To honor the winning projects of the prize for the promotion of democracy Strength for Democracy on July 6, 2022 in Berlin, the opinion research institute Civey asked 5,000 German citizens on behalf of Philip Morris GmbH for their opinion on the involvement of civil society in commercial companies for our democracy . Society is divided on this: a third of respondents expect companies to play an active role in our democracy (32%), and another third (36%) believe that companies should focus solely on their core business .
Many larger companies are now asking themselves what role business representatives should play in the face of major socio-political challenges of our time. The tone of public discourse has sharpened and our democratic system of values is no longer a matter of course. “Especially today, in the face of increasing systemic competition, democracy needs more followers,” says Claudia Oeking, Managing Director and Director of External Affairs at Philip Morris GmbH. “The survey clearly shows that half of the respondents believe that the best way for companies to support democracy is through financial support and sponsored awards,” explains Iris Brand, director of corporate responsibility and contributions at Philip Morris GmbH.
A possible reason for the different perceptions of the role of commercial enterprises in our society and of expectations regarding civil society involvement is that the vast majority of citizens question the motivation and seriousness of entrepreneurial involvement. 58% of respondents generally do not perceive corporate social commitment as credible. Only 16% confirm that companies make a genuine contribution to promoting democracy.
“The current distrust of corporate social commitment and the differing views on how the economy should take responsibility for our democracy is a call to us as an economy to transparently and seriously promote our own commitment in the long term,” said Iris. Mark.
Considering the possible substantive orientation of companies’ attachment to democracy, the most frequently mentioned by the respondents is strengthening the democratic foundations. In particular, the attachment to freedom, the right to vote as well as freedom of opinion and freedom of the press met with approval (91% of respondents mentioned at least one of the three aspects). In addition, the people of Germany want equal opportunities (61%) and fairness (56%) in society as a whole.
“At Philip Morris, we also see the company as a space for democratic socialization and therefore we are satisfied with the responses of the respondents to the question about promoting internal democracy. It becomes clear that the most important thing for citizens is that democracy is actively lived by the company itself and that employees are closely involved in decision-making processes, stresses Claudia Oeking.
In addition to the aspect of intense involvement (71% of respondents), a better exchange between colleagues (44%) and a flat hierarchy (47%) are an important basis for implementing a democratic and participatory corporate culture.
Finally, the study looked at the economic benefits of entrepreneurship for democracy and our pluralist society. In addition to the intrinsic and value-based motivation to engage in promoting democracy, more than half of those polled (55% versus 17% who disagree with this statement) also benefit from better social permeability and a wider recruitment of skilled workers. talent – regardless of cultural, social, sexual or religious background. Claudia Oeking: “From an economic point of view, the decisive factor is a stable, democratically active society. Our culture of discussion with its intense negotiation processes is a prerequisite for a stable economic area. This framework promotes and supports the further development and innovation of the economy and society in which we live. ”
On Corporate Democratic Responsibility and Power for Democracy Philip Morris:
The company’s involvement includes the series of studies “How we really live”, which is to provide constructive impulses for democratic coexistence, the sponsorship award of The Power of the Arts, which honors outstanding artistic and cultural projects that work for an open and inclusive society, and the German-wide appeal campaign in the super-election in 2021. In addition to the Power for Democracy Award, the company has established another element of its social commitment to strengthen democratic and free discourse in our society. A maximum of three organizations and initiatives promoting democratic coexistence in society are awarded with the amount of EUR 20,000 each. In 2021, the jury honored HateAid gGmbH – Counseling Center Against Digital Violence and Eyes at eV – Showing Civic Courage, which campaigns against Internet hatred and for greater tolerance and civil courage. These two outstanding projects will be honored in Berlin on July 6, 2022 during the first Power for Democracy Dinner Talk.
Philip Morris Ltd
Telephone: +49 89 7247 1838
High-resolution photos and graphics of the survey results can be found at https://powerfordemocracy.de/.
Original content: Philip Morris GmbH, provided by news aktell
Original message: https://www.presseportal.de/pm/37922/5265208