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Below is a list of abbreviations and acronyms used at the EEA.
A glossary of environmental terms is available at the EEA web site: A-Z Glossary

AMP - Annual Management Plan

API - Application Programming Interface

An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface that a computer system or program library provides to support requests for services to be made of it by a computer program.

Acronym - An abbreviation of several words in such a way that the abbreviation itself forms a word.

Btw., an anacronym is an acronym or an abbreviation so old or familiar that no one remembers what its letters stand for, such as "foobar".

CDDA - Common Database on Designated Areas

See also: Nationally designated areas (CDDA)

CHM - Clearing-House Mechanism

Originally, a clearing-house was the depository and discount warehouse for traders leaving a 16th century marketplace in England and wanting to go home without unsold surplus stock. The word was taken quite literally those days. It meant a place for clearance. Later, the word has been adopted to describe any network of information exchange. See also:

DEM - Data Exchange Module

A tool used to input and validate data for a harmonised data collection scheme

DPSIR - Driving forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses

A causal framework for describing the interactions between society and the environment adopted by the European Environment Agency (first developed as PSR by OECD).

DTD - Data Type Definition

A definition for a harmonised representation of content in XML and SGML

DW - Data Warehouse

A periodically refreshed copy (snapshot) of the data in a database, created specifically to allow external users to query the database.

EEC - European Economic Community

See also: Full text of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (treaty of Rome).

EEA - European Environment Agency or European Economic Area

  • European Environment Agency
  • European Economic Area.

  • ETC - European Topic Centre

    EU - European Union

    The political entity founded by the Treaty on European Union, also known as the Treaty of Maastricht. See also: Full text of the Maastricht Treaty.

    EUNIS - European Nature Information System

    The information system of the ETC on Biodiversity. See also:

    Eionet - European Environment Information and Observation Network

    See also:

    FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

    A knowledge base of recurring problems and their standard solutions typically faced by computer users.


    Global Earth Observation System of Systems, intergovernmental programme; core architecture in alignment with OpenGIS Consortium (metadata/catalogue) standards.


    Support Action to the European Commission (EC) for identification and definition of needs to enable a full integration of INSPIRE, GMES, and GEOSS architectures.

    GIP - Global Implementation Plan

    The key document required by sponsors such as IDABC for steering its projects.

    GIS - Geographic Information System

    GMES - Global Monitoring for Environment and Security

    HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language

    HTML is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page. The markup tells the Web browser how to display a Web page's words and images for the user. Each individual markup code is referred to as an element (but many people also refer to it as a tag). Some elements come in pairs that indicate when some display effect is to begin and when it is to end.

    HTTP - Hyper Text Transport Protocol

    The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the set of rules for exchanging files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web.

    IDA - Interchange of Data between Administrations

    IG - Interest Group

    Collaboration areas for projects in EIONET Forum.

    INSPIRE - Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe

    Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and Council establishing the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community. Normative implementing rules and informative guidance documents on the aspects of metadata, interoperability, network services, data and service sharing are or will be adopted.

    ITTAG - Information Technology and Telematics Advisory Group

    JRC - Joint Research Centre

    The Joint Research Centre is the European Union's scientific and technical research laboratory and an integral part of the European Commission. See also:

    LDAP - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

    LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a software protocol for enabling anyone to locate organizations, individuals, and other resources such as files and devices in a network, whether on the Internet or on a corporate intranet.

    MDIAR - Monitoring, Data, Information, Assessment and Reporting value chain of the EIONET

    MS - Member States of the European Union

    The set of member countries of the EU is different from the EEA member countries, see:

    Meta - Metadata vs. metainformation

    The word meta derives from Greek, meaning "among, with, after, change" and the prefix carries the meaning of "more comprehensive or fundamental".

    In most IT contexts it means "an underlying definition or description." Thus, metadata is a definition or description of data (such as an entity-relationship data model), and metainformation is a definition or description of information (such as the Dublin core element set, or CIRCA library attributes, which are attached to documents).

    The above examples use the word in its "dictionary aspect" (what is). It sometimes also used in a "registry aspect" (where is).

    NFP - National Focal Point


    NRC - National Reference Centre



    OpenGIS Consortium leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services.

    PCP - Primary Contact Point

    PCPs are responsible at national level for coordinating requests or invitations coming from EEA or ETCs for specific topics. The initial correspondence (email, fax or traditional mail) concerning requests and invitations must be sent to the PCP with a copy to the National Focal Point. Member countries decide on a topic by topic basis whether the PCP is a National Reference Centre or the National Focal Point.

    ROD - Reporting Obligations Database

    See also:

    RSS - Rich Site Summary

    An XML data type definition that describes a channel used in portals.

    Reportnet - Common tools for reporting

    Suite of IT tools optimised to support the business processes of a data collection network building on a shared information infrastructure.

    SEIS - Shared Environmental Information System

    SERIS - State of the Environment Reporting Information System

    See also:

    SISE - Single Information Space in Europe

    SLA - Service Level Agreement

    A contractual document adopted by a service provider and a customer or users about the quality of services and responsibilities of the parties.

    SOER - State Of the Environment Report

    See also:

    SQL - Structured Query Language

    SQL is a standard interactive and programming language for getting information from and updating a database. Although SQL is both an American National Standards Institute and an International Organization for Standardization standard, many database products support SQL with proprietary extensions to the standard language. Queries take the form of a command language that lets you select, insert, update, find out the location of data, and so forth. There is also a programming interface.

    SVN - Subversion

    Repository for computer source code with version control

    TED - Tenders Electronic Daily

    See also:

    TESTA - Trans-European Services for Telematics between Administrations

    TESTA II is the backbone of IDA's IP network.

    Telematics - An information system that combines telecommunication and information processing

    Nowadays telematics is mainly used to mean customised systems that communicate with moving vehicles. Before Internet era, it was often used to describe any network. What we know today as e-EIONET was once called "EIONET's telematic network".

    UML - Unified Modelling Language

    Unified Modelling Language is a standard notation for the modelling of real-world objects as a first step in developing an object-oriented program.

    WEBDAV - Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning

    A set of extensions to the HTTP protocol, which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers.

    WFD - Water Framework Directive

    See also:

    WISE - The Water Information System for Europe

    See also:

    XHTML - Extensible HyperText Markup Language

    The Extensible HyperText Markup Language, or XHTML, is a markup language that has the same depth of expression as HTML, but with a syntax that conforms to XML syntax.

    XML - Extensible Markup Language

    XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web, intranets, and elsewhere. For example, computer makers might agree on a standard or common way to describe the information about a computer product (processor speed, memory size, and so forth) and then describe the product information format with XML. Such a standard way of describing data would enable a user to send an intelligent agent (a program) to each computer maker's Web site, gather data, and then make a valid comparison. XML can be used by any individual or group of individuals or companies that wants to share information in a consistent way.

    XSL - Extensible Stylesheet Language

    XSL is a language for creating a specification that describes how data sent over the Web using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) is to be presented to the user. For example, in an XML page that describes the characteristics of one or more automobiles for an insurance company, a set of open and close "" tags might contain the name of an auto manufacturer. Using XSL, you could tell the Web browser that the auto manufacturer name should be displayed, where to display it on a page, and that it should be displayed in a bold font. XSL is based on and extends the Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language) and the Cascading Style Sheet (Cascading Style Sheet, level 1) standards.

    e-Eionet - The electronic network that supports the functioning of the organisational Eionet

    Earlier also known as Eionet's telematic network.