This year, which will see the election of a new European Parliament and the inauguration of a new European Commission, has not been assigned a specific theme. Instead, various projects linked with the 2013 European Year of Citizens will continue into 2014. These will include a particular focus on European Parliament elections and democratic participation.
2014 is a chance for citizens - especially the young - to take part in events and workshops focusing on how to exercise their rights in EU democratic processes.
A European Year – every year since 1983
The very first European Year, in 1983, was dedicated to small business ("SMEs") and craft industry. Every year since, the EU has chosen a specific subject to encourage debate and dialogue within and between European countries.
Why European Years?
The aim is to raise awareness of certain topics, encourage debate and change attitudes. During many European years, extra funding is provided for local, national and cross-border projects that address the Year's special topic.
The European Year can also send a strong commitment and political signal from the EU institutions and member governments that the subject will be taken into consideration in future policy-making. In some cases, the European Commission may propose new legislation on the theme.
How is the theme of a European Year chosen?
It is proposed by the Commission and adopted by the European Parliament and EU member governments.
List of European Years
- 2013 - European year of citizens
- 2012 - European year for active ageing
- 2011 - European year of volunteering
- 2010 - European year for combating poverty & social exclusion
- 2009 - European year of creativity & innovation
- 2008 - European year of intercultural dialogue
- 2007 - European year of equal opportunities for all
- 2006 - European year of workers' mobility
- 2005 - European year of citizenship through education
- 2004 - European year of education through sport
- 2003 - European year of people with disabilities
- 2001 - European year of languages
- 1999 - European year of action to combat violence against women
- 1998 - European year of local & regional democracy
- 1997 - European year against racism & xenophobia
- 1996 - European year of lifelong learning
- 1995 - European year of road safety & young drivers
- 1994 - European year of nutrition & health
- 1993 - European year of the elderly & solidarity between generations
- 1992 - European year of safety, hygiene & health protection at work
- 1990 - European year of tourism
- 1989 - European year of information on cancer
- 1988 - European year of cinema & television
- 1987 - European year of the environment
- 1986 - European year of road safety
- 1985 - European year of music
- 1984 - European year for a people's Europe
- 1983 - European year of SMEs & the craft industry