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.