EFA at official launch of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation

12 January 2009

On 7 January 2009, the Czech EU Presidency and European Commission officially launched the 2009 European Year of Creativity and Innovation (EYCI) under the motto "Imagine. Create. Innovate". The Year aims to promote creative and innovative approaches in different sectors, including the cultural sector. The European Festivals Association (EFA) was represented by EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer. EFA had the great opportunity to discuss with key actors of the European Year possibilities of collaboration. Major activities will officially be announced in due time. The Prague conference was preceded by a round table attended by the Ambassadors of the Year. They adopted a set of recommendations to the EU governments and institutions, one of which stresses the importance of "support for artistic creation as a fundamental tool to improve the understanding of cultural diversity as a catalyst of creativity." The cultural and creative sectors, including the festival sector, play an important role in the process of fostering innovation and creativity. Erik Spiekermann, one of the ambassadors of the year, underlines this on the EU website: "I strongly believe that, if we applied creative thinking to solving those problems, we can find solutions. And we will. Just invite us "Creatives" into the process and let us contradict you." The artistic launch of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation takes place on 20 January in Brussels and is organised by AEC (European Association of Conservatoires) and ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts). The event where EFA will represent the festival sector explores the artistic dimensions of creativity and innovation. Related documents and links: • EFA report on official launch EYCIEU website for the European Year of Innovation and Creativity • Information on artistic launch of the EYCI (20 January 2009) • Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009)