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Natura 2000 Funding Opportunities

Financing Natura 2000

The Commission has published studies on the economic benefits of the Natura 2000 network, a number of specific case studies on innovative approaches to financing Natura 2000 and a tool kit for assessing the socioeconomic benefits of Natura 2000. These can be accessed from the following link:

In its 2004 Communication on the Financing of Natura 2000, the Commission presented ideas on how the financial needs of Natura 2000 can be integrated into the different Community Funds and what measures can possibly be financed by them.

A guidance handbook was prepared to assist authorities to identify the opportunities for EU co-financing of Natura 2000 and encourage these opportunities to be fully incorporated into national and regional funding programmes. The handbook is also a source of valuable ideas as to how specific management measures could be financed in the future. The most recent edition is covering the period 2014-2020 and has a two-part structure, with separate volumes for Part I and Part II:


European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

This fund adopted in 2014 not only supports the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, but also the Integrated Maritime Policy. It can be used to promote the competitive, environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible fisheries. Potential project areas that may be of interest in relation to Natura 2000 include those concerned with:

  • The design and implementation of conservation measures and regional cooperation;
  • Limitation of the impact of fishing on the marine environment and adaptation of fishing to the protection of species;
  • Innovation linked to the conservation of marine biological resources;
  • Protection and restoration of marine biodiversity and ecosystems in the framework of sustainable fishing activities.


2016 Call for proposals for LIFE Action Grants

The Commission invites legal persons (entities) registered in the European Union (EU) to present proposals for the 2016 Call for proposals for LIFE Action Grants. The call covers proposals for both LIFE sub-programmes.

For the sub-programme for Environment, this call will cover action grants for "Traditional" projects, Preparatory projects, Integrated projects, Technical Assistance projects.

For the sub-programme for Climate Action,, this call will cover action grants for "Traditional projects", Integrated projects, Technical Assistance projects.

For more information go visit the official website here.


LIFE 2014-2020

The LIFE Regulation on the establishment of the Programme for the Environment and Climate Action,  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.

01 June 2015 The LIFE programme launched two calls for proposals, underlining its commitment to supporting projects that protect the environment and tackle the impact of climate change. More information is available from the call page:

2015 Call for proposals for LIFE Grants.

"Traditional" projects

"Traditional" projects cover the following priority areas:

 "Traditional" projects may be best-practice, demonstration, pilot or information, awareness and dissemination projects (ie similar to LIFE+ Nature, Biodiversity,  Environment and Information projects), depending on the priority area (see  below).  Best practice projects apply appropriate, cost-effective and  state-of-the-art techniques, methods and approaches taking into account the  specific context of the project; demonstration  projects put into practice, test, evaluate and disseminate actions,  methodologies or approaches that are new or unknown in the specific context of  the project, such as the geographical, ecological, socio-economic context, and  that could be applied elsewhere in similar circumstances; pilot projects apply a technique or method that has not been  applied or tested before, or elsewhere, that offer potential environmental or  climate advantages compared to current best practice and that can subsequently  be applied on a larger scale to similar situations; information, awareness and dissemination projects aim at supporting  communication, dissemination of information and awareness raising in the fields  of the sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action. 


Preparatory projects

Preparatory projects (sub-programme  for Environment only, not for Climate Action) address  specific needs for the development and implementation of Union environmental or  climate policy and legislation. The specific topics are indicated in the  application guide.


Integrated projects

Integrated projects (sub-programme for Environment, not for Climate Action)are  projects implementing on a large territorial scale (regional, multi-regional,  national or trans-national scale) environmental or climate plans or strategies  required by specific Union environmental or climate legislation, developed  pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' authorities,  primarily in the areas of nature (including Natura 2000 network management),  water, waste, air and climate change mitigation and adaptation*, while ensuring  involvement of stakeholders and promoting the coordination with and  mobilisation of at least one other relevant Union, national or private funding  source. * Note that this year's call does  not include integrated projects for Climate Action.


Technical Assistance projects

Technical Assistance projects (sub-programme for Environment, not for Climate Action)provide,  by way of action grants, financial support to help applicants prepare  integrated projects.


Capacity Building projects

Capacity Building projects provide financial support to activities required  to build the capacity of Member States, including LIFE national or regional  contact points, with a view to enabling Member States to participate more  effectively in the LIFE Programme.

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INTERREG – New funding period 2015 – 2020 offers opportunies for Natura 2000

Europe’s regional funds provide opportunities for the implementation and management of Natura 2000 network. In the first half of 2015, the first calls for proposals for the new funding period will be launched. Read more about the various strands below.


Strand B – Transnational cooperation

INTERREG Baltic Sea Region – first call for applications closed on 2 February 2015

It is planned to launch the second call during the first quarter of 2016.

Partner Search:


INTERREG North Sea Region

Second call: January - March 2016 The North Sea Region Programme 2014 - 2020 invites the submission of applications for funding under all programme priorities from 15 January to 14 March 2016.

INTERREG North Sea Conference 2016 - Building blocks for the future, 15 - 16 June 2016, Hotel Legoland, Billund, Denmark


INTERREG North-West Europe Programme 2014-2020 – call for proposals, deadline 17 May 2015

The Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Programme’s mission for 2014-2020 is to produce measurable positive change in the North-West Europe territory.

3rd call: deadline 31 May 2016

For more information and the most recent calls please visit the Programme website:


INTERREG Central Europe

The second call for proposals will open soon after the funding decision in April 2016

For more information and the most recent calls please visit the Programme website:


INTERREG South West Europe (Southwest France, Spain and Portugal)

The programme for 2015 / 2020 has not yet been approved, and therefore the priorities are not yet known. Check the website regularly for the announcement of the calls the programme has funded many projects relevant to Natura 2000 and biodiversity in the past funding periods.

7 - 8 October 2015 in Santander Kick-off Seminar of the Programme was held.

For more information and the most recent calls please visit the Programme website:


INTERREG Mediterranean Programme

The programme for 2014 - 2020 is in the process of being approved. The first meeting of the MED Monitoring Committee is scheduled for April 2015. Finalisation, approval and official launch of the MED Cooperation Programme is expected in May 2015.

Kick-off of the Programme: 23 June 2015.

Most relevant for the management of Natura 2000 areas: Under Axis 3 – Natural and Cultural Resources – Specific Objective 3.2.: To maintain biodiversity and natural ecosystems through strengthening the management and networking of protected areas.

For more information and the most recent calls please visit the new Programme website:


INTERREG Balkan-Mediterranean

The “Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020” is a new cooperation programme, deriving from both, the split of the “South East 2007 – 2013” and the strong will of the “Balkan-Mediterranean” participating countries to promote cooperation in the area. The programme brings together five (5) countries, three (3) EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece) and two (2) candidate countries, Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

1st Call for Project Proposals: Deadline 15 April 2016

For more information and the most recent calls please visit the new Programme website:


Strand C – Interregional cooperation

Find INTERREG IVC project partners

The INTERREG EUROPE programme has funded succesful interregional cooperation biodiversity projects including Common Land for sustainable management, Green Infrastructure Network, Periurban Parks - Improving Environmental Conditions in Suburban Areas, REgional exchanges and policy making for protecting and valorising biodiVERSity in Europe and Sustainable Use of Regional Funds for Nature. The call for proposals for the first year of the new funding round 2015 -2020 is expected to be launched in Spring 2015. In advance of the call , consortia are forming and the programme has developed a project partner and project idea databases. You are welcome to register and search for other people/ institutions with similar interests, publish your project idea and check what ideas others have. The project idea already contains a number of ideas potentially relevant for the Natura 2000 community, including Game management in the EU’s rural and mountain areas and Churnet Valley, A true ‘landscape scale’ based approach to conserving and enhancing natural assets. Ideas are added regulrly, so have a look or post your own idea.

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