NCP Networking meeting held in Zagreb
The Networking meeting of LIFE national contact points was held in Zagreb on November 10th and 11th 2022. Representatives of national contact points for the LIFE programme from fourteen EU member states and Iceland took part in the meeting live, including the Estonian project of building capacities for the National Contact Point, which, along with the Croatian one, is currently the only LIFE CAP project being implemented.
The first day of the meeting took place at the table in the meeting hall of Hotel Dubrovnik in a hybrid variant with the NCPs of additional seven member states via video link. The first presentation on behalf of CINEA was held by the seconded Head of the LIFE Environment Unit, Anne Burrill, about the two tenders of the new LIFE program period, and here the liveliest discussion developed around the problem of availability of information to NCPs, which was almost unanimously recognized as a burning issue still unaddressed by the European Commission. Estonian NCP Mihkel Krusberg then gave a presentation on the role of NCPs in facilitating SIPs/SNAPs, which was followed by Finnish NCP Pekka Harju-Autti presenting a document on the assessment of integrated projects. The presentation for the third discussion was held by the Polish NCP Andrzej Muter, presenting the results of his data collection on ways of co-financing LIFE projects through member states. The fourth presentation was given by Marilena Papastavrou, Cypriot NCP, about the Net4LIFE project of creating a network of National Contact Points, which is waiting for the signing of the Grant agreement. The fifth and final discussion was devoted to plans for the future, where the main discussion took place about lack of transparency in the new LIFE Multiannual Work Programme, which makes the work of NCPs more difficult, in connection with which the Position paper for the LIFE Committee was presented.
The second day of the meeting was held at the Timeout Heritage Hotel, where the BIOM Association and A1 Croatia presented their LIFE projects, followed by a panel discussion.
The work of the national contact points is directed towards applicants and the successful organization of education and counseling, all with the aim of increasing the number of approved LIFE projects. Participating in this type of meetings enables NCP representatives to exchange information on successful activities that are carried out in other countries and exchange experiences in finding solutions to the difficulties that applicants encounter in applying to the LIFE programme, as well as solutions to problems that NCPs themselves encounter in the implementation of their functions.