Life+ is the European Union Financial Instrument for the Environment

Life+ is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. The objective of Life+ is to contribute to the implementation of the EU’s environmental policy and legislation by funding nature conservation and environmental projects.

Projects funded by the EU financial instrument Life represent the most significant environmental projects at the national level in Finland. These projects have made significant contributions to Finnish environmental and nature conservation work for almost two decades.

The Life programme is based on the EU’s LIFE Regulation (No1293/2013) and the European Commission’s multiannual work programme for 2018–2020.

The call for proposals for Life funding takes place once a year. The application period opens in early summer and ends in the autumn. Applications are submitted using the Commission’s eProposal service. More detailed instructions on applying are available on the Commission’s Life funding website:

Preliminary schedule for the call for proposals for Life funding:

  • April 2019 Commission opens the call for Life 2019 proposals
  • 3 May 2019 Life 2019 info seminar
  • 3 May 2019 Call for applications for co-financing from the Ministry of the Environment begins
  • 22 May 2019 Workshop for application writers
  • 29 May 2019 Deadline to submit national co-financing applications to the Ministry of the Environment
  • 5 June 2019 Decisions on national co-financing announced on this website
  • June 2019 Deadline for submitting a concept note (max. 10 pages) to the Commission. The exact date will be announced later
  • June–September 2019 Commission evaluates the proposed first-phase applications
  • October 2019 Commission invites the best applicants to prepare second-phase applications
  • January 2020 Second-phase applications submitted to the Commission
  • June 2020 Contracts signed, projects may begin

Co-financing from the Ministry of the Environment for Life 2019 applicants

The Ministry of the Environment grants conditional national co-financing to competitive Life 2019 projects that are in line with its strategy. If the Life 2019 funding application for a project is approved by the Commission, the Ministry of the Environment will make the arrangements to grant EUR 30,000 or 50,000 (+ VAT) in co-financing for the project.

Life 2019 info seminar

The Ministry of the Environment holds a Life info seminar each year. This year, the info seminar will take place on 3 May 2019 at 8.45 a.m.–13 noon at the Ministry of the Environment.

Integrated Life projects

Unlike other Life projects, the planning of integrated Life projects is initiated by the Ministry of the Environment. The European Commission evaluates each proposal for an integrated project, and the best projects are granted Life funding totalling a maximum of 60 per cent of the project costs.

Integrated projects cover broad-ranging themes and aim to implement the European Union’s plans and strategies related to environmental and climate actions in the areas of resource efficiency, climate change mitigation, biodiversity and Natura2000, waste management and water. When possible, the integrated projects also aim to gain synergy benefits by utilising other EU and national-level financing opportunities in addition to the EU Life funding.

Approved integrated Life projects in Finland

Three integrated projects from Finland have been approved:

  1. Metsähallitus: The “Freshabit Life” project began at the start of 2016. The aim of the project is to integrate the objectives of the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive, focusing in practice on the rehabilitation of lakes, rivers and small bodies of water and on new practices to advance it. The project received EUR 12 million in LIFE funding. The project has more than 30 partners and a total budget of EUR 20 million. Further information is available on the project page: Freshabit LIFE IP. Link to the press release (in Finnish): Suomeen jättipotti EU:sta: yli 20 miljoonan euron LIFE -hankkeessa kunnostetaan sisävesiä eri puolilla Suomea (Finland receives jackpot from EU: EUR 20 million LIFE project to improve inland waters throughout Finland).
  2. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE): The “CIRCWASTE – towards circular economy in Finland” project began at the end of 2016. The project aims to implement a national waste plan (VALTSU) and promote circular economy in Finland. The project received around EUR 11.1 million in LIFE funding. The project has 20 partners and a total budget of EUR 18.8 million. It is the first waste-related integrated LIFE project in Europe. Further information is available on the project page: CIRCWASTE on the website and SYKE website CIRCWASTE.
  3. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE): The “Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (CANEMURE)” project began at the end of 2018. The project aims to promote practical measures to mitigate climate change. The goal of the project is to promote smart, low-carbon mobility, increase fragmented production of renewable energy and improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The project received EUR 9.1 million in LIFE funding. The project has 22 partners and a total budget of EUR 15.3 million. Further information is available on the project page Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (CANEMURE) (in Finnish) Link to the press release: Large EU Life project for Finland to mitigate climate change.


Pekka Harju-Autti, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2952 50339,
Milka Parviainen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 475 2218,

Published 2013-05-14 at 15:32, updated 2019-04-25 at 16:34