This is the third pan-European state of the environment report produced by the EEA. It was prepared for the 'Environment for Europe' Ministerial Conference being held under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Kiev, Ukraine on 21-23 May 2003. This assessment is the most comprehensive up-to-date overview currently available of the state of the environment on this continent. In contrast to previous reports issued in 1995 and 1998, it covers for the first time the entire Russian Federation and the 11 other Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) states. The report also analyses how the main economic driving forces put pressure on the European environment and identifies key areas where further action is needed.