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European Blue Flag for beach quality

Last modified: 2002-12-07 by ivan sache
Keywords: blue flag | beach quality | foundation for environmental education in europe |
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[European Blue Flag]by Jorge Candeias & Ivan Sache

Source: A picture in 20 Minutes (French edition, 12 May 2002)

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Description of the flag

A flag seen widely in Europe is the Blue Flag awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE).
The blue flag is a widely recognised eco-label. This is awarded to beaches and marinas where environmental protection is a high priority in site management and information encourages care for the environment.

The award of the Blue Flag is presently based on 27 specific criteria for beaches and 16 specific criteria for marinas. Though the specific requirements are different for the two types of sites, they cover the same four aspects:

- Water Quality
- Environmental Education and Information
- Environmental Management
- Safety and Services.

Some criteria are imperative whereas other are guideline criteria.

All Blue Flags are only awarded for one season at a time. By renewing the award each season the Campaign ensures that the beaches and marinas are constantly living up to the criteria. If some of the imperative criteria are not fulfilled during the season or the conditions change, the Blue Flag will be withdrawn.

Pascal Gross, 14 August 2000

Note that the flag should have inscribed in white characters in the canton the year for which it was granted and in the lower hoist the acronym Feee and copyright sign. That's because the flag is granted for one year only, and the next year the competition starts anew. However, the small promotional table flags that I have seen, none of them had the year and acronym. 

In Croatia the year is written with a dot after the year (e.g. 2002.), which is the gramatical proper form in Croatian.

Only the flags that are really hoisted on the beaches and other appropriate sites contain the year and acronym. Small table flags seen in hotel receptions and such places, as well as most of the promotional posters explaining the flag, do not contain those numbers/acronym.

 Zeljko Heimer, 22 May 2002

Participating countries

The Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation consisting of Member organisations representing 25 European countries.

The program of the European Blue Flag has been working since 15 years.

The countries participating to the program are:

Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Netherlands | Norway | Portugal | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Turkey | United Kingdom

More than 2,400 beaches and marinas are now participating in the Programe.

Santiago Tazon, 4 June 2001