LIFE Multiannual Work Programme (MAWP) for 2018-2020


The current LIFE Multi-Annual Work Programme runs from 2018- 2020. The document sets the framework for the management of the LIFE Programme until 2020. It contains an indicative budget, explaining the selection methodology for projects and for operating grants and establishes outcome indicators for the two LIFE sub-programmes – the Environment and Climate Action. Snowdonia©NRW

LIFE’s universally-acknowledged success is based on “traditional” LIFE Nature, Biodiversity, Environment and Information projects. These best practice, demonstration, pilot and awareness-raising projects continue, but this is now accompanied by a sub-programme for climate action. The LIFE programme has four types of projects; Traditional, Integrated; Technical assistance; Capacity-building; and Preparatory, and two financial instruments: Natural Capital Financing Facility and the Private Financing for Energy Efficiency.


Novelties within the new MAWP

The new MAWP has introduced a new, two stage approach for the Environment sub-programme within the 2018 Call. Based on feedback from applicants, this two stage approach may be rolled out to the Climate Action sub-programme in subsequent years.


Types of traditional projects covered by LIFE

  • Demonstration - puts into practice, tests and disseminates methods that are new or unknown in the specific context of the project and can be more widely applied.
  • Pilot – aims to evaluate whether targeted new techniques and methods work which offer advantages to current best practice.
  • Best practice – only for ‘Nature’ projects:  state-of-the-art existing techniques for conservation of species/habitats.
  • Integrated projects (IPs) are a new type of project which aims to implement a large territorial scale environmental or climate strategy or action plans. These must promote, when possible, the coordination and mobilisation of other EU Funds and/or national and private funds. Each Member State can only receive three Integrated Projects over the 2014 – 2020 period.


Critical elements of a LIFE Project:

  • EU added-value – demonstrating/developing EU policy or objectives
  • Innovation – applies/tests techniques, approaches not used before (across EU), that offer advantages compared to current best practice and capable of EU replicability
  • Longevity & sustainability - how will you maintain long term benefits of the project?
  • Replication & transferability


Web resources


EC LIFE web pages


Other resources