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European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009)

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European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009)

The Commission hereby declares 2009 the ‘European Year of Creativity and Innovation’. This initiative aims to promote, through lifelong learning, creativity and innovation as key skills for all. The main challenge is to create an environment that is conducive to all forms of creativity and innovation, whether artistic, cultural, social or technological, and to promote the practical use of knowledge and ideas.


Decision No 1350/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 concerning the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009).


The capacity for creativity and innovation is essential for economic and social progress. The European Union (EU) must strengthen this capacity in order to benefit from developments of the knowledge society, rather than being passively shaped by them.

Creativity is a human characteristic. It manifests itself in many contexts, not only in works of art, design or craft, but also with respect to scientific and technological developments, entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Innovation is the successful realisation of new ideas stemming from one’s creativity. This is why the capacity for creativity and innovation, which are closely linked, benefits the economic and social fields and the arts equally.

The method

This initiative takes as a reference framework the Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning.

It is meant to be a cross-cutting initiative, covering not only education and training, but also other sectors such as culture, enterprise, media, research, social and regional policy, information society and rural development.

The implementation of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation will be based on existing Community programmes, in particular the ‘Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-13’ and the European Youth Pact. This initiative will also be based on the results of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008) and the ‘Culture Programme 2007-13’ in order to promote creativity and a capacity for innovation in a culturally diverse environment.

No specific funding will be allocated to this initiative. The necessary resources will come from the financial margins provided by programmes in the field of education and training and by the other relevant programmes.

Each Member State has appointed a coordinator, who ensures coordination at national level and between the Member States and a steering committee set up at Community level.

The specific objectives

The specific objectives of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation are to:

  • provide a favourable environment for innovation;
  • demonstrate the importance of cultural diversity;
  • promote creativity and a sense of initiative from an early age on, through formal and non-formal education and informal youth activities;
  • demonstrate the importance of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, especially with regard to economic growth and employment;
  • promote the aqcuisition of competences essential in social and occupational contexts;
  • promote the role of the design industry;
  • encourage creativity and innovation in both public and private organisations.

Events concerning creativity and innovation

The European Year of Creativity and Innovation will be implemented in practice at local, regional, national and European levels and be centred around the following types of measures:

  • organising conferences and events to promote debate and raise awareness among the various audiences on the importance of creativity and the capacity for innovation;
  • creating information and promotion campaigns to disseminate key messages and best practice;
  • carrying out surveys and studies at Community or national level.

Stimulating creativity and innovation through education and training

The Commission stresses the importance of encouraging creativity and innovation within education and training systems, which are themselves essential to the proper functioning of the knowledge triangle (education-research-innovation).

This Year should lead to in-depth reflexion on the teaching methods and means of assessing learning achievements. Motivation and a sense of initiative at the heart of creativity and innovation should be further developed throughout the educational pathway of young and not-so-young people alike.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 1350/2008/EC



OJ L 348 of 24.12.2008

See also

For further information, please visit the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 website.

Last updated: 03.02.2009