Political dialog and representation of interests

As a company with global operations, we have to deal with a wide range of political changes and decisions that impact our business activities. In order to safeguard the future of the Daimler Group, it is therefore important that we represent the interests of our company in an open and trusting dialog with governments, associations, organizations and various groups in society. In line with this philosophy, such a dialog also allows us to hear their concerns and consider their point of view in our actions.

Our principles for political dialog and communicating our interests form the basis of responsible, reliable and open action with the aim of harmonizing the company’s interests with the interests of society at large. This also includes the idea of maintaining neutrality when dealing with political parties and representatives of interest groups. The aim of our discussions with political decision-makers is to achieve greater planning security and contribute our ideas to processes of social change. We focus here on issues such as vehicle safety, emission regulations, new mobility concepts and electric mobility. Other important issues include trade policy, location-specific matters and education and human resources policy.

Our management policy on Lobbying and Political Donations governs, among other things, the use of lobbying instruments and other methods for making our interests known in the political realm. We represent the company’s interests through dialog with decision-makers, including elected officials or politicians who have been nominated for office, government officials, and representatives of political interest groups, trade organizations, business associations and government agencies. Participation in specialized government committees and product sales to ministries, government agencies and diplomatic missions are part of our business operations and therefore not considered a component of lobbying.

Our central coordinating body for political dialog at the national and international levels is the External Affairs and Public Policy department, which falls under the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of Management. This department operates a global network with offices in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Singapore, Stuttgart and Washington and also has corporate representations in other key markets. In order to ensure that political lobbying activities are coordinated, and also to avoid political target groups being addressed in an uncoordinated manner, employees in the External Affairs and Public Policy department must be registered.

Also through the Group-wide Lobbyists Register, we want to ensure that our political lobbying is carried out in accordance with applicable regulations and ethical standards. The register also helps us meet the registration requirements of public institutions.

We regard donations to political parties as an element of our social responsibility and as a contribution to the democratic process. We make these donations in strict conformity with applicable law. All donations to political parties require a Board of Management resolution. As in previous years, Daimler AG made donations totaling €320,000 to political parties in 2018. Of this total, the CDU and SPD each received €100,000, and the FDP, CSU and Alliance 90/Green Party €40,000 each.

Stakeholder dialogue