The LIFE programme

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.

LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been three complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999 and LIFE III: 2000-2006). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3104 projects across the EU, contributing approximately € 2.2 billion to the protection of the environment.

LIFE+ (2007 ­ 2013)

The current phase of the programme, LIFE+, runs from 2007-2013 and has a budget of € 2.143 billion. The legal basis for LIFE+ is the Regulation (EC) No 614/2007. 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.