Political consultants play a mediatory role between economics, politics and the public. This presents them the challenge of maintaining the interests of the client, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, ensuring as an objective of political consulting the protection of the common good when implementing the individual interests of a client.

The constant transition between the fields of politics, economics and the public thus demands from political consultants a particular sensitivity and transparency in carrying out their work.

Against this background, codes of conduct have already been adopted by the Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP), based in Brussels , the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and the British Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC).

In the context of the process of professionalisation within political consulting, to present a clear sign of its transparency to the public and clients from the spheres of politics, economics and civil society, the German Association of Political Consultants e.V. (de’ge’pol) has produced a self-contained code of conduct, de’ge’pol members are professionals from the fields of public affairs, policy consulting and campaign consulting.

The code of conduct

Political consulting is an integral part of the democratic process. In carrying out their careers political consultants respect and advance the basic principles of international law, and the guidelines of the national legislation, in particular the basic principles of freedom of speech, the right to information, independence of the media and the protection of individual rights.

Integrity, the maintaining of democratic rules of play, as well as respect for the democratic basic order create the preconditions for debate regarding the foremost ideas and concepts. With this concept of self-definition, members of de’ge’pol stand for the professionalisation of political consulting.

The members of de’ge’pol commit themselves to follow the following basic principles in carrying out their professional activities:

Truthfulness

A commitment to truthfulness with clients, political institutions, the media and the public: de’ge’pol members work solely with information that, to the best of their knowledge, reflects the truth.

Close attention is paid to transparency and avoiding misinforming by utilising false information. In carrying out their professional activities, they disclose the name of their client as long, as they are working on their behalf.

Discretion

A commitment to discretion: confidential information from current or previous clients is only to be passed on with their express consent.

Furthermore, de’ge’pol members are careful to avoid potential professional conflicts of interest by simultaneously representing directly irreconcilable interests. The client should be informed about any possible conflicts of interest.

No financial incentives

In the communication and realisation of interests, de’ge’pol members do not exert any dishonest or illegal influences, especially not via direct or indirect financial incentives.

No discrimination

In their professional activities de’ge’pol members commit themselves to allowing no form of racist, sexist, religious or other forms of discrimination, and from taking part in them.

Respect

de’ge’pol members treat clients and colleagues respectfully and are committed to respecting their professional and personal reputations.

Clear separation

In their professional consulting and representation, de’ge’pol members hold in high regard the strict separation between, on the one hand, their professional activities, and, on the other hand, further political positions, mandates and functions.

No disrepute to the occupation

Each de’ge’pol member fundamentally avoids activities that could damage the reputation of the community of political consultants, political consulting or the public image of de’ge’pol.

With their membership the members of de’ge’pol have accepted this code of conduct and will promote its abidance, circulation and further development.