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European Commission Unveils Public Consultation Results on Environmental Financing

26 May 2011: The European Commission has published the results of the online consultation on the future of LIFE+, the EU environmental funding tool. Respondents have expressed their views on the need for a specific financial instrument for the environment and climate action, on ways to boost its added value, and on the architecture of such an instrument in the next programming period.

Specifically, stakeholders indicated that: limited resources were one of the key factors limiting the effectiveness of LIFE+; a future LIFE should focus on helping EU member States to effectively implement EU environmental policy; and the programme should also be used to address European and global challenges, contribute to sharing best practices, promote transfers of knowledge and capacity building, and raise awareness, allowing some activities to be carried out outside the EU provided that they serve specific EU policy objectives. Stakeholders also supported "Integrated Projects" - a new feature aimed at improving synergies and facilitating investments in the environmental sector.

The online consultation was complemented by: a specific survey of 147 LIFE project managers; an expert workshop held on 28 January 2011, gathering LIFE+ National Contact Points, NGOs and economic and social partners; and a parallel consultation conducted by the Committee of the Regions on the territorial impacts of the successor to LIFE+. The Commission expressed its intention to prepare a proposal for a future financial instrument for the environment and climate action by the end of 2011, taking into account the results of these consultations in a combined impact assessment and ex-ante evaluation of a successor for LIFE+. [EU Press Release]