Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Community action programme promoting non-governmental organizations primarily active in the field of environmental protection, 1998-2002

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 10,6 million

Official Journal Reference

L 354 of 1997-12-30

Legislative Reference

of 1997-12-16
To develop and implement Community environmental policy and legislation by promoting the environmental protection activities undertaken by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating at the European level.


The purpose of the Decision establishing this four-year action programme is to fulfil the undertaking provided by the Commission to the Budgetary Authority in 1994 to propose the establishment of a legal base covering the subsidies accorded under budget heading B4-306 of the European Community's general budget. This budget heading consists of three distinct activities: awareness actions, subsidies for European environment organizations, and publications.

The programme, which operates within the framework of the Fifth Environment Action Programme, will consolidate and coordinate the information and awareness activities effected through environmental NGOs. The measures executed under the programme are expected to add to and extend the environment protection measures carried out at Member State level by enhancing the Community dimension in areas such as nature protection and transboundary environment activities.


Fields eligible for assistance:

- Information on the environment:
. Facilitate a dialogue and an exchange of information between environmental organizations operating at a European level and Community institutions;
. Develop information and documentation infrastructures on environmental protection for use by professionals and policy makers and for the diffusion of information for pre-identified target groups;

- Analysis of environment activities:
. Support and coordinate environmental projects increasing the multiplier effect on the project results;
. Reports on the level, extent and nature of environmental problems which could be treated at Community level and about which the Community could be more active;
. Undertake analytical reviews on the preparation of the environmental dimension in other areas covered by Community policies;

- Cooperation between actors in the environmental and non-governmental organizations active at the European level:
. Promote cooperation between partners identified by the Fifth Action Programme for the environment;
. Encourage a multisectoral approach to environmental protection;
. Complement, in the framework of the subsidiarity principle, Community programmes with national, regional and local environmental activities operating in the non-profit sector.


The Commission is responsible for the overall implementation of the programme and for establishing the priority activities to be financed within the fields of action covered by it (see the "Subdivisions" section of this summary). A list of the priority activities to be financed, together with details of the selection and award criteria and the application and approval procedure, is to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities by 30 September of the preceding year in which the grants are to be awarded. On the basis of proposals submitted in response to this notice, the Commission will select, before 30 April each year, actions for which Community support is to be granted in the coming year.

Financial assistance under the programme consists of cofinancing the administrative activities of, and/or subsidies to, a limited number of representative NGOs operating at European level (including the countries of Central and Eastern Europe or the Mediterranean region) and promoting environmental protection measures of particular interest to the Community. Financial support will be provided for activities which are to take place in the actual or subsequent year of the grant being made. In general, the rate of Community assistance does not exceed 40% of the budgeted operational and administrative expenditures of the participating NGO(s). The subsidy for administrative support does not normally exceed three years.

Within three months of an action being completed, recipients of Community support are required to submit a report to the Commission, the form and content of which will be predetermined by the Commission. These reports, combined with on-the-spot checks, will facilitate the Commission's task of monitoring the implementation of actions under the programme.

Before 30 June 1999, the Commission will submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council covering the first three years of the programme's implementation. This report will also set out proposals for any adjustment to be made to the programme with a view to continuing the action beyond the current phase. The Council may adopt a Decision on the implementation of a subsequent phase of the programme from 1 January 2000.
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