EU proposes new lease for "Life" project

Environmental fund to focus on pollution prevention, integrated product policy

The European Commission has proposed an outline budget of Ecu613m for the third phase of "Life" - an EU programme dedicated to demonstrating possibilities in the environmental field. The next phase of the programme is from 2000-2004 and ministers are due to adopt a regulation with specific measures by the end of next year. In a draft regulation on the third phase published on Friday, the Commission proposes that one focus should be to draw up guidelines to improve the link between EU financed projects and the EU's environmental policy priorities. It suggests four broad themes should be covered: integration of the environment into land-use planning, pollution prevention in industry, waste recycling and management, and taking an integrated approach to reducing the environmental impact of products. It also suggests increased funding for disseminating the results of already completed Life projects to a wider audience and proposes that central and eastern European countries should be encouraged to participate more in Life activities.

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