The conference on ‘Clear Writing Throughout Europe’ broke new ground in the Commission’s Campaign for Clear Writing. For the first time, it gave the floor to experts from Member States, all of them pioneers of plain language. The idea was to give participants the opportunity to share experience in tackling the issues from different angles.
The conference started with a contribution from Sweden, which started vetting its legislation 30 years ago to make it clearer. The final contribution was from Portugal, where a formal initiative to promote plain language had only recently been launched.
There was a strong common thread throughout the day: that keeping the needs of the reader in mind is essential, and may mean discarding time-honoured linguistic habits. Clear language is not a luxury, but essential if democracy is to function in any meaningful sense from the point of view of the citizen.
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