Europe needs to boost its capacity for creativity
and innovation for both social and economic reasons. That is why the Commission
has today adopted a proposal to declare 2009 the European Year of Creativity and
Innovation. The decision will be taken later this year by the Council and the
The modern world puts emphasis on better use of knowledge and rapid
innovation. It therefore requires a broadening of the creative skills base
involving the whole population. In particular, there is a need for skills and
competences that enable people to embrace change as an opportunity and to be
open to new ideas in a culturally diverse, knowledge-based society. Education
and training are determining factors in this.
Ján Figel´ Commissioner responsible for education, training,
culture and youth, believes the Year is "an effective way of helping to meet
challenges by raising public awareness, disseminating information about good
practices, stimulating education and research, creativity and innovation, and
promoting policy debate and change. By combining action at Community, national,
regional and local levels, it can generate synergies and help to focus policy
debate on specific issues."
The Commission does not propose that a specific budget should be allocated
for the Year, arguing that it can be organised by using existing EU programmes
and planned administrative expenditure. In order to involve all those who might
be interested, the Commission invites member states to appoint national
coordinators who can cooperate through a small steering group at EU level.
The activities of the Year should focus on creating an environment favourable
to creativity and innovation and become a strong impetus for a long-term policy
priority. Emphasis should be put for instance on education across a wide range
of subjects including mathematics, science and information and other
technologies. Highlighting creativity through such skills should foster
problem-solving and the practical application of knowledge and ideas. All forms
of innovation including social and entrepreneurial innovation should be taken
Artistic creation and new approaches in culture should also receive due
attention, as important means of communication between people in Europe and in
the follow-up to the ongoing European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008).
The European Year of Innovation and Creativity is proposed as a cross-cutting
initiative covering not only education and culture, but also other policy
domains such as enterprise, media, research, social and regional policy and
rural development. It should include information and awareness-raising
campaigns, promotion of good practices, debates, meetings, conferences and
promote a wide variety of projects at regional, national and European level.
(EU Rapid press release)