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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

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).

Call for proposals for LIFE Framework partnership agreements for non-governmental organisations (for funding in 2018 and 2019)

Indicative planning

The call for proposals for NGOs active in the fields of environment and climate change will be published in April 2017 and will be open for around 6 weeks. Selected NGOs will sign a Framework Partnership Agreement covering the financial years 2018 and 2019. Those NGOs will be then asked to submit their first yearly work programme in view of signing a Specific Grant Agreement for 2018.  


NGOs operating grants 2017 kick-off meeting

A kick-off meeting for NGOs will take place in early 2017 at the premises of EASME. A total of 31 NGOs working on climate and environmental policies will be funded in 2017 through the award of an operating grant (view list below). The meeting will provide an opportunity for clarifying contractual and financial issues, discussing simplifications as well as for an exchange on the contributions of the NGOs to policy advocacy and implementation.


NGOs funded in 2017
2° Investing Initiative European Association of Zoos and Aquaria Friends of the Earth Europe
CEE Bankwatch Network Health Care Without Harm Europe
European Cyclists' Federation
BirdLife Europe European Environmental Bureau
Health & Environment Alliance
Climate Action Network Europe  
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements EU Group
Coalition Clean Baltic EUROPARC Federation Justice & Environment
Eurosite Nature Code
Carbon Disclosure Project Europe
CEEweb for Biodiversity Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU NGO Shipbreaking Platform
Third Generation Environmentalism
Pesticide Action Network Europe Seas at Risk Slow Food
European Federation for Transport & Environment
Wetlands International - European Association  WWF European Policy Programme
WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme Zero Waste Europe

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 participate in preparatory work and expert groups and conduct research and studies, for instance to feedback and help shape European policies. Another example of an area where NGOs play an important role is awareness raising and environmental and/or climate education.

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 the past, between 25 and 30 organisations have been selected for funding each year. Lists of NGOs funded since 1997 are available here.


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