European Years have been organised by the European Union since 1983. They are always dedicated to specific topics and are intended to initiate discussions at national and European level. The European Commission proposes the theme for a European Year, which is then adopted by the European Parliament and EU member governments. Although European years have been running for nearly 40 years, they don’t necessarily occur every year. Many European years offer extra funding to local, national and cross-border projects that address the specific issue. The European Year also sends a strong political signal from the EU institutions and member governments that the subject will be addressed in future policy-making. In some cases, the Commission may propose new legislation on the theme.

With the European Year of Skills the Commission proposes to give a fresh impetus to lifelong learning, supporting people with low educational qualifications and green skills.

The Commission will promote upskilling and reskilling opportunities, for instance by highlighting relevant EU initiatives, including EU funding possibilities, to support their take-up, implementation and delivery on the ground. Events and awareness-raising campaigns will also be organised across the EU to support mutual learning of partners in up- and reskilling.

The proposed Year also aims to help to further develop skills intelligence tools and promote tools and instruments for increased transparency and easier recognition of qualifications, including qualifications awarded outside the EU.

Website of the European Year of Skills.

Commission calls for massive boost in enabling digital education and providing digital skills

A selection of publications about actions and policies related to the European Year of Skills.

EU initiatives to support skills development

EU funding and assistance to invest into skills

Website – skills and qualifications

A results pack that showcases the work of research projects funded under Horizon working within the context of the European Year of Skills:
“Fostering skills development in the EU for more sustainable, resilient, and fair societies”

The European Year of Citizens 2013/2014

The European Year of Citizens 2013 was dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. In 2014, some of the activities of the European Year of Citizens continued, this time with more of a focus on the European elections 2014.

Website of the European Year of Citizens 2013/2014