What is LIFE+?

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for environmental projects. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.

LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been three complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999 and LIFE III: 2000-2006). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3506 projects, contributing approximately €2.5 billion to the protection of the environment.

LIFE + is the new financial instrument for the period 2007-2013 and has a budget of €2.143 billion. During this period, the European Commission will launch one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year for projects linked to nature conservation, environmental technology and communication on the environmental matters through its three components: LIFE + Nature and Biodiversity LIFE + Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE + Information and Communication.

The maximum EU co-financing rate for LIFE+ projects is 50 percent of the total eligible project costs. By way of exception, a co-financing rate of up to 75 percent of the total eligible costs may be granted to LIFE+ Nature proposals that focus on concrete conservation actions for priority species or habitat types of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

LIFE+ “Nature and Biodiversity” co-finances best practice or demonstration projects that contribute to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network, so projects that contribute to the conservation of natural habitats and wildlife of EU interest.

LIFE+ “Environment Policy and Governance” co-finances innovative or pilot projects that contribute to the implementation of European environmental policy and the development of innovate policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments.

LIFE+ “Information and Communication” co-finances projects relating to communication and awareness campaigns on environmental issues as well as projects related to forest fire prevention.