2012 CEPI Fellows Convene in Brussels
WASHINGTON, DC/BRUSSELS (June 3, 2012) - The Bertelsmann Foundation and the Bertelsmann Stiftung Brussels office brought together 20 staffers from the US Congress and the European Parliament (EP) for the first meeting of the 2012 class of the Congressional European Parliament Initiative (CEPI) fellows. The gathering took place May 29 – June 2 in Brussels.
The CEPI connects the largest legislative bodies on either side of the Atlantic by offering workshops for the staffers on some of the major issues under debate in Washington, DC and Brussels that can have extraterritorial impact. This year’s topics are agriculture policy and financial-services regulation. Staffers are selected based on their expertise in these fields and their close proximity to decision-making processes.
The four-day conference kicked off with an opening reception with Member of European Parliament (MEP) and former EP President Jerzy Buzek (EPP-Poland). That was followed by a dinner with Bruce Stokes, director of the Pew Global Attitudes Project’s Global Economic Program; Arthur Beesley, Brussels correspondent for The Irish Times; and Paul Adamson, editor-in-chief of E!Sharp. The evening included sessions with US Ambassador to the EU William Kennard and MEP Christian Ehler (EPP-Germany).
Staffers working on agricultural policy met with leaders from the European Commission, the European Council and advocacy groups, and MEP Paolo de Castro (S&D-Italy), chair of the Agriculture Committee. Staffers working on financial services met with senior officials from the European Commission, the European Banking Authority and banking giant HSBC. They also participated in an EP economics committee (ECON) hearing featuring European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and met with individual members of the committee including Kay Swinburne (ECR-UK), Wolf Klinz (ALDE- Germany) and Elisa Ferreira (S&D-Portugal).
The CEPI is supported by a grant from the European Commission. The same group of staffers will convene in Washington, DC 28 August – 1 September for high-level meetings, workshops and seminars with leading experts and US government officials.
For more information on the CEPI, go to www.cepinitiative.org.