2009 may or may not be the European Year of Creativity and Innovation

The European Commission has realised that for both social and economic reasons, increasing creativity and innovation across the whole population of Europe is essential to enable people to embrace change and seize new opportunities.

Jan Figel, the Commissioner responsible for Education has said that the idea for 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 Year should focus on creating an environment favourable to creativity including social and entrepreneurial innovation. Emphasis should be put for on education across a wide range of subjects including mathematics, the sciences and technology. The aim is that by highlighting creativity across a range of skills will improve problem-solving and the practical application of knowledge and ideas.

The proposed European Year of Innovation and Creativity would act not only education and culture, but also enterprise, media, research, social 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.

The decision will be taken later this year. By then most of the year will be over and the budget needed for the remainder of the year will be a lot less. If the decision is held over till around Christmas then the Year can be named retrospectively, saving even more funds. Genius.
As you well know, last year was the very successful European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Apparently.

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