A policy agenda for EU smart growth: the role of creative and cultural industries

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    The argument developed in this paper is that a resilient economy requires a growth agenda that is underpinned by a balanced industrial mix, the development and adoption of new knowledge or technological platforms, and risk taking in radical and incremental innovations as well as in soft and hard innovations. In other words, it is desirable to promote a sustainable and endogenous way to 'reset' the economy - borrowing the phrase from this study by Florida - by endorsing a growth agenda that includes also creative and cultural industries. It will further be argued that a policy agenda for the EU's economic growth takes little account of the opportunities and potential of creative and cultural industries, favouring hard technologies and services. A growing literature is starting to highlight the innovation capacity of cultural and creative industries as they intersect the innovation processes of other manufacturing and services sectors with innovative and creative outputs. The indecision of EU policy-makers on how to take advantage of creative and cultural industries for the delivery of a Smart Europe - as part of the Europe 2020 agenda - translates into a lack of commitment to such industries and indeed to a clear cohesion agenda. We make a strong case for EU policy-making to break the deadlock and clearly spell out a policy agenda that has an effective spatial dimension and that directly interfaces with its innovation policy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-375
    Number of pages11
    JournalPolicy Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


    • EU competitiveness
    • industrial policy
    • knowledge economy
    • cultural and creative policy


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