The system for evaluating completed projects funded through the LIFE programme was first introduced by the Commission for the LIFE-Environment component, following an initiative taken by Sweden and the Netherlands. A set of 'best practice' criteria was agreed upon by the national authorities at a meeting in the city of Malmö in Sweden (on 27-28 April 2005). These criteria addressed the key issues of projects' contribution to immediate and long-term environmental, economic and social improvements; their degree of innovation and transferability; their relevance to policy and their cost-effectiveness. Since 2009, this exercise has also been extended to LIFE Nature projects.
The overall objective of the Best Projects exercise is to help improve the dissemination of LIFE project results by clearly identifying those projects whose results, if widely applied, could have the most positive impact on the environment.
All projects completed within the reference period (January to December) are initially technically assessed by the LIFE Unit's External Assistance Team to produce a first list of Best Projects. The final selection is undertaken by the Member States. Five projects out of the final selection are selected as Best of the Best (BoBs).
Twelve Best Projects exercises have been carried out so far, the latest are linked below:
The results of the previous Best Projects exercises were published in a yearly publication.