The slogan for 2009 is "Imagine. Create. Innovate". The aim of the Year is to promote creative and innovative approaches in different sectors of human activity and contribute to better equip the European Union for the challenges ahead in a globalised world.
The theme is wide enough to allow for a variety of activities to take place using the year as a banner. Compared to some of the more concrete topics touched on earlier years 2009 seems wide open to interpretation.
The Commisison is itself hard pressed to be seen as innovative and creative in the face of the deep financial crisis, and various global challenges, not to mention the almost buried EU constitution. The union is facing a multifold of challenges, internal as well as external, and they seem to increase rather than decrease.
The European Year of Innovation and Creativity (EYCI) aims to raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation as key competences for personal, social and economic development.
By emphasizing creativity and innovation, the EU aims at shaping Europe's future in a global competition by fostering the creative and innovative potential in all of us. The EU will offer a framework for raising awareness of the issues concerned and promoting a policy debate on how to increase Europe's creative and innovative potential. As for previous European Years, measures will include promotion campaigns, events and initiatives at European, national, regional and local levels.
On the eve of the campaign launch, the Commissioner Ján Figel´ said: "Both creativity and the capacity to innovate are key human qualities - they are inherent to all of us, and we make use of them in many situations and places, whether knowingly or not. With this European Year, I would like to see that the citizens of Europe understand better that by promoting human talents and the human capacity to innovate, we can actively shape Europe for the better, to help it fully develop its potential, both economically and socially."
The European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Training and Youth, Ján Figel´ will be joined by Mikel Irujo Amezaga MEP, Professor Edward de Bono - a leading authority in creative thinking and innovation and Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg - professor for Media Technology and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT, and Jordi Savall - the concert performer, teacher and music researcher, all three Ambassadors of the Year, to launch the communication campaign for the European Year 2009.