LIFE programme 2018: 70% of project proposals submitted by Zabala pass to Full Proposal stage

The European Commission has informed the applicants about the results of the LIFE Programme call for traditional projects under the Environment sub-programme of 2018 revealing a European estimated approval average of 27%. At ZABALA, this figure stands at 70%.


During the last week of October, the European Commission informed the applicants about the results of the LIFE Programme call for Concept Notes 2018 (traditional projects under the Environment sub-programme).

Reportedly, more than 1000 concept notes for traditional LIFE projects under the Environment sub-programme were submitted last June. The candidate projects were looking to spend more than €3.3 billion in total on actions to improve our environment and benefit nature, requesting over €1.8 billion in support from the EU.

That’s more than eight times the total budget of €217 million that LIFE has made available to the successful projects, hence only the best ideas have gone through to the full proposal stage. Further details on the proposals submitted can be viewed here.

Concept notes have been ranked by merit, and the list of retained concept notes represents an EU requested contribution of 2 to 2.5 times the available budget[1]. Taking into consideration previous data[GJ1] [II2] , this means that the general success rate has been between 24% and 30%.

With 12 retained projects for Full Proposal preparation phase out of 17 Concept Notes submitted, ZABALA reached a success rate of 70%, compared to 27% of the European average.

These promising proposals have been invited to submit a full proposal by the 30th of January 2019. Evaluation of the full proposals will take place from then until June of next year, with projects starting from July 2019 onwards.


About LIFE Programme

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

LIFE began in 1992 and has co-financed more than 4 600 projects across the EU and in third countries, mobilising nearly €10 billion and contributing over €4.2 billion to the protection of the environment and climate. At any given moment some 1 100 projects are in progress. Last year[2] LIFE call provided €243 million for 142 new projects.

The main novelty in 2018 has been the 2-stage call (Concept Note + Full Proposal), open for areas such as:

  • Environment & Resource Efficiency: in five thematic areas: air, environment and health, resource efficiency, waste, and water
  • Nature & Biodiversity: supporting the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020
  • Environmental Governance & Information: raising awareness on environmental matters

The budget for 2014–2020 is set at €3.4 billion in current prices and covers a sub-programme for environment and a sub-programme for climate action. For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to increase funding by almost 60% for LIFE.


[1] According to the “Guide for the evaluation of Sub-programme Environment LIFE project proposals 2018”

[2] IP/18/6162


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