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European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

How to submit requests and reports

The adapted submission measures that were exceptionally put in place on account of the Covid-19 pandemic were lifted as of 1 April 2022, when there was a return to the former submission requirements. In CINEA’s quest towards paperless correspondence and reporting, and in so far as the contractual obligations allow, please read in this section the further simplified requirements that apply since 8 June 2022 (as also communicated in the circular note of the same date to all projects managed by CINEA).

If your project is managed by DG Environment (i.e. is a Preparatory or European Solidarity Corps project or received funding from the LIFE+ programme 2007-2013) please follow the instructions published on the Project administration LIFE+ (2007-2013). Please note that PRE and ESC projects use the reporting templates of the LIFE 2014-2020 programme (provided under Templates below) however follow the LIFE+ requirements for submission to DG Environment.

Requests for payment and reports (mid-term report, interim report, final report)

Reports that include a request for payment (mid-term report, interim report, final report) as well as additional information to these (when requested by the Agency) shall be sent via email to CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING@ec.europa.eu, copying the relevant CINEA project advisor and external monitor.

In case some files are too large to be attached by email, it is preferable to provide only a link to the document or other output (for example if it is available on the project website or other site). Although not encouraged, such large files may alternatively be transmitted through other means such as WeTransfer, if a longer lasting link cannot be provided. In the communication attached to the submission please inform the recipients if the link has a limited validity.

It is highly recommended that all beneficiaries use a qualified electronic signature (QES) to sign the documents requiring a signature. You can find more background information below1. Nevertheless, for beneficiaries without QES, scanned copies (pdf) of the blue ink signed originals are now accepted, allowing all payment requests (with or without QES) to be submitted by email. However, the beneficiaries must always keep the paper signed originals in their project folders in case of a future audit.

Further details on content and signature requirements are given in the ‘How to report on your LIFE 2014-2020 projects’ document below and in the ‘package completeness and correctness check’ within the reporting templates under Templates below (mid-term/final report, or interim/final report for integrated projects).  

Amendment requests

Amendment requests signed digitally with a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) (preferred option) shall be submitted only via email to CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING@ec.europa.eu, copying the relevant CINEA project advisor and external monitor. See information on how to obtain a QES below1.

If the beneficiary does not have QES, the entire amendment request package shall be submitted by post or delivery services to either address shown below. The package shall include the original blue ink signed amendment request on paper as well as all other documents on electronic media, e.g. a USB key. In parallel, the same package with a scanned (pdf) copy of the signed original shall be sent via email to the external monitor only. Please do not copy CINEA in this electronic transmission, as the package shall be sent solely by post/delivery services to CINEA.

          Ordinary or registered mail by postal service
          European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
          Department D - Natural resources, climate, sustainable blue economy and clean energy
          Unit D1. LIFE Energy + LIFE Climate
          OR Unit D2. LIFE Environment (Nature & Circular Economy)
          W-910
          B-1049 Brussels

          Express delivery service or hand-delivery against signature
          European Commission
          European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
          Unit D1. LIFE Energy + LIFE Climate
          OR Unit D2. LIFE Environment (Nature & Circular Economy)
          Mail Service
          Avenue du Bourget 1
          B-1140 Brussels

Further details on content and signature requirements are given in the ‘annex to the cover letter of the amendment request package’ (under the contract and financial aspects page of the LIFE website).

1Signing with a QES: preferred and highly recommended option both for payment and amendment requests

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-building-blocks/wikis/display/DIGITAL/eSignature+Overview

Before sending back your electronically signed document, please check the signature and validity of the certificate with one of the following tools:

- DSS Demonstration validation tool available at https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/DSS/webapp-demo/validation  can help you check the validity of a certificate by indicating the number and type of valid signatures in a document.

- EU Trusted List Browser can be consulted in order to check whether the electronic signature provider and the trust service it provides are part of European Union Trusted List: https://esignature.ec.europa.eu/efda/tl-browser/#/screen/home

- To make sure you use a QES compliant to eIDAS Regulation, you need to check that both the service provider and the qualified certificate generation service used are included in the EU Trusted List Browser.

Progress reports

Progress reports should be sent by email to the CINEA project advisor and the assigned external monitor.

Other formal communication

Any formal communication with the Agency that is not linked to payment or an amendment request or the submission of a foreseen progress report, should be sent via email to CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING@ec.europa.eu, copying the CINEA project advisor and the assigned external monitor.

How to report

Templates

End of project report

(Layman's report)

At the end of the project, a report of 5-10 pages (Layman's report) should be produced summarising the work and results of the project as well as its long-term environmental benefits.

The report should be written for a general audience, in English and another relevant official language of the beneficiary, and should avoid using jargon and complicated sentences. The report should include all relevant information: name and project number, duration, total cost, EU contribution and contact details. Powerful images and different voices (i.e. quotes from various stakeholders, partners or volunteers) help to visualise and maximise the impact of the report.

The report must be published in print and electronic format.

Examples of good Layman's reports:

After-LIFE Plans

LIFE projects funded from 2014 onwards (including preparatory, integrated, capacity building and climate action projects, but excluding technical assistance projects), must produce an After-LIFE Plan as a separate chapter of the final report. 

  • For best practice projects, the After-LIFE Plan shall set out how the actions initiated in the LIFE project will be continued and developed in the years that follow the end of the project, and how the longer-term management of the site(s)/habitats/species will be assured.
  • For pilot and demonstration projects, the After-LIFE Plan shall, in addition, set out how the dissemination and communication of the results will continue after the end of the project. It should give details regarding what actions will be carried out, when, by whom, and using what sources of finance.

For all projects, the After-LIFE Plan should:

  • present an overview of the project and an assessment of the situation at the end of the project;
  • define the after-LIFE objectives and methodology;
  • identify funding needs and sources of funds;
  • meet the contractual requirements of this task.

Examples of good After-LIFE Plans:

Key Project-level Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators are a set of values used to measure the success of a certain endeavor in different fields: Technical, Financial, Administrative. They are set up-front as a target and then compared with final outcomes to assess performance. Specifically for the LIFE programme KPIs are a set of Environmental and Socio-economic indicators used to measure the impact of the LIFE programme funding.

According to the LIFE Regulations (1293/2013 and 2021/783) the LIFE programme shall be assed against indicators (named Key Project Level Indicators - KPIs). For this purpose, the LIFE programme gathers information on KPIs from applicants and successful LIFE beneficiaries.

At proposal stage, applicants need to indicate the expected results of their project in terms of environmental and also socio-economic benefits. This is done via the Funding & Tenders opportunities portal as explained in the LIFE Calls for proposals page, where applicants can also find a KPI specific recorded training presentation and a questions and answers document that includes further clarifications linked to KPIs.

Once a project is funded, the coordinating beneficiary must record the project results through the KPI webtool (only accessible to LIFE funded projects). This should be done minimum twice during the project’s lifetime. The first time (First Snapshot) should be during the initial stages of the project (within the first nine months of the project’s implementation) and the second time (Final Snapshot) should be at final report stage. The European Commission then verifies the data and evaluates the project's progress and success.

For more information and training on the LIFE KPIs, please see the new video tutorials showing more information on:

  1. Module 1: Accessing to the KPI Database
  2. Module 2: The KPI process and project status
  3. Module 3: Navigating through the KPI Database
  4. Module 4a: Selecting overarching contexts
    Module 4b: Creating specific context 
  5. Module 5: Filling in the Indicators 

Useful weblinks mentioned in above modules for your convenience

A special guidance document for Key Project-level Indicators was produced specifically for LIFE Strategic/Integrated projects. In addition, Strategic/Integrated projects may also benefit from the recordings of the webinar on “KPIs for Integrated Projects”, that took place on Monday, 1 March 2021. The recording of this training is now available here.

NGO operating grants

Please submit your annual reports directly online (Funding & Tenders portal). You can find the reporting forms (including the certificate on financial statements) on the portal: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/how-to-participate/reference-documents;programCode=LIFE2027 under Templates & forms > Project reporting templates

More information and guidance will be provided before the end of December 2022.