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Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters CD&V yesterday invited the press for a status report on ‘Flanders in Action’ VIA, his government's plan for the future to secure an ‘economically innovative, sustainable and socially warm-hearted society’ by 2020. More than anything, this is an attempt to respond to the criticism that his plan for the region's future has not been succesful with the large public. But he stands firm and his message is clear: Flanders in Action is on track. One quarter of the objectives his government has set have been met and 90% of the 337 projects are on schedule. The Flemish government sticks to its plan for the long term in times of crisis: "I cannot conceive of any plan that is as comprehensive as Flanders in Action; even if the extent of the plan makes itself vulnerable,” he said. Peeters, who is aware of the poor perception further added that “Results take time and are not immediately noticeable. As with an iceberg, two thirds of the work is submerged. We must display our achievements, like the approval we enjoy from the European Commission or the Committee of Regions, to convince the negative critics.” A future forum on 30 April is intended to resuscitate the project. “We hoped that everyone would become hugely enthusiastic about Flanders in Action,” says Peeters. “but previous campaigns have not exactly been that successful and our social partners and other stakeholders have not really managed to mobilize the project. But we cannot underestimate public interest.” To this end the Flemish government will now shift its focus to a broader public arena by means of an updated website and a new slogan ‘Flanders lives better, works smarter and lives more sustainably’. He further hopes that the next Flemish government will continue to implement the plans.
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