The Life Program

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

LIFE began in 1992 and to date four complete phases of the program have been carried out (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006 and LIFE +: 2007-2013). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects across the EU, contributing approximately EUR 3.1 trillion to environmental protection.The LIFE programme is managed by the European Commission (DG Environment and DG Climate Action).

The Commission has delegated the implementation of numerous components of the LIFE programme to the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). External selection, monitoring and communication teams assist the Commission and EASME. The European Investment Bank will manage the two new financial instruments (NCFF and PF4EE).

Currently, the new phase of the multiannual LIFE programme “2014-2017” has been approved by Commission Decision on 19 March 2014, having received a favourable opinion from the COMMITTEE for the LIFE Programme for Environment and Climate Action on 17 February 2014.

For the first time, LIFE project financing will also be provided through innovative financial instruments. The LIFE-Environment subprogramme contributes to one of these instruments, the Pilot Financial Instrument for Natural Capital Financing (NCFF), which falls within the scope of the Nature and Biodiversity project and will help finance biodiversity projects, among others. The work programme also includes an indicative timetable for calls for proposals for action and operational grants, as well as for the two pilot financial instruments it covers. The first calls are scheduled for May/June 2014.