At ZVEI member companies are the "sovereign". They define the guidelines of the association's activities and vote for the board. They are assisted by ZVEI employees.
Associations such as ZVEI, on the one hand, provide particular impetus to democracy itself by pooling and representing interests. On the other hand, they themselves function by virtue of their internal structure as a model of a successful democratic organization. Co-determination and democracy play a vital role within ZVEI, as well. This means that foremost members decide who is to "put a face" to ZVEI and what he stands for.
The most important body at ZVEI regarding co-determination is the general assembly. All full members possess an equal voting right. Therefore, the decision-making process at ZVEI finds itself deeply rooted in democracy. The general assembly is held once a year. Therein, amongst other, decisions on amendments to the articles of association and membership fee regulations, approval of the actions board and management are made.
Every three years the assembly of delegates convenes to elect the board of directors. It consists of the delegates who are elected by the state offices and divisions. The number of delegates is determined by the number of members organised in the regional offices and divisions.
The board of directors advises and decides on fundamental aspects regarding the association's work. It is composed of up to 70 members who are proprietors, legal representatives or executive staff members of member companies and are elected for a term of office of three years. The board is made up of all chairmen of the 23 divisions and the ZVEI nine regional offices. The board, amongst other, adopts the annual financial statement and the budget. Furthermore, it votes internally for the president, up to five vice-presidents and other members of the managing board of directors.
The managing board of directors is elected by the board of directors. It includes the president, vice presidents and other members of the board, consisting of 11 members maximum. The managing board of directors develops policy guidelines for the divisions and concludes on crucial questions requiring a quick decision.
The management consists of the chief executive officer and possibly further managers who are appointed by the board. It controls independently the transactions of the association on the basis of the president's and the board's guidelines.
The divisions are subsidiary organisations of ZVEI. They include all member companies which are active in the same market segment. It is possible that a member, due to its differentiated product offering, might be a member of more than one division. The current 23 divisions possess a product and market sensitive expertise and represent the interests of their branch.
The regional offices are regional "liaison offices" of ZVEI which have an operating space that may span over one or more federal states. They represent the interests of the electrical and electronic industry to the respective state government.
The departments and sectors of ZVEI, which work closely with the divisions, are responsible for product and market wide technical, legal and political topics.