Code of Conduct of the European Association of Political Consultants

The European Association of Political Consultants (EAPC) is a voluntary association of professional practitioners who are actively involved in political consultation and communication for their clients at all levels of politics, economic and public affairs. Members regard their activity as a fundamental contribution to political communications and campaigns’ consulting in democratic processes. In so doing, they abide by all legal provisions and regulations of their respective countries, as well as any national professional organisation with whom they work. Through their work they will, at all times, foster the democratic principles of free speech, freedom of information, the independence of the media and the protection of personal rights. Transparency, integrity and respect for, and fostering of, democratic principles are indispensable requirements for every EAPC member. The EAPC and its members should also foster the professional and ethical  responsibilities of their employees (where they exist), thus supporting at the same time the integrity of the political consultancy and communications sector.

Mandatory principles for members
Every member of the European Association of Political Consultants and the firms they represent, undertake to comply with the following principles:

1. Transparency
EAPC members perform their duties and tasks in the spirit of complete transparency
towards their clients. All assignments which are agreed in writing shall have clear
definitions with regard to the work to be performed including the fee payable for such
services. EAPC members shall under no circumstances conclude any contracts
containing a guarantee of success, and shall, in the execution of their work, not
mislead or deceive by providing false or incomplete statements.

2. Confidentiality
EAPC members guarantee their clients strict confidentiality of all information
required for the performance of each assignment.
3. Exclusivity
EAPC members commit themselves to avoiding conflict of interest and observing
industry exclusivity towards their clients for the duration of each assignment.
They shall not, in the course of such period, accept any assignments from direct
competitors including political opponents during the same campaign and at the same
level of governance – unless those different clients are working in tandem with each
other on the same side in a referendum or as part of a party political alliance.
4. Challenging unfair influence
As political consultants and public affairs experts in the execution of their professional
tasks and duties, EAPC members must refrain from exerting undue or inappropriate
influence on officeholders or the general public. Should a client submit such a
request to them, they must refuse this assignment.
5. Fairness and honesty
EAPC members must regard fairness as an indispensable, non-negotiable and
fundamental attitude. This attitude shall determine all areas and aspects of their daily
business. EAPC members must also refrain from subordinating the truth and will
uphold underlying standards of honesty and common decency.
6. Promoting respect and combatting discrimination
The work performed by EAPC members is, in every way, characterised by their
respect towards their clients, colleagues, competitors and suppliers. EAPC members
commit themselves to avoiding any form of discrimination in the execution of their
duties, tasks and campaigns, abiding by the relevant discrimination laws of the country
in which they are working, including the areas of gender, origin, religion and
sexual orientation.

7. Democracy and openness
In the execution of their duties and work, EAPC members shall commit themselves
permanently to promote and support fundamental democratic values and not to
subvert or weaken these values in any form. Through their work, they must support
an open, fair interaction with major issues, thus motivating people to dedicate
themselves to the values of democracy.
8. Opposing political extremism and avoiding libellous or slanderous personal denigration
EAPC members will always oppose political extremism in all its manifestations.
Members will also never engage in libellous, or slanderous, personal denigration of
any individual during the course of an assignment. Any campaigns aiming at the
competitors’ discredit through defamatory or abusive communication infringing
the personal sphere of life as well as any fomenting of hatred and incitement
must be refused by EAPC members.
EAPC members must dedicate themselves to convey achievements, projects and
visions in the course of communication exchanged with and for the client in a
respectful way.
In the fulfilment and execution of their tasks and duties, EAPC members must always
refer to the EAPC’s principles and scrutinise all potential assignments and ensure that
they are in accordance with the strict standards of the EAPC.

Violations of the Code of Conduct
Any violation of one or more principles set out herein may constitute the basis of
Code of Conduct proceedings. Such proceedings may lead to a written warning
and/or expulsion from the EAPC. Any violation of the Code of Conduct may be
reported in writing by any other EAPC member, as well as political decision-makers,
representatives of the media or civil society, by indicating one’s own name and
describing the misconduct precisely. Anonymous reporting is not permissible.

Any reporting may be submitted via e-mail to codeofconduct@eapc.eu or in writing to
the EAPC. Each notice shall be dealt with by the EAPC Code of Conduct Committee,
which consists of three Past Presidents of the Association appointed by the EAPC
General Assembly. The members concerned shall be notified of the decision in writing.
In the event of an objection, the EAPC Board shall take the final decision.
The decision shall, additionally, be published in anonymised form on the EAPC
website at www.eapc.eu.

Entering into Force
This EAPC Code of Conduct shall enter into force upon its approval by the General
Assembly on 28th May 2017. New members may only be accepted upon their
presentation of a declaration of consent. Existing members shall be required to sign
the EAPC Code of Conduct within three months from its entering into force in order
to continue their EAPC membership.

Declaration of consent
As an EAPC member, I hereby express my consent to the Association’s Code of
Conduct as a whole and in its entirety, and shall abide by and observe the spirit and
the letter of each of its individual principles mentioned above to the best of my ability
and knowledge in the course of the performance of my tasks and duties to
be fulfilled.

Place/Date First name and last name as well as
signature of the respective member