European Commissioner for the Environment, Ritt Bjerregaard, has welcomed the publication, by the European Environment Agency (EEA), of the "Dobris Report" on the environmental situation in Europe. Commissioner Bjerregaard greeted this report as the first ever comprehensive analysis of the state of the environment across the whole of Europe, and a major achievement by the EEA. The report reveals that the European Union and its neighbours are facing a number of serious and significant environmental problems. It highlights the urgent need for effective action in areas such as pollution of groundwater and the detrimental effects of road transport. Pollution caused by CO emissions from cars is a particularly serious problem. The report calls for continued vigilance and an active Community policy, in cooperation with Member States, in this area. The Commission is presently in the process of reviewing the Fifth Environmental Action programme. The timely publication of the Dobris Report represents a valuable contribution to this process as the Agency's work and findings clearly underpin the need for increasingly effective environmental policy at Community level. With regard to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Dobris Report underlines the need for major environmental improvements in this region. Member States and other developed countries share a responsibility for active assistance in this area. The forthcoming Sofia Conference should, in particular, provide an important opportunity for the international Community to address the need for technical and financial assistance to Eastern Europe for environmental projects.