Day of the German Family Business
Berlin, 27.06.2014

Day of the German Family Business

The Foundation for Family Business calls for the Grand Coalition to have more respect for the entrepreneurial freedom of business. "The new cabinet feels encouraged to intervene more uninhibited than ever in the management of businesses" explained Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Brun-Hagen Hennerkes, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Family Business on the occasion of the "Day of the German Family Business" in Berlin. The room for family business leaders to take responsibility for their own decisions is restricted by the demands of minimum wage laws, quotas for women and the reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). "The federal government has totally neglected the impact of these objectives," he said.

"The burden of the EEG practically forces companies to invest in self powered renewable energy systems," declared Hennerkes regarding the adoption of the EEG reform by the Bundestag on Friday. Now new hurdles have been set up for such investments. "After the subsidy comes the sanction, first give gas then brake. Such is the fate of state intervention. It would be a matter of intrinsic entrepreneurial freedom for the companies to decide for themselves which energy sources to choose," he concluded.

"With the minimum wage, the economy is also threatened with the definitive entry into politicized wage determination. The federal government crosses the red line, which had been protected from interference in this core area by collective bargaining," warned Hennerkes. In addition, the Minimum Wage Commission should advise for the first time about an increase in the minimum wage shortly before the next federal election in 2017.

Even the women's quota goes against entrepreneurial freedom, and in three ways: in the selection of human resources, in the organization and in financing of the company. "The proposed regulations mix deeply into the organization of the company - in the face of the flat hierarchies of family businesses with effects felt all the way up to department head level," criticized Hennerkes.

At the "Day of the German Family Business" around 300 owners of large family businesses met from 26 to 28 June in Berlin. Guest speakers included German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) and the US Ambassador John B. Emerson. Several podiums with politicians and family business people discussed the reform of the EU, the development of labor costs and the internationalization of family business.

For more information:

Hartmut Kistenfeger

Head of Communications and Programs

Stiftung Familienunternehmen
Prinzregentenstraße 50, D-80538 Munich

Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 12 76 400 06
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 12 76 400 09

E-Mail: kistenfeger(at)