LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries.
Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects, contributing approximately €3.1 billion to the protection of the environment. LIFE+, the Financial Instrument for the Environment, entered into force with the publication of the
Regulation in the Official Journal L149 of 9 June 2007 LIFE+ (2007 – 2013).
The current phase of the programme, LIFE+, runs from 2007-2013 and has a budget of €2.143 billion. LIFE+ covers both the operational expenditure of DG Environment and the co-financing of projects. According to Article 6 of the LIFE+ Regulation, at least 78 percent of the LIFE+ budgetary resources must be used for project action grants (i.e. LIFE+ projects).
During the period 2007-2013, the European Commission will launch one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year. Proposals must be eligible under one of the programme’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance, and LIFE+ Information and Communication.
They concluded that while LIFE remained a crucial, successful and effective financial instrument for achieving EU environmental policy objectives, it required some modifications in order to fulfil its EU added-value potential.
The Commission therefore launched a discussion process on the future of LIFE+ from 2014 onwards; with a view to designing a future EU financial instrument (a continuation of LIFE+) that would best address the needs of the environment and climate protection.
LIFE+ is open to public or private bodies, actors or institutions registered in the European Union. Project proposals can either be submitted by a single beneficiary or by a partnership which includes a coordinating beneficiary and one or several associated beneficiaries. They can be either national or transnational, but the actions must exclusively take place within the territory of the 27 Member States of the European Union.