German businesses are taking a clear stand for diversity, openness and tolerance

“We stand for values” is the name under which more than 30 leading and distinguished German companies have joined forces to form an alliance for diversity, openness and tolerance. It includes numerous DAX companies, family-owned businesses, German SMEs and start-ups. The initiative is also backed by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB).

In their first joint campaign, the companies are calling on their combined 1.7 million employees to take part in the upcoming European elections and engaging in numerous activities to highlight the importance of European unity for prosperity, growth and jobs. The alliance aims to highlight the values that have made our peaceful co-existence possible and to underline that diversity and intercultural cooperation are essential for economic success.

The alliance went public on 7 May 2024. Interested parties can discover more at In line with its declared ambition to mirror the diversity of the German economy, the collective warmly invites further companies and organisations to join its ranks.

Companies coordinate their internal and external communications

The alliance is also intentionally directed at the approximately 1.7 million employees of the member companies. Through proactive engagement with the staff, the economic advantages of these values for each of the more than 30 participating companies become the centrepiece. Under the ‘We stand for values’ framework, each participating firm organises internal discussion forums, workshops, town hall meetings, video messages, and informational events.  

Member companies have already launched many such initiatives and are collaborating with each other to develop formats and content, share best practices, and leverage the partnership as a platform for dialogue.

Furthermore, the firms are also actively disseminating their messages to the wider public. This includes a targeted social media campaign, which aims to reach new demographics by establishing a presence in spaces where numerous voters source their information.

Exclusion, extremism and populism pose threats to Germany as a business location and to our prosperity

In addition to the benefits of European integration, the alliance is especially dedicated to the principles of diversity, openness, and tolerance. These principles are fundamental for peaceful coexistence within our society and workplaces.

Innovative ideas and breakthroughs can only flourish when individuals from all walks of life can exchange thoughts freely and safely. The member companies of “We stand for values” are united in the belief that exclusion, animosity, and isolation run counter to our shared values and endanger both entrepreneurial liberty and individual prosperity. German enterprises require a diverse skilled workforce from beyond our borders to thrive and maintain competitiveness for the foreseeable future. Currently, Germany faces a shortfall of 1.73 million unfilled positions. In the coming years, an additional 200,000 to 400,000 skilled workers will be needed annually.

Populism and extremism are inextricably linked with isolation and exclusion. Research indicates that such ideologies lead to diminished innovative capacity, reduced economic output, and consequently, less wealth, particularly affecting the most vulnerable in society. The consortium believes that instead of ‘diminishing’ our economies and societies, we should seek to ‘enhance’ them – through enhanced competitiveness, enhanced prosperity, and enhanced innovation. All of these create more liveable and attractive communities, free from the blight of hatred, segregation, exclusion, and racism.

The German economy depends on a functioning and unobstructed EU

Germany must navigate major challenges in the forthcoming years: the digital revolution and swift technological advancements, climate change, demographic shifts, as well as global competition and conflicts. Success here is crucial for our economy. Only a capable Europe can overcome such obstacles effectively – a stagnant and divided Europe will fail to do so.

“With the European elections in early June, we will start into the super election year 2024. As always, the more people vote, the stronger democracy remains.” 
Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG

Participation is key

“We stand for values” is already a diverse collaboration of a range of companies, in partnership with the BDI. Collectively, its members encompass a total of around 1.7 million employees. In pursuit of a broader impact, additional companies are warmly welcomed to join the alliance.

“We Stand for Values” continues beyond the European election

Our values have no expiry date. The alliance’s commitment does not end with the European elections, therefore, but will carry on to future elections. The initiative will continue its activities in the coming weeks to reach as many people as possible within member companies and across society at large.

Further information and perspectives from staff and executives can be found on the initiative’s shared website: and

The following companies and organisations are part of the “We stand for values” alliance:

  • Allianz SE
  • Bayer AG
  • Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V.
  • Beiersdorf AG
  • Blacklane GmbH
  • BMW AG
  • Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Daimler Truck AG
  • Deutsche Bahn AG
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • Deutsche Börse AG
  • Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB)
  • DHL Group
  • Dussmann Group
  • E.ON SE
  • EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG
  • Ford Werke GmbH
  • Forvia HELLA
  • Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
  • Mercedes-Benz Group AG
  • Merck KGaA
  • Metro AG
  • Philip Morris GmbH
  • RWE AG
  • Schaeffler AG
  • Siemens AG
  • Siemens Energy AG
  • O2 Telefónica
  • thyssenkrupp AG
  • Uniper SE
  • Volkswagen AG
  • Vonovia SE 

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