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Environment Policy

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Integration of environmental issues
in different socio-economic development fields



Regulation (EC) No. 1655/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 17 July 2000 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE), OJ L 192 of 28.7.2000.


Legal References

  • Council Regulation (EEC) No 1973/92 of 21 May 1992, OJ L 206, 22.07.92, establishing a Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE), amended by Regulation (EC) No 1404/96, OJ L 181, 20.07.1996.



The purpose of LIFE-Environment is to contribute to the development of innovative and integrated techniques and methods and to further development of Community environment policy.


Target public / beneficiaries

All natural and legal persons established in the European Union who wish to propose and implement projects within the territory of the Member States. The participation of SMEs is strongly encouraged.

It is also open to the candidate countries for accession of Central and Eastern Europe in accordance with the conditions referred to in the Association agreements concluded with those countries and on the basis of provisions of the decision of the Association Council competent for each country concerned. The Candidate countries participating in Life-Environment are: Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia.



Life-Environment Demonstration Projects

The deadline for submitting LIFE-Environment demonstration projects to the Commission via the National Authorities has been provisionally set for 30 November 2000. Before this date, each Member State has to set its own deadline for the presentation of projects to the competent National Authorities.

The dates are available at the following address:

Life-environment Preparatory Actions

These actions are subject to separate calls for proposals from the Commission.

Life-environment Accompanying Measures

These actions are subject to separate calls for proposals from the Commission.

The Commission shall fix annually the date of forwarding proposals.


Eligible measures

The following projects and/or measures shall be considered eligible for funding under LIFE-Environment:

a. Demonstration projects which:

  • integrate environmental considerations into sustainable land use development and planning, including in urban and coastal areas;

  • promote the management of groundwater and surface water;

  • prevent economic activities having a negative impact on the environment, notably through the development of clean technology and by placing the emphasis on prevention, including the reduction of emissions of gases having a greenhouse effect;

  • prevent, reuse, recover and recycle waste of all kinds;

  • reduce production activities having a negative impact on the environment, including the development of environmentally-friendly products.

b. Projects which are preparatory to the development of new Community environmental actions and instruments and/or to the updating of environmental legislation and policies;

c. Accompanying measures required to:

  • distribute information on the exchange of experience between projects;

  • evaluate, monitor and promote the actions undertaken during the implementation phase of LIFE and during the first two phases.


Rural Dimension/Example of action in rural area

In recent years, the mountain forests of Veneto (Italy) have experienced widespread degradation due to human desertion, which has threatened the natural balance and biodiversity of the region.

According to the projectís co-ordinators, Veneto Agricoltura (primary sector regional authority) and Ambiente Italia (research institute), the solution s to this problem can be found in the joint management of forestry operations, the development of biomass energy and the establishment of courses of vocational training. This project is also being supported by a range of bodies: the Municipality of Belluno, the Province of Belluno, IAL Veneto (vocational training institute) and Studio Landscape (professional forestry agency).

The project will be implemented over three years (January 1999- January 2002) and has been allocated EUR 364m under LIFE-Environment funding. The results of the project will be available to the public through workshops and guided visits to the forests as well as a website and the national press.


Nature and amount of financial support

Financial assistance shall be provided by co-financing of projects and accompanying measures and is subject to the following limits:

  • 30% of the cost in the case of income generating projects. In this case, the beneficiariesí financial contribution is expected to be at least as much as that of the Community,

  • 50% of the cost of other actions.

  • Maximum of 100% of the cost of the accompanying measures.


European Union financial support

Of the total budget for the third phase of LIFE 2000-2004 (EUR 640m), 47% has been earmarked for LIFE-Environment.



Demonstration projects

Each demonstration project shall be submitted to the competent administration designated by the Member State or candidate Central and Eastern European country for accession. The Member States or Candidate countries shall then submit proposals for projects to the Commission before the final date of submission (31 November 2000).

When a project concerns several countries, it must be forwarded by the country in which the co-ordinator is established. The selection of the projects is the responsibility of the Commission with the assistance of a panel of independent experts from various sectors.

If a project is selected and awarded, the project co-ordinators are obliged to report on the activities and results of their demonstration project. A progress report will be submitted twice a year from the date of commencement of the project. The submission of an interim report is necessary to receive the second advance of the Community financial support of 30%. The final report will be submitted within three months of the official end date of the project as agreed by the Commission. For the implementation of LIFE-Environment, a committee composed of representatives from Member States assists the Commission.

Preparatory projects and accompanying measures

Preparatory projects and accompanying measures shall be the subject of calls for expressions of interest to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.


Communication means

LIFE-Environment 2000 information package consists of:

  • LIFE-Environment Application Guide version 2 - Financial support for the EC instrument for the environment (June 2000). Available languages: German, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Finnish, Greek, Danish and Swedish.

  • LIFE-Environment Application Forms version 2 - Financial support for the EC instrument for the environment (June 2000). Available languages: German, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Finnish, Greek, Danish and Swedish.

    The information package version 2 can be downloaded from the Commissionís web site at the following address:


Additional Sources of information for Life-Environment

  • European Commission
    Directorate-General Environment
    Unit ENV.B.4
    BU-5 05/140
    200 rue de la Loi,
    B-1049 BRUSSELS
    Fax: +32 2 296 95 61


    date of publication: 09/2000

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