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Minister Turk speaks on creativity at Regions for economic change conference in Brussels

The Slovenian Minister for Growth, Dr Žiga Turk, today addressed the second annual conference organised under the Regions for economic change – sharing excellence initiative. The participating experts discussed how European regional policy and its instruments contribute to the exchange of experience.The event is organised by the Commission's Regional Policy Directorate General in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions.

Minister Turk acquainted the participants with the renewed Lisbon Strategy, which is to enter a new three-year cycle (2008–2010) at the March 2008 European Council meeting.According to Mr Turk, a strong launch of the renewed Lisbon Strategy will be of major importance, and in this context he also highlighted the significance and role of regions.

"In addition to innovation, creativity needs to be included in the Lisbon Strategy," said the Minister,referring to creativity as defined by the author Richard Florida, which is conditioned by the three T's: talent, technology and tolerance.Minister Turk sees the role of regions mainly in cultivating talent:"Investments to improve capacity and infrastructure may make regions more competitive in the 'war for talent'."

At its March meeting, the European Council will approve European policy guidelines and adopt decisions concerning employment policy.The Council will also adopt specific recommendations for Member States with regard to their progress in implementing national reform programmes, and invite the Council, the Commission and the Parliament to implement the Community Lisbon Programme.The Council will also support some key activities and goals in four priority fields:Europe's concern for the environment, Europe's concern for its citizens and their social status, and efforts towards a more entrepreneurial, innovative and creative Europe.

The conference was also attended by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hübner, as well as the State Secretary at the Office for Local Self-government and Regional Policy, Marko Starman, who yesterday addressed the conference.At the very opening of this year's conference, the speakers stressed the importance and role of the renewed Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs in raising awareness that research and innovation play the key role in the European economy, in particular in strengthening its global competitiveness.


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Date: 27.02.2008