In a remarkably short time, economic globalisation has changed the world's economic order, bringing with it new challenges and opportunities. Europe cannot compete in this new environment unless it becomes more innovative and responds more effectively to consumers' needs and preferences.
The European Union possesses extraordinary potential for innovation. Europe has a longstanding tradition of producing breakthrough inventions; it has a wealth of creative people and can build on its cultural diversity. It has laid the foundations for one of the largest single markets in the world, where innovative products and services may be commercialised on a large scale. Historically it has a strong and responsible public sector, which should be capitalised on.
The European Commission is formulating, influencing and, where appropriate, implementing policies and programmes to increase Europe's innovativeness. The Commission is trying to make sure innovation is thoroughly understood and approached comprehensively, thereby contributing to greater competitiveness, sustainability and job creation.
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