The European Parliament today voted to adopt the LIFE programme, the EU funding programme for environment and climate protection projects in the EU and policy preparation by the Commission (2014-20). Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA environment spokesperson Margrete Auken said:
"The LIFE programme, adopted by MEPs today, gets the priorities largely right for EU environment and climate action until 2020. LIFE has a proven track record as a cost-effective programme, which delivers for the environment and has wider economic and social benefits, and is a prime example of the value-added provided by EU funding in member states. While the limited funding allocated to the programme is a source of regret, there was no scope to increase the budget, following the deal on the multiannual financial framework.
"The proposals to limit national earmarking will help ensure only the merits of the project count for financing under the programme. The higher co-financing rate for priority species and habitats protected under EU legislation, as well as for nature and biodiversity in general, is very welcome. LIFE funds will be available for projects in Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) in certain cases, which is important as some of the EU's most important biodiversity hotspots are there. Provisions to integrate administrative costs in LIFE projects for NGOs will decrease the economic burden of administration."