Co-financing: currently stand at 55% from the Commission, however LIFE Nature projects focused on priority features (as indicated in the Nature Directives) gain up to 75% co-financing.


Budget Size: there is no fixed minimum size for project budgets. While large ambitious projects (i.e. over 5,000,000 Euro total costs) have been financed several times in the past, very small projects (i.e. below 500,000 Euro total costs) have seldom succeeded due to the limited output and consequently the low added value.


Civil Servant Rule: a 2% civil servant rule applies to existing public body/authority civil servant personnel working on a LIFE project. In addition to the guidance provided by the EC’s LIFE Unit. The UK LIFE National Contact Point has created a short guidance note to explain the rule. If you think this rule might apply to you and your project please download and read the guide at the bottom of the page.


Personnel: if personnel costs are high, make sure the reason is fully justified and explain the differences between different types of personnel so that you can justify the different rates and tasks assigned to them.


Travel and subsistence: costs should be detailed with the number and duration of trips and the number of travellers.


VAT: for projects from 2013 onwards, the rules for VAT have changed and it is only eligible if it is not recoverable. This non-recoverability must be documented, normally through a certificate from the tax authorities, however (since 2012) the Commission may accept, 'an explicit declaration in the independent financial audit mentioned in article 31 listing the amounts of VAT that have been paid and that may not be recovered by the coordinating beneficiary and/or its associated beneficiaries.'.


In addition to the rule on recoverability, VAT is not eligible when it is related to 'activities engaged in as a public authority by the beneficiary where it is a State, regional or local government authority or another body governed by public law'. In order to assess the eligibility of VAT, each public beneficiary (coordinating or associated) will need to provide a signed statement concerning which of the activities in the project fall under this condition. For public bodies, it is therefore not sufficient to submit proof of non-recoverability of VAT. A statement regarding whether or not the project actions are undertaken as a public authority is also essential in order for the Commission to assess whether the non-recoverable VAT is an eligible expense.



Make sure the budget represents value for money in terms of environmental benefits. Ensure all costs in the F Forms are explained and traceable in the action descriptions (C Forms).

Justify any costs, for example daily personnel rates, which are not in line with national conditions.

Include costs for attending the regional kick off meeting with EC representatives.

Describe purchasing procedures, for example when tenders will be used.


Supporting documents


Key Commission Documents


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