The purpose of this paper is to bring into discussion some of the evidences from literature concerning creative industries’ role in promoting regional development. First, a theoretical framework is established, highlighting the conceptual evolution of the creative economy and its related concepts, as well as the heterogeneity of their meanings and definitions. Second, the paper analyses the role that cultural and creative industries play in EU economy by investigating relevant official documents and reports in the field. It is argued that, due to the diversified structure and the specificities of the economic activities embodied in the sector, such a demarche should be deepened by taking into account the sub-sectorial aspects, as well. The paper ends by inventorying the main instruments available in EU for encouraging and promoting creative industries.