When we started our work in 2008, many of us already believed in the importance of the cultural and creative industries for our economies and our societies. We knew that creative and cultural professionals and organisations were valuable as creators and innovators, not just in the field of cultural expression, but increasingly in other fields as well. From the economy to the revitalization of deprived areas, new ideas come from artists, designers, architects, and many other kinds of creative professionals. A crucial and unpredictable question arose however, during the first stage of collective work: a huge change of context happened. The financial crisis hit us all and hit hard. The emergence of a global financial crisis and its extremely negative effects on global and European economies, either in terms of the confidence and expectations of investors or in terms of the unemployment and lack of job creation, made us question our efforts in new light. However, recent developments seem to indicate that the creative industries are not suffering as much as most other sectors. Actually, there still seems to be growth, even in today’s rough economic climate.6 The CCIs are a significant part of our economies already, and they are still growing. In the context of the current crisis, we strongly believe that culture based creativity is not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
In such a period, the evidence of CCIs as a remaining dynamic sector7, therefore assembling good conditions to be part of any exit strategy, claims for new steps allowing to underline the investment in CCIs as a significant component of EU growth, employment and competitiveness, as outlined in the “Lisbon Strategy” and its recent follow-up: the “Europe 2020 Strategy”. So, what’s next?