Federation of German Employers' Associations

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The BDA logo

The Federal Association of German Employers' Associations e. V. ( BDA ) is the labor and socio-political umbrella organization for the entire German economy and has its seat in Berlin (from 1951 to 1999 in Cologne ). As an interest group for all branches of the private commercial economy in Germany, the BDA represents the employer side of around 70% of employees.


Historical logo

The employers' organizations came into being in response to the unions . The German Book Printers Association was founded as early as 1869 as the first and oldest employers' association. In April 1904 the main office of the German employers 'associations was founded with its seat in Berlin and in 1913 the " Association of German Employers' Associations ". This emerged from a merger of two rival umbrella organizations, the headquarters of German employers 'associations (founded in 1904 to represent employers in heavy industry) and the Association of German Employers' Associations (founded in 1904 to represent employers in the manufacturing industry).

In 1920 companies with 8 million employees were organized in employers' associations. After the seizure of power of the NSDAP , the employers' associations disbanded under pressure from the Nazis. After the Second World War , the employers' associations remained banned in the Soviet occupation zone and the GDR . In the western sectors, the traditions of the period before 1933 were continued. In 1947 the Association of Employers of the Western Zone was formed, which in 1948 became the Central Secretariat of Employers of the United Economic Area . Even before the Basic Law came into force , in January 1949 the constituent meeting of the socio-political working group of the employers 'associations of the unified economic area with its headquarters in Wiesbaden was held by representatives of 23 specialist and eight interdisciplinary employers' associations.

After the associations in the area of ​​the former French occupation zone had also joined at the end of 1949, the name “Federal Association of German Employers' Associations” was established in November 1950.

With the establishment of association structures based on the West German model in the new federal states in 1990, the BDA established itself as an all-German employers' association. In 1999 the BDA followed the government's move to Berlin and moved to the Spree. There it shares the Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft at Breiten Straße 29 with the Federation of German Industry and the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry .


Under the umbrella of the Confederation of German Employers 'Associations which are German Employers' Associations summarized. Its members are 14 interdisciplinary state associations (joint state associations between Berlin and Brandenburg as well as Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein ), each with interdisciplinary regional associations, as well as 52 federal specialist associations with respective state and regional professional associations from the fields of industry , services , finance , trade , transport , craft and agriculture . A total of around one million companies are indirect members of the BDA. These employ around 70 percent of all employees. The largest employer in Germany, the public sector, is not one of the employers' associations.

The BDA is a registered association according to § 21 BGB . As a professional association with the purpose of representing the interests of employers in our pluralistic society , it is committed to the common good and is therefore tax-exempt.

The most important organs are the general assembly, the board of directors, the presidium, the general management and the committees.

The general assembly, which takes place annually, elects the president for two years, the presidium and members of the board and is responsible for the budget and the fee schedule.

The board accepts new members, sets up committees and unanimously makes recommendations on collective bargaining policies . He determines the fundamental directional decisions.

The Presidium acts within the framework set by the Executive Board and is the central decision-making body. It consists of the president, eight vice-presidents including the treasurer and 42 other members and represents the entire spectrum of the German economy. According to Section 26 of the German Civil Code (BGB), the President and Vice-Presidents form the BDA's legal board .

The main management is appointed by the board on the proposal of the president. The general manager and two members of the general management manage the day-to-day business in close consultation with the president.

There are also 75 committees and working groups that deal with technical issues, including four jointly with the Federation of German Industry . Your suggestions and opinions are the basis for the decisions of the Board of Directors and the Presidium.

At the European level, there is Businesseurope (formerly Union des Confédérations de l'Industrie et des Employeurs d'Europe ). Internationally, the BDA is represented in the International Organization of Employers .


At the head of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations is the President . This office has been held by the following people since 1949:

Chief Executive

Another essential function in the BDA takes the chief executive one:

Federal professional associations


For its members, the BDA represents entrepreneurial interests in the formation of political will. It is opposed to the legislature, the executive, trade unions, social groups and the public. The BDA advises the decision-makers from the first draft bills in the ministry through parliamentary deliberations and committee meetings to the final treatment in the Federal Council. By creating concepts in her subject areas, she influences the formation of social will. In various committees, new positions are developed and information is processed. It is also represented in the self-governing bodies of all social insurance funds.

The BDA covers the topics of employment policy, social security, labor law, collective bargaining policy, education, European policy, social policy and economics. This is also reflected in their department structure.

In addition, the BDA offers its members extensive information services. It provides information at an early stage about legal developments and evaluates political decisions made and labor law judgments, particularly with regard to their consequences for the company. To this end, it sends out 1,000 information circulars a year and processes 15,000 inquiries a year.

Political influence

Resistance to the protection of whistleblowers

Roland Wolf, managing director and head of the labor law department of the BDA, spoke out against a proposed whistleblower protection law for Germany at a public hearing in the Bundestag on March 16, 2015.

Influence on political education

In July 2015 the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) issued a provisional distribution ban on the publication “Economy and Society” from the series “Topics and Materials” published by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). The ban took place on the initiative of the BDA and on the grounds of a violation of the Beutelsbach consensus . After reviewing the allegations, the scientific advisory board of the bpb came to the conclusion that the publication was unproblematic; The BDA had backed up its allegations with "shortening" and "falsifying" quotations with scandalous intent ; for example, materials were quoted directly without being identified. The board of directors of the German Society for Sociology criticized the measures taken by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and "refuses to oppose the Ministry's massive interference with the freedom of science" ; He further criticizes the "political advance of the BDA" , which ignores "the requirement of science-based education" . The IG Metall union also criticized the process as a "scandal" .

See also


  • BDA (Ed.): The BDA - In the service of companies. Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-938349-15-8 .
  • Martin Behrens: The paradox of employers' associations . Sigma, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-8360-8730-8 .
  • Gerhard Erdmann: The German employers' associations in the socio-historical change of time. Luchterhand, Neuwied / Berlin 1966.
  • Roswitha Leckebusch: Development and transformation of the objectives, the structure and the effects of employers' associations. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966.
  • Robert Lorenz: Siegfried Balke - Border Crosser Between Business and Politics in the Adenauer Era. Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 978-3-8382-0137-5 .
  • Paul R. Melot de Beauregard: Membership in employers' associations and collective bargaining coverage. Dissertation . 2001, ISBN 3-631-39295-8 .
  • Wolfgang Schröder, Bernhard Wessels (ed.): Handbook of employers and business associations in Germany . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-14195-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. youtube.com
  2. Federal Agency for Political Education : Shop / Learning / Topics and Materials / Economy and Society. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Announcement by the DGS board , October 23, 2015.
  4. Entrepreneur lobby has federal headquarters censored , Neues Deutschland, October 24, 2015.