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Brussels, 20 April 2009

Young people discuss Europe's creative regions and cities

One hundred young creators and innovators designated by European regions gather today in Brussels to mark the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The two-day forum organised by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions stresses the importance of creativity and innovation for the economic development of Europe's regions and cities. The young artists, musicians, architects, designers, film directors and entrepreneurs are joined by another 200 experts from all over Europe.

The forum taking place in the Committee of the Regions combines discussions, field trips and supporting statements and highlights the importance of innovation as a driver and promoter of economic development in the regions of Europe. The participants are all creative young people, between 18 and 30 years old, who were selected by the Committee of the Regions from a total of 267 applications. Their projects encompass a wide spectrum of activities: art and culture, science, research and innovation, media and communication and information technologies, creativity in urban development and social innovation. Thanks to the forum, these 100 young "talents" from a variety of regions from 24 European countries, will take part in interdisciplinary working groups, and will draw inspiration for their work from discussions with leading academics, business people and institutional representatives.

"Both creativity and the capacity to innovate are key human qualities – they are inherent to all of us, and we make use of them in many situations and places, whether knowingly or not. With this European Year, I would like to see that the citizens of Europe understand better that by promoting human talents and the human capacity to innovate, we can actively shape Europe for the better, to help it fully develop its potential, both economically and socially" said Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.

On Tuesday 21 April, the forum will change location and bring the young talents and the participants face-to-face with creative activity in Belgium. The event will kick off by exploring some of the key breeding grounds of Belgian creativity, followed by a discussion between grass roots representatives from Belgium's federal regions and linguistic communities, who will outline their visions and actions to promote creativity. Finally , the forum will move to the Committee of the Regions' plenary session for a political debate on the priorities for promoting creativity in the regions.

The programme of the Forum is available at the following link:

More information on the official website of the Year:

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