrontier atmospheric pollution commonly referred to as "acid rain";
. Protection of the environment in the Mediterranean region:
To gather and organize consistent information concerning the environmental resources and characteristics most directly affected by development programmes;

- Improvement in the comparability and availability of data and in the methods of analyzing data in order to ensure the consistency of results at Community level:
. Environmental data collected in the Member States and at international level:
Organization of a process of mutual exchange of information on work underway or envisaged and the setting up of a regularly updated inventory of sources, categories and definitions of data and information systems on the environment, plus transfrontier projects and support given to the work of Member States or international organizations to improve the comparability and availability of data on a Community scale;
. Data analysis methods:
Choice of methods of processing remote sensing data, and choice of computer techniques for the management of information on the state of the environment in the Community and for ensuring the consistency of national or regional information systems.


The Commission, assisted by a Committee consisting of representatives of the Member States, was responsible for the implementation of the programme, following the guidelines set forth in the Commission communication to the Council entitled "A methodological approach to an information system on the state of the environment and the natural resources in the European Community".

The information collected is available to the public, subject to compliance with the rules of the Commission and Member States on the dissemination of information, particularly with regard to confidentiality.

In 1988 the Commission submitted a progress report to the European Parliament and to the Council with proposals for future guidelines. A final report on the results obtained was submitted to these same bodies in 1991.
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top