1. Public Affairs professionals shall be transparent about their identity and the interests they represent.
Policy-makers and other stakeholders should have a clear idea of the organisation(s) or interest(s) their interlocutor defends. Public Affairs professionals shall be open and honest about their identity and declare on whose behalf they are acting and whose interests they defend.
2. Public Affairs professionals shall actively avoid any professional conflicts of interest, i.e. defending conflicting interests in a case.
Public Affairs professionals who are confronted with a conflict of interests in a case shall notify their client as soon as possible and shall immediately take action to remediate this.
3. Public Affairs professionals legitimately defend their client’s interests, with communication and by exchanging information.
Public Affairs professionals contribute to the insights of political decision-makers while abstaining from dishonest forms of influencing by using communication and information, in the broadest sense of the word (facts & figures, reflection papers, studies, memoranda, presentations, consultations and so on).
4. Public Affairs professionals always strive to provide reliable and accurate information to their interlocutors and target groups.
Public Affairs professionals shall communicate to the best of their ability, in a correct, consistent and truthful manner, with decision-makers and other stakeholders.
5. Public Affairs professionals respect the autonomy and integrity of their interlocutors.
They respect the integrity of the policy-makers with whom they maintain contacts and do not undermine their independence.
6. Public Affairs professionals are professional at all times.
They conduct their professional activities with the utmost professionalism and in complete transparency by acting in full knowledge, basing themselves on reliable and correct information for analysis and advice, observing a professional attitude with interlocutors and complying with work agreements, treating fellow professionals courteously and fairly, permanently keeping informed about the latest professional developments and relevant legislation.
7. Public Affairs professionals shall represent the role and impact of their professional activities in a transparent manner.
Public Affairs professionals shall create correct and realistic expectations vis-à-vis their organisation or client or external interlocutors.
They are always honest about their contacts, mandate, skills and the objectives they can achieve.
8. Public Affairs professionals recognise and respect the confidential information they receive from their interlocutors.
When receiving confidential information, Public Affairs professionals shall always honour the confidentiality requirements. They shall only use this information with the permission of the party involved.
9. Public Affairs professionals obviously observe legislation and other rules that apply to their professional activities.
Public Affairs professionals respect the legislation and rules of the organisations for which they work or with which they interact.
Obviously, this Charter of Ethical Conduct does not detract from other, specific rules to which Public Affairs professionals are subject through their employer or client.
10. Public Affairs professionals shall faithfully observe the principles of this Charter and contribute to the reputation of the Public Affairs profession.
They recognise that faithful compliance with this Charter contributes to a better understanding of Public Affairs and the role of Public Affairs professionals in the democratic process and within society as a whole, the reputation of other Public Affairs professionals and the Belgian Public Affairs community as a whole, their own reputation and credibility.