Today the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) confirmed the final compromise text of the Regulation on the Program for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE - L’Instrument Financier pour l’Environnement), which was negotiated by the Council and the European Parliament.
The Program LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting climate, environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU. The proposed new program builds on the existing LIFE+ Program, which is reformed to have a greater impact in addressing specific needs of the environment and climate protection.
It should become operational from beginning of 2014, and is part of the package proposed in the context of the next MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework). EUR 3,0572 billion would be allocated to it in the 2014-2020 MFF (2011 prices).
Ambassador Arūnas Vinčiūnas, Chairman of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, thanked the previous Council Presidencies for their substantial work on negotiating this important Regulation. On the Council side three Presidencies have worked to negotiate this legislative act - first the Danish Presidency, then the work was continued by the Cypriot, which initiated negotiations with the European Parliament. The negotiations with the EP were concluded by the Irish Presidency.
Ambassador Vinčiūnas will signed the letter on behalf of the Council with the compromise text attached, which will be sent to the EMPL Committee, informing that this text is acceptable to the Council and proposing that an agreement in first reading could be reached.
Launched in 1992, the LIFE Program is one of the spearheads of EU environmental funding. It has financed over 3,500 projects, contributing EUR 2.5 billion to environment protection. LIFE+, which started in 2007 and runs until 2013 with a budget of just above EUR 2.1 billion, mostly finances grants (these cover 78 % of the LIFE+ budget).