BLUE FLAG HISTORY
The Blue Flag was born in France in 1985 where the first French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of criteria covering sewage treatment and bathing water quality.
Blue Flag on European level in 1987
1987 was the "European Year of the Environment" and the European Commission was responsible for developing the European Community activities of that year. The Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) presented the concept of the Blue Flag to the Commission, and it was agreed to launch the Blue Flag Campaign as one of several "European Year of the Environment" activities in the Community.
The French concept of the Blue Flag was developed on European level to include other areas of environmental management, such as waste management and coastal planning and protection. Besides beaches marinas also became eligible for the Blue Flag.
In 1987, 244 beaches and 208 marinas from 10 countries were awarded the Blue Flag.
The Blue Flag success
Since 1987 the Campaign has year after year increased in numbers of Blue Flags. The criteria have during these years been changed to more strict criteria. As an example, in 1992 the Campaign started using the restrictive guideline values in the EEC Bathing Water Directive as imperative criteria, and this was also the year where all Blue Flag criteria became the same in all participating countries.
In 2002, 2087 beaches and 737 marinas were awarded the Blue Flag.
23 countries are participating in the Blue Flag Campaign: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Iceland, Romania, Morocco, Montenegro and the Caribbean are working on establishing the Blue Flag Campaign