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European years

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. 

More on 2014 projects for the European Year of Citizens.

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

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