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  • Author: Michael Wedell

Responsible lobbying work as a base

Representation of interests in Europe

In its dialogue with political and social stakeholders, METRO acts in accordance with the precepts of responsible lobbying work („responsible lobbying“). 

Active involvement in debates
Quite legitimately, political and communal stakeholders expect companies to involve themselves in the debate by bringing in their expertise. Many are concerned about issues such as protecting and informing consumers, food safety, dealing respectfully with natural resources, and employer-employee relationships. In line with METRO’s self-image as a company which acts in a responsible manner, it is a natural step for the Group to involve itself in such political and social debates and take a clear stand on various issues. Ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders is firmly anchored in the company’s strategy as part of its vision statement.

Representation of interests in Europe
Europe’s heart beats in Brussels. Here, the European Parliament, Commission and Council work towards creating a safe and economically strong Europe. Many associations, non-governmental organisations and companies are also represented here in order to discuss important political issues. METRO is represented locally with an office in premises shared with other commercial enterprises and the German Retail Association (HDE). From here, we foster dialogue with other European institutions and stakeholders in the civil society. Besides personal discussions, events such as our Brussels Wednesday Socials also play an important role. The work of the METRO office in Brussels is closely coordinated with colleagues in the representative office in Berlin as well as the relevant departments in the company headquarters in Düsseldorf. The Brussels office acts as an interface for observing and analysing political developments within the EU. At the same time, the office reflects these developments in the company, liaising with the relevant departments and with professional associations to develop company stances for regulatory issues. As a company which generates almost 80% of its turnover within the EU, METRO regards the success of the ‘Europe Project’ and the issue of deeper integration within Europe as being of particular significance. For this reason, we are involved in expert networks on a European level, and regularly participate in European Commission consultations. We are hereby able to place at their disposal our expertise as retailers with sales divisions in 15 out of the 28 member states in the European Union and help to further develop regulations for the European single market.

Being available and contactable on a local basis
Within the company, this dialogue is coordinated by the Corporate Communications and Public Policy department in the headquarters in Düsseldorf, as well as by representative offices throughout Germany and abroad.This enables us to be on the scene where political discussions are held and decisions are made which could affect the work and future of the company. We aim to communicate directly with our stakeholders, listening to their propositions and explaining our interests.Our lobbying work via the company’s own representative offices is closely interwoven with the work of our professional associations.

Responsible lobbying work as a base
In its dialogue with political and social stakeholders, METRO acts in accordance with the precepts of responsible lobbying work. In other words:

  • Our lobbying work is transparent and consistent.
  • Our aims, and the means we use in order to achieve them, are clearly recognisable.
  • We communicate the same message to all discussion partners.
  • Our aims are consistent with the company’s sustainability strategy.

Our conformance with these Guiding Principles is underscored by the fact that METRO is registered in the EU transparency register. Here you can read our published information.

The company publicly binds itself to adhere to the code of conduct linked to this register. Amongst other things, this code of conduct prescribes that lobbyists always state for whom they are working and the aims they are attempting to reach. In line with the maxims of responsible lobbying work, METRO campaigns for the ratification of the UN convention against corruption which obliges contract parties to penalise various forms of corruption against officials. METRO co-initiated and was the first to sign the mission statement for acting responsibly in commerce.

Where commerce acts in a responsible manner, it promotes people’s well-being and protects resources to an equal degree. It advocates this conviction both nationally and internationally. We do this in the clear knowledge that commerce begins and ends with mankind. For this reason, we would like to play our part to ensure that people make considerate decisions and bear future generations in mind."

Olaf Koch
Chairman of the Management Board, METRO AG

Brussels Wednesday Socials

METRO initiated the Brussels Wednesday Socials at the end of 2013. Today in cooperation with EuroCommerce the European association for retail and wholesale in Europe and the European Movement International (EMI), we debate twice a year with guest speakers from politics, commerce and society on political, economical and societal topics relevant for the future of the EU. Even prior to the event itself, the issue in question can be discussed in our digital office. One of our main hopes is to bring together people from different areas to hear their different perspectives and learn from each other. We cordially invite you to join in with our discussion.

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In the METRO TRADE LETTER, we concern ourselves each quarter with political and social issues which affect our company or the industry as a whole. The intention behind the METRO TRADE LETTER is not only to keep people informed but also to serve as a basis for dialogue with our political and social contacts in Germany and the EU. The METRO TRADE LETTER is published quarterly in print, in German and English.

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Michael Wedell

Information about the author

Michael Wedell METRO AG Michael.Wedell@metro.de