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LIFE National Contact Point

Evelina Maria Colacino
Senior Manager
Phone: +356 2292 6239


Mekonen Birhane Mekonen
Research Officer
Phone: +356 2292 6314

Andrew Christopher Aquilina
Environment Officer
Phone: +356 2292 6229



 Increase LIFE! – Life14 CAP/MT/000005

The LIFE programme introduced action grants for capacity-building projects for the 2014-2017 funding period. These are projects designed to build Member States' capacity to participate more effectively in the LIFE Programme. Specifically, these projects propose interventions to develop the capacity to submit successful applications for funding for projects under the sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action. Member States that meet the criteria may each receive funding of up to one million Euros for one capacity-building project. Only national level public bodies responsible for implementation of LIFE in an eligible Member State in the European Union may apply for capacity-building projects.

Since the LIFE Programme’s inception, Malta has only benefitted from 12 projects. However, Malta's current status in European Structural and Investment Funds as a transitional region means that programmes such as LIFE are increasingly important as the programme provides the resources and ability required to improve and protect our environment therefore greening our economy and our society. Through the Increase LIFE! Project, MSDEC aims to enhance the capacity of Malta's LIFE Unit by recruiting and providing training to existing and new personnel in order to better support prospective applicants in their submission and ensuring value added of Maltese LIFE projects to Malta and the EU.

The main objectives of the project are to:
  • Increase Malta's participation in the LIFE Programme;
  • Build a structured LIFE Unit to ensure a co-ordinated structure for the LIFE Programme, to improve communication with all stakeholders and to better promote the LIFE Programme);
  • Train personnel (both internally and in the offices of other Government departments and entities) to more effectively fulfil their duties in terms of environment policy implementation, as well as ensuring that the added value of LIFE projects is achieved;
  • Develop an awareness-raising campaign, based on an effective communication strategy that targets the right audience; and
  • Establish enhanced communication between policy development and LIFE Programme implementation. The LIFE National Contact Point (NCP) will be working closely with personnel responsible for EU policy and implementation of policy with regards to environment and climate change in order to determine gaps in policy implementation.

Expected results:
  • A qualitative study to identify the reasons behind the low uptake of LIFE projects in Malta in the period 2007-13;
  • A better structured LIFE Unit;
  • Training of new and existing personnel, with all the training courses, both technical and generic, resulting in a better informed, more prepared and proactive group of officials;
  • Better dissemination and awareness of the LIFE Programme in Malta, based on an effective communication strategy;
  • Higher EU added-value and a better quality of LIFE project proposal writing;
  • More uptake of LIFE funding, particularly targeting EU Directives’ obligations; and
  • More collaboration with the LIFE NCPs of other EU Member States.

After LIFE

After LIFE is the follow-up of the Malta’s LIFE Capacity Building Project. Malta will continue to extend and enrich its position via the replication and enhancement of the positive results gained while following the Capacity Building Project with respect to the LIFE 2014-2020 Programme. Particularly, with respect to how Malta will increase, and improve upon its participation, and quality of proposals and projects, thereby securing a higher standard of success.

It is therefore anticipated that this will be achieved through the continued quality assurance gained as a result of the capacity building exercise; such quality assurance may be drawn from actions such as recruitment, and subsequent training of personnel.

Objectives are to:
  • Continue with efforts to increase Malta's participation in the LIFE Programme;
  • Continue to enhance the promotion of the LIFE Programme via structured and coordinated communication with all stakeholders;
  • Continue to enhance the inter-departmental implementation of environmental policy, with the mind set to increase the added value that may be derived from future LIFE projects;
  • Continue to build upon the awareness-raising campaign by way of enhanced communication with targeted audience;
  • Enhance communication between policy development and LIFE Programme implementation, thereby closing gaps between EU policy and implementation.

Follow up actions:

The LIFE unit intends to continue to boost its strengths, optimise opportunities, prepare for threats and mitigate weaknesses, while enhancing internal capacities, with a mindset and belief focused upon identifying, and acting upon shortfalls that may arise, thereby elevating standards, while building upon the foundations laid during the Capacity Building Project.