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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-profit-making organisations

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 non-profit-making organisations (NPOs). 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 call for proposals for NGO operating grants in 2014 closed on 15 October 2013. The call for proposals for NPOs in 2015 will be launched by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in September 2014. See a provisional calendar below.

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

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 NPOs 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 NPOs 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 NPOs play an important role is awareness raising and environmental and/or climate education.

What organisations can apply for funding?

Entities that wish to apply for funding under this programme must be non-profit-making and independent environmental and/or climate non-governmental organisations. They must also be active at the European level (have activities and members in at least three EU Member States). National NPOs are not targeted by this programme.

What is the application procedure and how are organisations selected?

The operating grants are awarded on a yearly basis. Calls for proposals are published once a year here on this web site. 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?

  • As provided by the new LIFE regulation, instead of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) we refer now to non-profit-making organisations (NPOs), which include, for example, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and networks of non-profit making entities.
  • The call is now managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), while DG Environment and DG CLIMA are responsible for policy development and the "legacy" of NGOs funded up until 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.
Provisional calendar
call for proposals for NGOs and non profit making entities in 2015
Launching of call 03 September 2014
Deadline for sending proposals 15 October 2014
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

Information day - LIFE operating grants for NPOs
The info-day on LIFE operating grants for NPOs is planned on Wednesday 10 September 2014 in Brussels (14:00-18:00).
Venue address: Covent Garden 2 building, place Rogier 16, room 190, 10th floor.
The agenda will be published soon.
Registrations will open by the end of July (deadline: 31st August).


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