Flemish government invests in clear communication with citizens

The Flemish government has in the last few years optimised the linguistic clarity of 5,000 standard letters and e-mails. This action is part of a larger operation to make the government's communication with citizens, companies and organisations as clear as possible.

The Flemish government some years ago drew up a broad action plan to improve its information and communication provision. It set up the campaign ‘Heerlijk Helder’, which can be translated as ‘Wonderfully Clear’. In 2021, the government's organisations were instructed to scrutinise their standard letters and emails and to rework them if necessary.

Together, the 41 organisations of the Flemish government send almost 11,000 standard letters and standard e-mails. These are letters and e-mails that are sent on a repeated basis in more or less the same form, for example to inform citizens of a decision or to urge them to take action. Unfortunately, those letters and e-mails are still too often full of bureaucratic jargon, making them harder for citizens, businesses and organisations to understand.

In the meantime, nearly 5,000 standard letters and e-mails have been evaluated and optimised when necessary. On average, the organisations have assessed 67 per cent of their standard letters and e-mails.

“Although there is still a long way to go, great progress has been made,” stated the government’s Team Language Advice. "In addition, this process has raised awareness about the importance of ‘wonderfully clear’ communication and led to the improvement of other types of texts used by organisations.”

#FlandersNewsService | Logo of the Flemish government © BELGA PHOTO BELGIAN_FREELANCE

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