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LIFE (2014-2020)

The LIFE Regulation, which was published on 20 December 2013, sets a budget for the next funding period, 2014–2020, of €3.4 billion in current prices. View the LIFE Regulation

Information day - LIFE operating grants for NGOs

The info-day on LIFE operating grants for non-governmental organisations was held on Wednesday 10 September 2014, in Brussels at EASME premises.
Please find the FAQ here.

A second, informal information session was held on Monday 22 September 2014. Watch a video recording of the presentation here: session 1/2 , session 2/2

EU operating grants to environmental and/or climate non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

On this page you can find information about the DG Environment and DG Climate Action programme for operating grants to European environmental and/or climate NGOs. The legal base for the programme is the LIFE Regulation which provides that "Operating grants shall support certain operational and administrative costs of non-profit making entities which pursue an aim of general Union interest, are primarily active in the field of environment or climate action and are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of Union policy and legislation." (Article 21 of the Regulation).

The 2014 call (Closed)

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) invites non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the field of environment and/or climate action to present proposals for the LIFE operating grants. These grants cover certain administrative and operational costs for the financial year 2015. The call will close on 15 October 2014. Please note that if the application is not sent by post but delivered by hand, it must arrive not later than 16:00 Brussels local time on 15 October at the Commission's central mail service.

Applicants must use the LIFE operating grants application package for the preparation of their proposals (in English only). Applications can be submitted in any official EU language, but preferably in English. The application package contains full and detailed explanations with regard to eligibility, procedures, co-funding rates and all other relevant details. It can be downloaded here.

The indicative total budget available for operating grants for this call is EUR 9 000 000. The maximum EU-funding rate is 70 % of the eligible costs of the operating budget of the beneficiary organisation for its 2015 budgetary year. The maximum amount that may be requested and awarded is fixed at EUR 900.000 per grant.

Support by national authorities: Member States may, on a voluntary basis, provide support to applicants. For further details, please contact your National Contact Point.

See a provisional calendar below.

Go directly to the 2014 call >>

Why is there a funding programme for European environmental and/or climate NGOs?

For the development and implementation of EU environmental or climate policy there needs to be an open and wide-ranging dialogue with all stakeholders. It is important that NGOs are able to take part in such a dialogue since they have a good understanding of public concerns on the environment and climate change. Their presence is important to provide a sound balance in relation to the interests of other actors.

European NGOs are for example valuable in co-ordinating and channelling the views of national organisations and citizens as input to the decision making process. For the development and implementation of environmental and/or climate policy, they also participate in preparatory work and expert groups and conduct research and studies. Another example of an area where NGOs play an important role is awareness raising and environmental and/or climate education.

What organisations can apply for funding?

Proposals may be submitted by legal entities which are:

  • legal persons
  • Independent from government/authorities, political parties and commercial organisations (statutes)
  • non-profit-making
  • legally established in:
    • one of the EU28 Member States
    • or in a third country as provided by Article 5 of the LIFE Regulation (bilateral agreement)
  • operating at European Union level with a structure and activities covering at least three European Union Member States.

National NGOs are not targeted by this Call. Please check carefully the Guide for Applicants on eligibility, selection and award criteria.

What is the application procedure and how are organisations selected?

The applications are evaluated and ranked according to a number of award criteria. These criteria relate to the extent to which the organisations can contribute to EU policy development and implementation in the priority areas of EU environmental and/or climate policy. The evaluation is made by EASME, external experts, DG Environment and DG Climate Action experts in these fields. Some other aspects are also taken into account, for example the potential for the organisation to develop and improve thanks to the funding provided.

How many and what organisations are presently funded?

The number of NGOs funded each year varies depending on the quality of the applications, the amounts applied for and the total budget available. In general, around 30 organisations are selected for funding each year. Lists of NGOs funded since 1997 is available here.

What are the major changes in 2014?

  • Climate-related objectives are taken on-board more explicitly, in line with the new regulation
  • More attention is given to the achievement of targets.
  • The call is now managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), while Directorate-General for the Environment and Directorate-General for Climate Action are responsible for policy development and the "legacy" of NGOs funded up until 2014
Provisional calendar
call for proposals for NGOs in 2015
Launching of call 03 September 2014
Deadline for sending proposals 15 October 2014
(16h00 if hand-delivered)
Notification of results February 2015
Revision and verification period February/March 2015
Closure of the selection round and dispatch of grant agreements to successful applicants April 2015



  • 2014 Frequently asked questions, including questions answered during the info-day, are available for download here.


By mail: EASME


LIFE support for environmental NGOs in 2013

LIFE brochures

LIFE support for environmental NGOs in 2013 >>

LIFE support for environmental NGOs in 2012

LIFE brochures

LIFE support for environmental NGOs in 2012 >>

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