As stated by the EU Press Room, “The annual bathing water report presented today by the European Commission reveals that the large majority of bathing sites across the European Union met EU hygiene standards in 2006. 96% of coastal bathing areas and 89% of bathing sites in rivers and lakes are in compliance with the mandatory values.. The removal of bathing sites from the official list has decreased but the Commission remains concerned about the delistings. The report provides useful water quality information for the millions of people who visit Europe’s beaches every summer.Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas said: ‘It is encouraging to see that the rate of compliance of freshwater bathing areas in 2006 has recovered from the disappointing decrease in 2005. I hope that this upward trend will continue and that freshwater bathing areas reach levels achieved by those in coastal areas. Despite these encouraging results I am very concerned by the number of bathing sites withdrawn from the list. Removing sites from the list because they are polluted is not a solution. Member States must instead draw up plans for cleaning up these polluted sites.’.”This Press Release is available in full text as well as the Overview of the situation in Member States.