(Nearly) every year there is a European year of "something". 2015, for example, was the European Year for Development (check the complete list of European Years of "something"). Our all-time favorite since this initiative was first introduced in 1983? The European year for a people's Europe (easy choice). For some reason 2016 was left out (our choice would have been the "European Year of over-confident male prime ministers holding referendums"). But in 2018 the "European Year of something superspecial" is back: And it is supposed to cover the whole range of European culture, from archaeological sites to architecture, from medieval castles to folklore traditions.
Let's be honest, the European identity feeling could definitely need a liiiiiiiiittle boost. That is what the European Year of Cultural Heritage wants to promote: A shared sense for our common history which is the basis for our identity (or so they say!). On a more practical level there will be tons of special offers to visit interesting European sites such as the Abbey of Cluny in France or the historic Gdańsk Shipyard in Poland. Finally, more than 8 million jobs are directly or indirectly linked to the European cultural heritage sector - through tourism, transport, building works, etc.
According to the proposal by EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics the year is supposed to tackle the many challenges the heritage sector in Europe is facing, such as shrinking budgets, lower participation in traditional cultural activities or higher environmental pressure on heritage sites. It will promote the preservation of cultural heritage as a key element of the EU’s external policies, looking for responses to the criminal destruction of cultural heritage in conflict zones (like Syria) and the illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts.
These goals are supposed to be reached by events organised across Europe as well as information, education and awareness-raising campaigns at EU, national, regional and local level highlighting the role of the EU in promoting shared solutions. The year will stress what the EU can do for conservation, digitisation, infrastructure, research and skills development.
Each Member State has to nominate a national coordinator responsible for organising its participation in the European Year and managing relevant activities at national level. The Commission is then in charge of coordinating the implementation of the European Year at EU level. Bonus point: There is no additional EU funding needed for the European Year, since it is financed via existing programmes.
The European Parliament and the Council are currently working on this proposal. In the Parliament the Committee for Culture and Education has already published its report and interinstitutional negotiations are under way. The plenary vote in Parliament is scheduled for April 2017.
Eliminating roaming, securing net neutrality
Cross-border portability: Access to streaming services from abroad
Updated Rules for Audiovisual MediapolitixNew visa rules for EU travellersReduced share of biofuels in energy mixFruit, vegetables and milk for European StudentsBan on all kind of driftnet fisheriesToo big to fail: Structural Reform of EU Banking SectorA European Platform to fight undeclared workA pan-European Pension System Fighting the trafficking of firearmsA New Waste Management System in the EUFinancial Transaction Tax: Making banks pay for the crisisLess Plastic Bags for EuropeEliminating roaming, securing net neutralityRight2Water: Water and sanitation as human rightEnforceable Flight Rights for Air PassengersPublic list of company owners to fight money launderingMore Possibilities for the Restriction of GMOsEuropean Solidarity CorpsTightened rules for safer and cleaner carsSafer Ship TravelsProtecting fish and marine ecosystemsUpdated European data protection laws Resettlement of Migrants in the EUSafety standards for new kinds of CablewaysCheaper cross-border Parcel DeliveryCross-border enforcement for speeding & traffic offencesEU-wide Minimum Standards for FrackingEuropean statistics relating to persons and householdsUpdated Rules for Audiovisual MediaNew Food Labeling RulesAccess to a Basic Bank Account for EveryoneA New Copyright Regime for EuropePollen as specific 'Ingredient' or Natural Honey Component?Circular Economy: Reducing waste in EuropeRules for cross-border divorcesBetter Management of Asylum FlowsAn Entry-Exit System for External European BordersResolution on Sexual and Reproductive HealthStronger Rules against Terrorism Financing and Money LaunderingCloning of animals New Rules for Tobacco Products and PackagingOrganic production and labelling of organic productsSimpler Rules for VAT in EcommerceLess Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the EUUpdated rules on 'novel foods'Free Wi-Fi for EverybodyEnsure safe and secure air travelBetter Checks of EU Citizens at External BordersUse of Flight Passenger Data Posting of workersBetter Connectivity and super-fast InternetReduced Flush Volume for ToiletsNew rules on privacy in electronic communicationMinimum standards for children accused in courtMore Security in EU Partner CountriesBetter Cooperation among Consumer Protection AuthoritiesEuropass - Better online tools for your job huntStricter Rules for the Export of potentially Dangerous GoodsBetter Protection from Cancer at WorkStrategy Against Discrimination of LGBTI Persons Better protection for children of international couplesCreation of a European Union Agency for AsylumNew consumer rules when (online) shoppingProviding Services more easily across bordersA new electoral law for the European ParliamentBetter access to books for the blindBetter EU access for highly skilled workersCross-border portability: Access to streaming services from abroadMaking products & services more accessible for disabled peopleReducing pollutant emissions from carsConsumer rights for downloads and streaming services Improving the exchange of information on criminalsGeoblocking: Less consumer discrimination onlineBetter energy labels on electronic productsUpdated energy efficiency rulesA European ESTABetter protection for your moneyCreating a European Border and Coast GuardWork-Life Balance for allMore renewable energyEmpowering electricity consumersReducing administrative burden for EU citizens