Ecumenical News International

EKD Council Chair Bedford-Strohm calls for new business ethical standards

March 14, 2016

Nuremberg (epd). Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), sees the current refugee debate as a chance to negotiate again on questions of business ethics. "We must be serious about combating the root causes of refugee flows," said Bedford-Strohm on 12 March at a symposium in Nuremberg. That included setting binding ethical standards for the business community.

Prices must "tell the ecological and social truth"

In view of growing global challenges the churches had to put the spotlight on social and political abuses, Bedford-Strohm said. Western policy-making was increasingly becoming "a question of life and death" for developing countries. He was convinced that world problems could only be resolved in close international cooperation. "Globalisation offers many chances," Bedford-Strohm underlined. "For those who are most vulnerable as well."

The EKD Council chair, who is also bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, called for business ethical standards taking account of the poorest of the poor. The only morally acceptable approach, in his view, is "that which benefits disadvantaged individuals and groups". In an age of international arms deliveries and unilateral trade agreements, this demand was more important than ever, he claimed. At the same time, Bedford-Strohm called for an end to the cheap-price policy. Prices needed to "tell the ecological and social truth", he declared.

Industrial nations on the line

Environmental protection must also be more globally rooted, according to the EKD Council chair. "Ecological problems know no borders" and the industrialised nations had a special responsibility to drastically cut their carbon emissions. Bedford-Strohm made it quite clear that the "destructive quality of current economic activity" could no longer be ignored in view of climate change.



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