On 25 October 1995, the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) unanimously adopted an Opinion on a proposal amending the LIFE Regulation. LIFE is the only financial instrument that can provide funds for environmental projects being carried out both on the territory of the Community and in neighbouring regions (Mediterranean and Baltic). The ESC considers that two key factors will have to be taken into account when the Regulation is amended: - An adequate level of funding; - Long-term coherence and conformity of the programme with a feasible strategy of sustainable development. The Committee regrets, however, that the Commission's proposed amendment puts so little emphasis on the prevention and reduction of atmospheric emissions and the protection of the quality of the soil. It also recommends that the annual publication of invitations to submit applications be accompanied by a clear presentation of strategies and priority actions within each area of activity. Applicants would then know exactly what criteria their projects have to satisfy. The Committee stressed that socio-economic and non-governmental organizations have an important role to play in improving the dissemination of information, but that the crucial role continues to be played by national, regional and local authorities.