Nr. 17

KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and Transformations of Societies

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
Deutsch | English


Ladies and gentlemen,

A knowledge revolution is transforming our societies. Brain rather than muscle power has become the main driver behind prosperity in virtually all sectors of our economy. As a result, knowledge and education are now the major factor in shaping the success of individuals and communities.

Education, research, and innovation – the three sides of the knowledge triangle - will determine Europe's future standing in the world. Education is crucial to boost the employability of our people. Research and development is vital to enhance our competitiveness and to attract jobs and investment. And innovation is necessary to deliver a prosperous, sustainable, and socially vibrant Europe.

The promotion of the Integrated Programme for Lifelong Learning, the establishment of the European Institute of Technology, and the popularity of mobility programmes such as Erasmus attest that the construction of a knowledge society has featured high on the agenda of the European Commission.

But to attain global leadership in the age of knowledge, it is imperative that we not only ensure the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital, but also a "fifth" fundamental freedom, this is the free movement of knowledge. We need a 21st century system for intellectual property rights, a system that strikes the right balance. It must reward innovation and strengthen the confidence of innovators in the digital age. But it must also remain open enough to encourage the transfer of knowledge and innovation.

Education and research policies will remain national responsibilities. Yet barriers that hinder the free and fair circulation of students, scientists, scholars, and ideas impede Europe to make the most of our intellectual potential and need to be broken down.

Academic debate plays a vital role in improving our understanding of the challenges of the knowledge revolution and how best to respond to them. I therefore wish all organizers and participants of the "Knowledge, Creativity, and Transformations of Societies" conference fruitful and stimulating discussions.


Unterschrift Barroso

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