An article by Fritz-Uwe Hofmann, Vice President Public Affairs Germany and Vice President Berlin Representative Office.
We see ourselves as a dialog partner in an ever more complex digital world and are actively involved in political debate - responsible, fair and based on facts.
We join associations and initiatives in order to promote economic and societal issues. Our focus is on the IT and telecommunications industry as well as on the digital economy in Germany and the rest of Europe.
Together with our industry partners, we at Deutsche Telekom are committed to strengthening and improving Germany’s position as a competitive digital hub. We are actively involved in numerous associations and initiatives – focusing not only on our core topics, like the broadband build-out, but also, on the overall structure of the German and European markets for digital and telecommunications products and services. That also includes issues such as data protection and the data economy, Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, and questions of digital sovereignty. With the digital transformation of the economy and society proceeding apace, and competition between international hubs becoming ever fiercer, the parameters for the effective representation of our interests are changing. That is why Deutsche Telekom is a member in its own right of numerous industry and umbrella associations at both national and European level, and also an active participant in the corresponding specialist bodies and committees.
- We are convinced that only expertise, arguments, facts, and mutual understanding can facilitate a social dialog that results in progress. In this context, we seek in particular to engage with our critics and repeatedly question our own actions and motives. We consider political dialog to be a dispassionate contest between different positions and opinions – one that is fought out in an open, responsible manner in line with our German and European values.
- Our guiding principle is to respect the independence and integrity of our political interlocutors - which is why we have also expressly welcomed the creation of a German lobby register at the German Bundestag and registered our company in due time in accordance with the legal requirements. At European level, too, we have supported the creation of a European lobbying and transparency register from the very start and were one of the first companies to register – because elected officials in parliaments, governments, and social organizations rely on information that we provide objectively and on the basis of facts.
- We have also made a public written commitment to ethical standards of behavior and enshrined these in our strict, extensive compliance program (Code of Conduct). We do not make any donations to political organizations, political parties, or elected officials on principle. Our lobby work is characterized by accurate, objective preparation of the facts at hand. When we avail ourselves of scientific support, we always do so transparently. We support the establishment of a transparency and lobbyist register in Germany, as well as strict punishment of violations of the corresponding regulations. We advocate for full transparency of conflicts of interest by political officeholders that may arise from the combination of their office and other professional activities and encourage adapting the rules in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, accordingly. - Please refer to our CR Report for further information on our memberships in associations and our partnerships, and on the biggest contributions we pay.