Bertelsmann Foundation awarded European Commission grant for Capitol Hill-European Parliament staffer exchange
Program, first of its kind, promotes trans-Atlantic legislative cooperation
The Bertelsmann Foundation has received a two-year 180,000 EUR grant from the European Commission to establish the Congressional-European Parliament Initiative (CEPI). This project, administered with the Brussels office of the Germany-based Bertelsmann Stiftung, is dedicated to forging a common trans-Atlantic political culture by facilitating better policy cooperation and best-practice exchange between the US Congress and the European Parliament.
Starting in 2010, the CEPI will bring together ten Congressional and ten European Parliament staffers with similar policy expertise. Participants will meet twice in a calendar year, each time for five days, once in Washington, DC and once in Brussels. The gatherings will include simulations, seminars and team-building exercises that will lead to a better understanding of the legislative processes and the political and institutional challenges on both sides of the Atlantic. The program will build the basis for policy exchange and coordination on numerous legislative issues with a trans-Atlantic dimension.
A committee of former Congressmen and Members of the European Parliament will select CEPI participants based on staffers' expertise in banking and financial regulation, and energy and climate-change policy. These two issues will be at the core of the CEPI's activities for 2010 and 2011.
The European Commission grant also supports a US-EU Briefing Series. These occasional, two-hour policy-oriented seminars for staffers in Washington, DC and Brussels, entitled "Washington 101" and "Brussels 101", will provide timely information and opportunities to exchange ideas on issues relevant to the US-EU relationship.
Finally, the grant underwrites CapitolWire and EuroWire. These e-publications will offer in concise, operational language insight into the Washington, DC and Brussels power structures, and provide Congressional and European Parliament staffers with information about legislative positions, processes and players in both capitals.
For more information about the CEPI, contact Andrew Cohen, Bertelsmann Foundation Communications Director.
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