The Council of Ministers of the European Union has adopted Regulation (EC) No 1404/96 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1973/92 establishing a financial instrument for the environment (LIFE). The amended Regulation implements the second phase of LIFE, to run from 1 January 1996 to 31 December 1999. The indicative budget for this period will be ECU 450 million, with the possibility of revision before the end of 1997. Major changes in the Regulation include opening LIFE to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and limiting the areas in which activities may benefit from LIFE funding. In addition, the selection, evaluation and management procedures for the LIFE instrument have been improved, particularly in the field of transparency.