Leading European intellectuals urge the EU to invest in Europe´s creative capacity

07.01.09 – 07.02.2009
A brainstorming session between nine Ambassadors of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 (EYCI) was held this morning in Prague, under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the European Union. The roundtable conclusions will feed reflection, debate and policy-making all throughout the Year and beyond.
Leading European intellectuals urge the EU to invest in Europe´s creative capacity

The Ambassadors present welcomed the decision of the EU to declare 2009 the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, particularly in the context of the current crisis, which creates opportunities for reform and change. Moreover, they expressed their commitment to contribute to the success of the Year and to foster long-term debate on these topics, crucial for Europe´s future position in the Word.

There was unanimous consensus that investment in education and in the skills and creative capacity of Europe should be the top priority of EU institutions and governments. It would be a fundamental mistake to cut research and development and education spending in the context of the current crisis. Mr. Aho gave the Finnish example of tackling the economic crisis of the 90´s, overcome through increasing R&D spending and preserving spending in education. The individual and the communities should be at the core of strategic approaches to creativity and innovation, as Europe depends on its human capital, stated Mr. Radu Mihaileanu, while a stronger collaboration between business, universities and research centers and the public sector was brought up by several speakers.

Creativity and innovation are tools to tackle Europe´s challenges, including the move to the knowledge society, demographic change, globalisation and climate change.

The conclusions of the roundtable discussion were presented to the press by Mr. Esko Aho, Ms. Odile Quintin, Director General for Education and Culture at the European Commission and Jakub Dürr, Vice Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic. The Ambassadors´ meeting preceded the official launch of the Year, organised by the Czech Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission.

Conclusions of the roundtable of the Ambassadors of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation

Press release of the EYCI launch

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