The European Commission has warned its member states to beef up their efforts to cut spam, spyware and malicious software, after research showed that up to 85 percent of all e-mail received in the European Union is unsolicited.The findings come four years after the E.U. adopted antispam legislation in the form of the e-privacy directive. "It is time to turn the repeated political concern about spam into concrete actions to fight spam," Viviane Reding, the commissioner for Information Society and Media, said in a statement on Monday.If there is no improvement by this time next year, Reding will consider introducing new legislative measures, she said.She pointed to the Netherlands as an example of how the current legal regime can be used to cut spam. Holland\u2019s spam-busting unit, known by the initials OPTA, has just five full-time staff and 570,000 euros\u00a0(US$747,000) worth of equipment, and has succeeded in cutting spam by 85 percent. \u201cI\u2019d like to see other countries achieving similar results through more efficient enforcement,\u201d Reding said.Finland was also singled out for praise. A filtering system there has cut the amount of spam to 30 percent of all e-mail, from 80 percent two years ago, the commission said.\u201cWe encourage other countries in the union to develop similar filtering means,\u201d said Martin Selmayr, Reding\u2019s spokesman, at a press conference Monday. The commission is urging other countries \u201cto lay down clear lines of responsibility to use the tools available under E.U. law effectively." Better cooperation with enforcement authorities from other countries, including countries outside the union, is essential to defeat the spammers, the commission said.The United States\u00a0remains the single biggest source of spam, accounting for 22 percent of all spam received in the E.U., the commission said. China is the second-largest source, accounting for 13 percent. France and South Korea\u00a0are tied for\u00a0third at 6 percent.The United States\u00a0and the E.U. have agreed to tackle spam through joint enforcement initiatives, the commission said.Last year, Ferris Research estimated spam to cost 39 billion euros\u00a0worldwide, while fellow researcher Computer Economics calculated malicious software to cost 11 billion euros\u00a0worldwide.The commission\u2019s latest communication on spam is available here in several languages.By Paul Meller, IDG News Service (Brussels Bureau)Keep checking in at our Security Feed for updated news coverage.