What is Achmea’s public affairs policy?

Achmea has policies in place with regard to ethics and transparency in its public affairs activities. This pertains both to ‘direct’ lobbying for a specific cause as well as to ‘indirect’ lobbying – managing its relationship with external stakeholders in a more general or broader setting.

Transparency applies to lobbying activities undertaken by company representatives, as well as by representatives of trade associations or specialized public affairs agencies contracted by Achmea. Both Achmea and the trade associations and external agencies are duly registered in the EU’s transparency register.

Achmea provides (modest) financial support to a limited number of not-for-profit think tanks or foundations operating in the (international) public domain, as well as to one University chair in Public Affairs. Achmea’s membership or sponsorship is always fully disclosed. Achmea does not provide financial support to political parties or political interest groups.

Achmea’s lobbying activities are in line with internationally recognized principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (UN, OECD, ILO) and with Achmea’s own internal policies. Staff involved in lobbying activities is encouraged to join the Dutch professional organization for Public Affairs (BVPA). BVPA has a code of conduct in place with disciplinary proceedings in case of non-adherence.

Achmea has a keen interest in the development of rules and regulations pertaining to the financial sector as well as to the health (insurance) sector, including supervision and rule enforcement.  Achmea’s ‘four stakeholder model’ – in which the interests of its insured take first place - provides a clear compass for interest articulation and interest representation. Achmea is an active participant in two trade organizations: Verbond van Verzekeraars (Dutch Association of Insurers) and Zorgverzekeraars Nederlands (Dutch Association of Health Insurers), as well as in VNO/NCW, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers. Internationally, Achmea is affiliated - directly or indirectly - with trade organizations like the Brussels based Insurance Europe, AMICE and AIM, as well as Business Europe. In addition, Achmea maintains contacts with representatives from government and politics, intermediary organizations, think tanks, patients associations and other interest groups.

Achmea endeavours to be actively involved In the debate about the development of the Dutch society at large and – in doing so – to draw on the practical experiences gained while serving its clients. In Achmea’s view better regulation and better governance in the financial and health sectors can only be achieved if policy makers acquire a thorough grasp of the (potential) consequences of measures to be taken.

In 2015 Achmea participated in two internet consultations. The first one with regard to the draft law regarding the ‘general pension fund’, and the second to the draft law regarding variable pension pay-outs.  In November 2015 Achmea participated in a Round Table discussion in Parliament about the future of the Dutch pension system, after submitting a short position paper prior to this discussion.

Achmea’s lobbying activities are reviewed by the company’s Executive Board on a regular basis.

Contact: Frank ter Borg, manager Public Affairs (frank.ter.borg@achmea.com)