A series of concrete cases drawn from the experience of the regional ombudsman in Italy’s north-eastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, describing the difficulty in communicating encountered by the public administration, highlights the fact that, like all communications, those that are of interest to the public sector have to be approached as a tool for interpersonal relations. As the word’s etymology indicates, "communication" is a common action whose purpose is to seek a common understanding and a common experience, in this case of the law. As such, it is a tool that has the potential to consolidate the "democratic state governed by the rule of law", as when citizens are enabled to understand and get involved in "legal affairs", they are stimulated to overcome a vision of rights that sees them in terms of individualism. By favouring and promoting reciprocal understanding, the ombudsman facilitates the public administration’s work in providing a service to which the public feels a sense of belonging, overcoming the traditional "vertical" model of administration as command and also becoming a tool for achieving subsidiariety, recuperating the dimension of private autonomy and of private responsibility on the part of private individuals or groups for pursuing interests of public relevance, as outlined in the Italian Constitution at Article 18, section IV.
Keywords: Ombudsman, Relations, Involvement, Rights, Responsibility