Frequently asked questions


[1.1.] What is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009?

The European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 is an initiative of the European Parliament and of the Council which focuses on the importance of creativity in private and public life.

For further details see: Decision of the European Parliament and of th Council concerning the European Creativity and Innovation (2009).

[1.2.] What are the objectives of the Year?

European Years generally aim :

  • to raise public awareness of an issue;
  • to provide information on good practices; and
  • to stimulate policy debate and research concerning the main theme.

The specific objective for 2009 is to promote creativity and innovation as a key factor in the personal, occupational, entrepreneurial and social spheres. All forms of learning (formal, non-formal and informal) will have a role in achieving the objectives. Most important is to shape an environment which is favourable for innovation, e.g. through formal education:

  • broaden access and reduce disparities to creative forms of self-expression,
  • and promote key competences.

It is also important to stimulate personal psychological development from the earliest stages of life, both for emotional and aesthetic development and to facilitate further learning. Young people should be aware how important creativity, knowledge and flexibility are to their personal and career development in an era of rapid change.
Creativity and innovation contribute to economic success. Closer ties are needed between artists, business people, schools and universities. Public and private organisations themselves can enhance their performance by developing their employees' creativity.

[1.3.] How does the Year contribute to meeting challenges?

The most successful economies today are based on knowledge. Knowledge-based economies are operated by creative and innovative people. With the Year we want to show how knowledge moves economies.

See also: Council conclusions of 24 May 2007 on the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to the achievement of the Lisbon objectives (2007/C 311/07)

[1.4.] What kind of knowledge do we need if we want to have a job in a knowledge-based world?

The knowledge we need can be described with the so-called key competences. We need to

  • communicate in our mother tongue,
  • and in some foreign languages,
  • be familiar with mathematics, science and technology,
  • and be able to use digital technology,
  • play an active part in social and civic life,
  • have a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship,
  • be aware of our cultural potential.

See also: Recommendation of the European parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning (2006/962/EC)

[1.5.] What events are connected to the Year?

Conferences and other events at European, national, regional and local levels to promote debate and raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation

  • Information and promotion campaigns to disseminate key messages of the Year
  • Examples of good practices
  • Surveys and studies

[1.6.] How can I be associated with the year or use the name and logo?

The promoters of activities that contribute to the objectives of the year can request permission to use the name and logo of the year and have their activities advertised in the official calendar of the year on this website.
Please click on Application for logo use in the Communication Toolbox on the main page.

[1.7.] How are the Year's activities implemented and funded?

There is no specific budget line for this European Year. Events in the Member States will be funded by relevant public authorities solely, or in partnership with publicly funded organisations, market companies or civic organisations. EU support for associated activities is provided mainly in the field of lifelong learning and culture.

Activities funded in the enterprise, SME, regional and social cohesion, environment, research and information society fields are also being supported using existing funds. Several possibilities exist under the 7th Framework programme: FP7 Cooperation (policy relevant research), FP7 Ideas (frontier research), FP7 People (mobility of researchers), FP7 Capacities (research infrastructures, science in society, etc.), Social sciences and humanities.

[1.8.] How can I participate in the Lifelong Learning Programme?

The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) is open to individuals, educational and training organisations, as well as to all those that are directly and indirectly interested, such as firms or research centres. To make the European Year 2009 a success and achieve a sustained impact, creativity and innovation have been identified as priorities for 2008-2010.

Those interested in applying for EU funding under the LLP should read the section How to participate at http://ec.europa.eu/llp

[1.9.] Whom should I consult if I plan to participate in the Year's events?

The calendar of activities includes websites and other information on individual events. If you wish to organise an event, or have an existing event linked to the year, you should contact either the Commission or the relevant national coordinator – if the activity is European or international or involves several Member States, please contact the Commission, and if the event is national, regional or local contact the relevant National Coordinator with a copy to the Commission.

Logo: European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009