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Brussels, 13 May 2009

Brussels Debate: Innovation and creativity to improve public sector

The role of innovation and creativity in the public sector will be discussed on Wednesday, 13 May, in the third Brussels Debate organised in the framework of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. The debate entitled "Innovation & Creativity in Europe's public sector: time for radical change" is organised with the European Policy Centre (EPC). It will take place at 17.00 h at the Residence Palace, Brussels.

This third Brussels Debate for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 will focus on the role of innovation in the delivery of public sector services. How can Europe’s public sectors innovate more rapidly and increase productivity so as to be able to continue providing high standards against a background of fierce competition from abroad and demographic decline at home?

The debate will be moderated by Hans Martens, Chief Executive, European Policy Centre. Also taking part in the panel will be Marianne Klingbeil, Director for Better Regulation, Evaluation and Impact Assessment, Secretariat-General, European Commission; Christine van Broeckhoven, Professor, molecular neuroscientist, Ambassador of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009; Douglas Gregory, Vice-President, Governmental Programs EMEA, IBM Belgium; Julian le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Carlos Javier Rodríguez Jiménez, Minister for Youth and Sport of the Region of Extremadura, Spain.

Most European countries have larger public sectors than in other parts of the world, accounting for up to 40-55% of GDP. This means that the way in which the public sector translates resources into public and social services is critical for Europe’s economic and social development. Europe’s public sectors must innovate more rapidly and increase productivity considerably to be able to deliver the same or higher output in the future while reconciling increasing demands with the need to contain costs. It is thus imperative to foster a creative, innovative culture within the public sector and to promote reforms that introduce innovative progress.

The aim of the Year of Creativity and Innovation is to promote creative and innovative approaches in different sectors of human activity and contribute to better equip the European Union for the challenges ahead in a globalised world. During this European Year a series of six debates are jointly organised by the European Commission and the EPC in Brussels. The first two debates on "knowledge society" and "the future of education" were held on 16 February and on 30 March. The cycle of debates will cover a wide range of topics linked to the theme of creativity and innovation and will provide a platform for reflection and exchange of ideas which can contribute to policy discussion on these issues.

The subsequent Brussels Debates will shift the spotlight towards topics such as sustainable development, cultural diversity as well as creative arts and industries.

The Brussels Debates take place in the Polak Room at the Residence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi, Brussels. Each debate will be followed by a reception to enable the discussions to continue in another form. Please confirm participation via

To find out more:

Official website of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation:

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