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In 1992, following two important EU directives, the 79/409 / EEC ("Birds Directive") and 92/43 / EEC ("Habitat" Directive), a Community financial instrument, called LIFE (French acronym for the phrase "L'Instrument Financier pour l'Environnement), was established by the EC Regulation. 1973 in order to contribute in Europe the implementation and development of Community environmental policy and environmental legislation.

It is the only channel of Community funding dedicated specifically and exclusively to the environment, through which hundreds of projects in all European member states were funded with three different EU programs: the Life I from 1992 to 1995, the Life II from 1995 to 2000 and the Life III 2000-2006.

In June 2007 one program called LIFE + was published with a total budget of € 2,143 for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The components LIFE+ is divided in are:

Many projects of the LIFE + program to date are still in progress, but from 2014 began the new LIFE 2014 -2020 with a total budget of 3.46 billion euros, of which 2.59 billion euro of the total budget on sub-program ENVIRONMENT and 0.86 billion on the sub - program CLIMATE ACTION. The new program has some interesting elements of innovation than the previous.

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