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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

Under this webpage, you will find a set of guidelines related to the reporting requirements of your grant agreement and the submission of payment and amendment requests. Make sure that you check the programming period applicable to your project (either 2014-2020 or 2021-2027), as the requirements and templates are different.
There are also specific conditions for projects managed by DG Environment (i.e. if your project is a Preparatory or European Solidarity Corps projects that received funding from the LIFE 2014-2020 programme or received funding from the LIFE+ programme 2007-2013).

How to submit requests and reports

For projects financed under the LIFE 2021-2027 programme

Submission of reports and amendment requests is exclusively done via the Funding & Tender portal. Please follow the guidance that is available under the Support section and in particular the Online Manual and the IT How To.

For projects financed under the LIFE 2014-2020 programme

If your project is managed by DG Environment (i.e. is a Preparatory or European Solidarity Corps project that received funding from the LIFE 2014-2020 programme or received funding from the LIFE+ programme 2007-2013), please follow the instructions published on the Project administration LIFE+ (2007-2013)EN•••. For PRE and ESC projects, please use the reporting templates of the LIFE 2014-2020 programme (provided under the Templates section below) for reports linked to payment (mid-term and final reports) and follow the LIFE+ requirements for submission to DG Environment; on the other hand, for progress reports, the template given on the Project administration LIFE+ (2007-2013)EN••• shall be used.

Since summer 2023, the LIFE beneficiaries of projects funded under the LIFE 2014-2020 programme have access to BUTLER for the submission of their reports and deliverables. BUTLER is a web-based application used by CINEA for the grant management of projects funded under the LIFE Programme after the signature of the Grant Agreement, including for the administrative, technical and financial follow-up of the projects, in particular for assessing the reports and payment requests. BUTLER is also accessible to the external monitoring team.

Exception for LIFE NGO4GD and LIFE CAP.

The coordinating beneficiary shall submit their report via CINEA-LIFE-MONITORINGatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu), copying the Project Advisor and the external monitor.

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

Payment requests, technical and financial reports and deliverables as well as progress reports are submitted in BUTLER. The guidance is available under the section Guidance on how to report below.

Please note that there is no need to duplicate the submission by sending an email to the Project Advisor, the external monitor or CINEA-LIFE-MONITORINGatec [dot] europa [dot] eu ( CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) as both CINEA and the external monitoring team will be notified by BUTLER.

When requested by the Agency, additional information to payment requests shall be sent by replying to the email received always copying the relevant CINEA project advisor and external monitor.

When an email is required and in case some files are too large to be transmitted 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 below).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 in BUTLER or by email (when specifically requested). 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 section below (mid-term/final report, or interim/final report for integrated projects).  

Amendment/Termination/Suspension requests

This section is applicable to Amendment requests and Termination or Suspension requested by the beneficiaries.

The requests signed digitally with a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) (preferred option) shall be submitted only CINEA-LIFE-MONITORINGatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (via email to CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu), copying the relevant CINEA project advisor and external monitor. See information on how to obtain a QES.
Please note that BUTLER cannot be used to submit amendment, termination or suspension requests.

If the beneficiary does not have QES, the entire 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 / termination/suspension 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 (do not copy CINEA-LIFE-MONITORINGatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu), 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).

Other formal communication

Any formal communicationon on-going projects with the Agency that is not linked to payment or an amendment request or the submission of a foreseen progress report, should be CINEA-LIFE-MONITORINGatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (sent via email to CINEA-LIFE-MONITORING[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu), copying the CINEA project advisor and the assigned external monitor.

Guidance on how to report

For projects financed under the LIFE 2021-2027 programme

For projects receiving funding from the LIFE 2021-2027 programme (Action and Operating Grants), please refer to the guidance under the Funding & tender opportunities portal.

Except for the following:

Frequent errors to avoid when reporting on your LIFE 2021-2027 project – version dated 31/10/2023.

To help LIFE beneficiaries calculate the personnel costs (Employees, Natural and seconded persons, SME owners, Volunteers) over the reporting period, CINEA has developed the following calculation tool (please first read the “Guidance” sheet!). Please note that the second link provides concrete examples on the use of the tool.

For projects financed under the LIFE 2014-2020 programme

Templates

For projects financed under the LIFE 2021-2027 programme

For projects receiving funding from the LIFE 2021-2027 programme, please refer to the templates under Funding & tender opportunities portal.

Except for the following:

For projects financed under the LIFE 2014-2020 programme

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 on the project website and be available in 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.

Specifically for LIFE21 calls onwards, an updated set of LIFE Impact KPIs has been created in the LIFE KPI Database. To support the Beneficiaries of LIFE21-27 projects, all the updated guides of individual KPIs present within the KPI database have been compiled into a single “KPI Guidance Document” document. This includes the different entries available in the various drop-down lists of the KPI webtool. It is worth noting that, the LIFE KPI database may need to be updated on a regular basis, depending on the various parameters, including any future LIFE Regulation, policy requirements, progress of data gathering and issues identified. This would imply subsequent modifications to this guidance document.

Общи публикации9 Януари 2023 г.
KPI Guidance Document
Общи публикации9 Януари 2023 г.
Annexes with KPI lists

NGO Grants

For operating grants financed under the LIFE 2021-2027 programme

Submission of reports and amendments are exclusively done via the Funding & Tender portal. Please follow the guidance that is available under the Support section and in particular the Online Manual and the IT How To.

NGO4GD grants