LIFE is the EUs financial instrument to support environmental and nature conservation projects. It aims to support the development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and communication of EU environment and climate action legislation and policy, in particular, the priorities of the EUs Environment Action Programme to 2020. Since its launch in 1992, there have been four complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006 and LIFE+: 2007-2013). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects across the EU, contributing approximately 3.1 billion to the protection of the environment.
The European Commission (DG Environment and DG Climate Action) manages the LIFE programme. The Commission has delegated the implementation of many components of the LIFE programme to the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). External selection, monitoring and communication teams provide assistance to the Commission and EASME. The European Investment Bank will manage the two new financial instruments (NCFF and PF4EE).
The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 was adopted by a Commission Decision on 19 March 2014, after having received a positive opinion of the Committee for the LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Action on 17 February 2014. The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 contains an indicative budget, explains the selection methodology for projects and for operating grants and establishes outcome indicators for the two LIFE sub-programmes for Environment and for Climate Action. The total budget for funding projects during the period covered amounts to 1.1 billion under the sub-programme for Environment and 0.36 billion under the sub-programme for Climate Action.
Furthermore, as well as pilot, demonstration, best practice and information and communication projects, the new regulation creates several other types of project: