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Successful conference Kirchheiner Chair 'Government and citizens: A matter of trust'

On 1 September, the conference of the Kirchheiner Chair ‘Government and citizens: A matter of trust’ took place. In a packed hall in the beautiful Old Observatory of Leiden University, under the inspiring leadership of Willemien den Ouden, a debate was held on the role of the Dutch National Ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen, and academia, represented yesterday by Luc Verheij, Professor by special appointment of the Kirchheiner Foundation Ombudsman and Democracy.

The central theme of the conference was trust and distrust of citizens in the government. The first panel discussion with Mark Bovens, Jesse Frederik, Ymre Schuurmans and Sandra van Heukelom-Verhage zoomed in on customisation (#maatwerk) and the question of whether there should not be more focus on ‘doable legislation’. The second, lively, panel discussion with Lot Mertens, Marianne van den Anker and Geerten Boogaard focused on the function of the local ombudsman and the way in which citizens are actually reached and helped, also in view of the maze of service points that exists. 

The subsequent workshops with among others Ymre Schuurmans, Marjolein van Everdingen, Joanne de Bruijn, Yacintha Habicht, Jan Prins, Meike Bokhorst, Janna Goijaerts and Georgina Kuipers gave rise to interesting discussions and new relevant networks.  The great QuickPoet Dominique rounded off the event, hitting the nail on the head with her summary of the event. All in all, a very successful afternoon! A report by Matthias Knijnenberg will soon follow in the Dutch Journal for Administrative Law.

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