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As 2008 – the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue – is brought to a close, the European institutions have officially declared 2009 the Year of Creativity and Innovation in Europe, hoping that this new focus will help the old continent to unlock its creative and innovative potential – key aspects for competitiveness and growth, especially in these troubled economic times. The objectives of the newly launched European year are to “raise awareness on the importance of creativity and innovation for personal, social and economic development, to disseminate good practices, stimulate education and research, and promote policy debate and development“. Education and training, although determinant factors for both creativity and innovation, are only one of the key areas at the heart of EYCI 2009 agenda. The detailed agenda of the year is set through the events to be organised by the European Commission, in close collaboration with member states and media partners.
The official opening of the year will be celebrated on 7 January 2009 in Prague, under the auspices of the Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union.