Expert insight: LIFE 2020 Call for Proposals from NGOs on the European Green Deal (NGO4GD)

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As part of the LIFE programme’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, a special Call for Proposals has been launched to help Europe’s NGOs boost public participation in the European Green Deal. 

We spoke with Angelo Salsi - Head of Unit of the LIFE Programme at EASME – to find out more about this unprecedented move.

Why did you decide to launch this special Call towards NGOs?

NGOs are an essential part of our mechanics and the way we govern our society. A big share of our economy and labour market is made up of the non-profit sector and it has suffered greatly from the pandemic. In some cases, the impact has been worse than in other sectors.

Solidarity is alive and kicking in Brussels. We have been listening to what has been happening on the ground across EU Member States regarding the impact of Covid-19 on NGOs. LIFE wants to help in this time of crisis so that NGOs can continue operating. At the same time, we want to put the European Green Deal higher on the agenda. So, we think launching this Call will help both sides and is a win-win for all concerned.

What kind of proposals are you looking for?

You don’t necessarily have to invent new actions. You might already be working on climate, energy or environment issues. Or maybe you just need to rethink your work programme and make it more of a Green Deal driver. That’s the key – your proposal should help implement the European Green Deal.

Who can apply?

To apply, you need to be a legally registered NGO in the EU. You must primarily be working in the environment and/or climate action sector. But you will not be able to apply if you are already receiving a LIFE NGO Operating Grant.

To be sure that you are eligible, have a look at the nine criteria in our Call documents.

How can you apply?

The deadline for applying is 31 March 2021 at 5pm Brussels time. You should send your application in via email

We will then let you know the outcome of the evaluation in June or July 2021 and we will aim to sign the grant agreements with successful applicants in the Autumn.

Describe the evaluation process

Each proposal is evaluated by a panel of independent experts. The evaluation is subsequently quality checked. A panel of experts looks at the proposals to finalise the scores. The final lists of selected and rejected projects are then approved by an evaluation committee.  

The three main evaluation criteria are:

  • Quality of the proposal in terms of addressing specific needs
  • Relevance of the approach
  • Financial coherence and value for money

Is this a one-off Call? What happens if the pandemic continues?

For the moment, this is a one-off opportunity, and it was all we could offer due to budget constraints. But if the pandemic continues over the coming year, we will take stock of the situation and see if there is anything else we can do.

We certainly hope that things will improve and that NGOs across the EU will be in a better position to thrive.

Useful information to help you apply:

Recording of the recent NGO4GD session on YouTube

Call special features and eligibility + Overview of the technical forms 

Financial presentation 

Q&A summary

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