The Fauna Europaea project (EVR1-1999-20001) has been funded by the European Commission for a period of four years (1 March 2000 - 1 March 2004) within the Fifth Framework Programme (5FP). Fauna Europaea has assembled a database of the scientific names and distribution of all living multicellular European land and fresh-water animals. Experts in taxonomy have provided data of all species currently known in Europe. Together these data have formed a huge database, which will be accessible to everyone. The University of Amsterdam has coordinated the project, assisted by the University of Copenhagen and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.The Fauna Europaea database will provide a unique reference for many groups such as scientists, governments, industries, conservation communities and educational programs.