The EC’s Directorate-General for Environment (DG Environment) promotes policies that ensure a high level of environmental protection in the European Union. DG Environment has oversight of EU environmental law, and it finances projects that contribute to environmental protection in the EU.
Grant making in DG Environment supports environmental protection in EU member states. However, some grants may benefit other countries, e.g. EU candidate countries and EU neighborhood countries.
Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources
1 — LIFE. LIFE is the EU’s principal financial instrument to co-fund programs and projects in nature and biodiversity, environmental policy and governance, and environmental information and communication in Europe. Since its beginning in 1992, LIFE has funded over 3,000 projects with an expenditure of over €3 billion.
2 — Grants for NGO Programs that Operate in Multiple European Countries. The EU supports environmental NGOs which work at the European level, currently defined as a minimum of three EU countries.
About operating grants for European environmental NGOs
3 — Eco-Innovation. The Eco-Innovation program co-funds institutional cooperation to develop and diffuse eco-innovative products and services in Europe. The priority is to support small and medium European enterprises in collaboration across countries.
APPLICATION (for 1-2-3 preceding): DG Environment identifies funding opportunities by program areas. Calls for proposals include guidelines, eligibility requirements, application forms, submission deadlines, and other supporting materials.
Note: Eligibility to participate in these programs is open to organizations in EU member states for actions in the EU territory. However, in some cases, grant programs may be open to participation of third countries, particularly EU candidate countries and EU neighborhood countries. The actual determination of eligible countries is made on the basis of implementation regulations, available funding, and other factors. Grant seekers need to consult details in each annual work program and each call for proposals to review the eligibility criteria.
About funding opportunities
Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries
The EU’s candidate countries, potential candidate countries, and neighborhood partnership countries (ENPI) include the following developing countries.
Eurasia and Central Asia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey
Eastern Europe and Russia: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine
Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia
Note: Iceland is a candidate country and Israel is a neighborhood country. However, both are classified as “developed” according to the criteria of this Directory.
DG Environment manages a database of grants funded through LIFE. The database indicates that participation by third (non-EU) countries has decreased dramatically after 2006.