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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

    All education and training facilities for people of different age groups.

    An intergovernmental organization having legal personality under public international law or a specialized agency established by such an international organization. An international organization, the majority of whose members are Member States or Associated Countries and whose main objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe, is an International Organization of European Interest.

    A person with legal rights and obligations. Unlike a legal entity, a natural person does not have a legal act (e.g. association, limited liability company, etc.).

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    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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  1. Governance, partnership: Projects aimed at increasing the application of multilevel and transnational or cross-border governance, designing and testing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms. Also cooperation between public institutions on any theme.

    Innovation capacity and awareness-raising: Actions that increase a person’s or organisation’s capacity for innovation (not innovation as such), and that establish the capacity to diffuse and apply innovation; projects that stimulate innovation in different areas and innovation capacities; strengthening and empowering of innovation networks.

    Institutional cooperation and cooperation networks: Projects working on the improvement of institutional cross-border co-operation and capacities, on renewing and simplifying administrative management through long term cooperation between institutions (e.g. Euregion), on establishing and sharing regional knowledge and intercultural understanding and cohesion. It also deals with cooperations between universities, health care facilities, schools and sports organisations, as well as with management and capacity building.

    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

    Agriculture and fisheries and forestry: Projects focussing on agricultural products (i.e. fruits, meat, olives, etc.), organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products. Also the development of the agro-food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products. Any topics related to animals (i.e. health, management) and fishing (i.e. sustainable fishery, aquaculture).

    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Climate change and biodiversity projects assisting mitigation and adaption to climate change and environmental impacts of climate change. Development of low carbon technologies and strategies, reduction of CO2 emissions from all sectors. Promotion of biodiversity, new instruments to enhance biodiversity and natural protection.

    Soil and air quality projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Cultural heritage and arts projects that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Tourism projects dealing with the promotion of natural assets, and the protection and development of natural heritage, as well as increasing the touristic attractiveness through the better use of natural, cultural and historical heritage. Also projects about improved tourist services/products, development of ecotourism models, tourism development strategies.

    Sustainable management of natural resources projects focussing on the protection, promotion and valorization, and sustainable management and conservation of natural areas (habitats, geo parks, protected areas, etc.). Also projects focussing on preserving and enhancing cultural and natural heritage and landscape, as well as protecting the marine environment.

    Projects on waste management (innovative services and strategies), ecological waste treatment, treatment techniques/systems; waste disposal and recycling (improvement of recycling, innovative recycling technologies, recovery of organic waste, repair & re-use centres and networks); also prevention of pollution and pollution control (ecological and circular economy, marine littering, etc.).

    Labour market and employment: creating employment opportunities and/or optimising jobs, academic (un)employment and job mobility, workforce attraction and improvement of employment conditions for different groups.

    SME and entrepreneurship: strengthening SME capacities, boosting entrepreneurial activities in different sectors and for different groups, supporting social entrepreneurship, creating business support/advisory systems for start-ups/spin-offs/incubators, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and promoting new business processes.

    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

    Demographic change and immigration is about projects tackling major societal challenges like demographic change in different areas and migration, in particular, aging society (active aging, best agers, silver economy strategies) and related new public services (adaptation of key services and infrastructure), social and spatial segregation, and brain drain. Also all topics on migration (policy tools, strategic planning, integration).

    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

    Topics on energy management, energy-saving methods, evaluating energy efficiency measurements, energy rehabilitation/efficiency in buildings / public infrastructure, promotion of energy efficiency, cooperation among experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations, co-generation.

    Projects focussing on wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and other renewable energy, increasing the production of sustainable renewable energy and improving research capacities in biomass. Also projects focussing on storage and management of renewable energy, new technologies, sustainable regional bioenergy policies and financial Instruments for investments on renewable energy.

    Social projects concerning people with disabilities and excluded groups; enhancement of the capacity of children, young people, women and elderly; creation of infrastructure to improve access for disabled people, integration of socially vulnerable people; innovate in the care of victims of gender violence, social inclusion of women, etc.

    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

    Projects about (organised) crime, efficient and secure borders, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the police in the prevention of drug crimes, the development of safety services, or tackling security and organised crime issues.

    Activities related to:

    • Transport and mobility covering all sorts of transport (incl. urban transport) and mobility.
    • Improving transport connections dealing with traffic and/or transport connections, rehabiliation/modernisation, better connectivity, improving accessibility/connections, but also public transport.
    • Multimodal transport and logistics and freight transport focusing on using different means of transport, developing multimodal connections, optimising intermodal transport chains; offering multimodal logistics solutions and providing access to clean, efficient and multimodal transport corridors and hubs; establishing cooperation among logistic centres and developing multimodal mobility strategies.

    Activities related to:

    • urban development, such as planning and design of cities and urban areas, urban renewal, urban-rural links (climate, sustainable mobility, water efficiency, participation, sustainable land use, smart cities, public urban areas, regeneration)
    • regional planning and development, such as the implementation of regional development policies/instruments and programmes, sustainable land use management plans, integrated regional action plans, spatial planning, and marine protected area management.
    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Call key data

European Energy Communities Facility

Funding Program

LIFE - sub-programme “Clean Energy Transition”

Call number




16.11.2023 17:00

Funding rate


Call budget

€ 10,000,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project

€ 10,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

Under this topic, a ‘European Energy Communities Facility’ shall be set up and run to deliver financial support to third parties and appropriate support services for the early stages of energy community projects in the EU. 

Call objectives

Energy communities can be an effective tool to attract private investment to renewable energy and energy efficiency, increase the public acceptance of sustainable energy projects and engage citizens in delivering a fair and clean energy transition locally. Given the speed and scale at which the clean energy transition needs to happen and the benefits of engaging and empowering consumers through energy communities, it is essential to create tools to help a large number of community energy projects to take off and contribute to the European climate and energy targets. 

With the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package, the EU introduced the definitions of citizen energy communities and renewable energy communities. For both, Member States are asked to create an enabling legal, regulatory and policy framework to provide a level playing field for energy communities and other actors and to support their development and integration in the energy system. As the transposition and implementation of the relevant Directives progresses, a growing number of Member States is developing bespoke support for energy community projects. However, there are large areas of the EU where this support is still scarce and energy community creation relies mostly on the work of volunteers.  

The early phases of sustainable energy projects developed by energy communities require a significant effort. Emerging communities often struggle to know where to start when it comes to the technical and financial aspects of setting up a sustainable energy project and funding the key pre-development work (e.g. feasibility studies, permits, legal agreements, etc.). In fact, that work is often carried out by volunteers with limited expertise and/or financed by raising funds from members who, if the project fails, lose their initial investment. As a result, many projects are abandoned at an early stage due to the lack of professional advice and the difficulty of raising funds for the early phases of project development. 

In order to support the growth of energy communities and make projects less dependent on the income level of community members or the availability of support at local level, this topic aims at creating a Facility able to provide support for the early phases of energy community projects. This support shall be designed to reduce the risk of the pre-development phase and thereby create a bridge between the project idea and the launch of the community investment.  

Moreover, given the growing number of successful energy communities, there is a need to effectively share best practices across regions and create peer support opportunities. With this aim, the Facility could take the relay from the European Energy Communities Repository and the Rural Energy Community Advisory Hub (RECAH) and further develop on some of their key outputs.

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Expected effects and impacts

Proposals should present the concrete results which will be delivered by the activities and demonstrate how these results will contribute to the topic-specific impacts. This demonstration should include a detailed analysis of the starting point and a set of well-substantiated assumptions and establish clear causality links between the results and the expected impacts.

Proposals submitted under this topic should demonstrate how they will contribute to:

  • Support the development of energy communities in the targeted countries.
  • Create a network of national experts and helpdesks that is recognised by energy communities, ensures the quality of the different levels of support provided, and complements national support structures.
  • Build capacity across Europe through an effective exchange of best practices across communities.

Proposals should quantify their results and impacts using the indicators provided for the topic, when they are relevant for the proposed activities. They should also propose indicators which are specific to the proposed activities. Proposals are not expected to address all the listed impacts and indicators. The results and impacts should be quantified for the end of the project and for 5 years after the end of the project.

The indicators for this topic include:

  • Number of business plans delivered.
  • Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency resulting from the implementation of the business plans (cumulative, in million Euro).
  • Number and diversity of energy communities supported for each type of support proposed.
  • Number of energy communities having received support which are in operation.
  • Number of citizens engaged in energy community projects.
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (GWh/year).

Proposals should also quantify their impacts related to the following common indicators for the LIFE Clean Energy Transition subprogramme:

  • Investments in sustainable energy (energy efficiency and small-scale renewables) triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro) – covered as topic-specific indicator, see above.
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (GWh/year).
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (GWh/year) - covered as topic-specific indicator, see above.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year).

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Expected results

The European Energy Communities Facility should offer support services, including financial support to third parties, to develop business plans to grow and implement sustainable energy community projects (addressing e.g. energy efficiency, heating and cooling, renewable energy production and use, electro-mobility).

The support directly benefiting third parties planning to launch energy community projects should amount to at least 70% of the budget through a support scheme which may include two different stages:

  • First stage: Pre-screening to check the feasibility of project ideas. The pre-screening should be carried out by a network of dedicated experts at national level able to assess the projects’ viability considering their local conditions.
  • Second stage: Support to the development of business plans for energy community projects considered viable following the pre-screening. Proposals should set up a structure able to deliver financial support to third parties in the form of ‘lump sum grants’ to help projects develop business plans. These plans should be produced within a limited period of time and cover, inter alia: technical analysis of the planned investment project(s), a study of planning considerations and grid connection options, a legal analysis, a governance analysis, an engagement strategy and a clear identification of financing options. The network of national experts should also establish helpdesks to give ad-hoc advice to applicants, help promote the facility, train local actors, support third parties selected for direct financial support in contracting the expertise necessary to develop their business plans, and ensure quality control.

Proposals should outline their approach to ensure that the process and criteria for the allocation of financial support to third parties is conform to EU standards concerning transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality.  In accordance with the EU Financial Regulation, when designing schemes to provide financial support to third parties, applicants should outline:

  • the different types of activities that may receive such financial support.
  • the definition of the persons or categories of persons which may receive such financial support.
  • the criteria to select beneficiaries, including, inter alia, the ambition of the energy-related impacts, the potential impact in the context of community energy in a particular country, the soundness of the business model envisaged, and the foreseen use of potential profits. 

The proposed direct financial support shall be targeted only to third parties which are compliant with the definition of “Renewable Energy Community” or “Citizen Energy Community” in EU legislation or are developing structures which aim to qualify as such.

The Facility should also establish an appropriate framework for comprehensive monitoring, analysis and capitalisation of results, which will inform the design of future potential phases of the initiative, as well as policy development.  

Applicants should maintain and expand strategic parts of the legacy of the European Energy Communities Repository and the Rural Energy Communities Advisory Hub (RECAH), in particular, the stakeholder networks created and the data collection for the impact assessment.

The Facility shall also carry out supporting actions to help best practice sharing and peer to peer exchanges between energy communities. In particular, applicants should plan cross-country trainings as well as a series of open strategic dialogues across Europe.

The European Energy Communities Facility should also monitor the emergence of services delivering support for project development in the different Member States (capacity building and technical assistance) and, to the extent possible, exploit potential synergies with those. It may also collaborate with other relevant initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the EU City Facility and the European Island Facility, the Smart Cities Marketplace and the Support Service for Citizen-led renovation.   

Applicants should demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the varied typology of energy communities across the EU and their needs and challenges including the local, regional and national conditions. They should demonstrate technical expertise related to sustainable energy project implementation (economic, financial, legal, technical) and the capacity to run a large-scale financial support scheme. Consortia applying should demonstrate that they are able to mobilise a critical mass of potential energy community proponents and have a sound and inclusive outreach strategy to different areas of Europe, different sectors and different governance structures.  A link with municipal networks and support structures working on sustainable energy projects would also be beneficial.

  • For actions supporting the examination and assessment of the legal frameworks for energy communities, please refer to topic POLICY-LIFE-CET-2023.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Iceland (Ísland), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Ukraine (Україна)

eligible entities

Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

Proposals must be submitted by:

  • minimum 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries. 

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries:
      • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (associated countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country

Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).

International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.

EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Financial support to third parties is allowed under the following conditions:

  • the calls must be open, published widely and conform to EU standards concerning transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality
  • the calls must remain open for at least one month
  • the outcome of the call must be published on the participants’ websites, including a description of the selected projects, award dates, project durations, and final recipient legal names and countries
  • the calls must have a clear European dimension.

Financial support to third parties will be accepted in projects which aim to assist entities outside the project partnership (e.g. non-profit organisations, local authorities or citizens groups) in the implementation or development of local initiatives that will contribute to the project’s objectives.

Your project application must clearly specify why financial support to third parties is needed, how it will be managed and provide a list of the different types of activities for which a third party may receive financial support. The proposal must also clearly describe the results to be obtained.

Additional information


Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

Additional Information

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section. Paper submissions are NOT possible.

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents: 

  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded) 
  • Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
  • Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • detailed budget table (mandatory excel template available in the Submission System)
    • participant information including previous projects, if any (mandatory template available in the Submission System)
    • Optional annexes:
      • letters of support

Proposals are limited to maximum 65 pages (Part B). 


European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) - LIFE

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