The European Respiratory Society's report said deaths due to lung cancer and COPD are set to rise over the coming decades.
It found respiratory diseases cause 661,000 deaths each year among the 28 EU countries, costing at least €390bn to healthcare budgets and economies.
The UK mortality rate for lung diseases stands at 112 deaths per 100,000 population. Among EU countries, only Belgium (117), Denmark (117) and Ireland (114) have higher death rates from these conditions.
Sweden and Cyrus have the lowest rates in the EU, at 56 and 57 deaths per 100,000 respectively.
Across the EU each year, lung diseases cause at least six million hospital admissions and over 43 million in-patient bed-days.
The report said the overall respiratory disease burden will stay stable over the next 20 years, as a predicted rise in COPD and lung cancer will be offset by a fall in respiratory infections.
The society's president, Professor Francesco Blasi, said: 'Both the prevention and treatment of lung diseases will need to be improved if their impact on longevity, quality of life of individuals and economic burden on society are to be reduced in Europe and worldwide.'
Preventive measures, such as reducing smoking and improving air quality, need to be used more effectively and more widely, the society said.
GP will be reporting from the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress 2013, to be held in Barcelona, Spain from 7-11 September.
Visit GPonline.com for the latest clinical news from the event.