‘Thursday date day’: a campaign of the Flemish government

On the 20th of October 2016, Jo Vandeurzen started the relation supporting campaign ‘Thursday, date day’. The Flemish minister of Welfare wants to motivate couples to spend more time in their relationship. By this, he follows one of the advices the knowledge center of the Centre for Family Studies already formulated in their research about (the need of) relation support in Flanders in 2012-2013.

Our coordinator Kathleen Emmery was one of the members of the advising steering committee. This year (2016-2017), she supervises a project group of the second year of the bachelor ‘Family Studies’, together with Ellen Van Houdenhove. During these project classes, they will explore how Flanders has received the campaign and they will evaluate this campaign too.

Recommendations of the round-table conference about relation support

After the round-table research about relation support in 2012-2013, we came up with some policy recommendations. We advised the media to show a more realistic image of relationships. We want them to spread the message that dedication and making conscious decisions is very important in relationships. This will break the taboo of talking about relational problems. Nowadays, couples wait too long to look after help because of that taboo. Moreover, that help is too expensive and should be reimbursed. 

With this large-scale campaign, Vandeurzen will bet on the formation of an image of relationships and prevention. He wants to make relationships and relational problems a subject of discussion and will explain the importance of investing in relationships. It is certainly worth the while.

This also responds to the experiences that men and women are happier in a good relationship and that children find a strong base for their well-being and development in a positive family environment.


This campagne caused quite the debate in the Flemish and Dutch media. Here are a few links to articles (in Dutch).


© Kenniscentrum Gezinswetenschappen