2012 CEPI Fellows Convene in Washington
WASHINGTON, DC (September 3, 2012) - The Bertelsmann Foundation North America and the Bertelsmann Stiftung Brussels office brought together 20 US Congress and the European Parliament staffers for the second conference of the 2012 class of the Congressional European Parliament Initiative (CEPI). The gathering took place 28 August – 1 September in Washington, DC.
The CEPI connects the largest legislative bodies in the US and Europe by tackling issues in the legislative cycles of both institutions that can have extraterritorial impact. This year’s topics were agriculture policy and financial-services regulation. Staffers were selected based on their expertise in these fields and close proximity to the decision-making process.
The four-day conference gave participants the opportunity to hear from and interact with Bart Gordon, former US congressman and chairman for the House Committee on Science and Technology; Francois Rivasseau, deputy head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States; Kathleen Doherty, deputy assistant secretary of the US State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs; and Karen Donfried, national intelligence officer for Europe at the US National Intelligence Council.
Participants with expertise in agriculture also met with leaders from the US Department of Agriculture, the US Trade Representative, advocacy groups, and Congressional legislative directors from the House and Senate agriculture committees. Participants working on financial services met with officials from the Federal Reserve, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington, DC-based think tanks, and the relevant House and Senate committees. A congressional briefing on European banking and financial policy, held in conjunction with the CEPI conference, included Nicolas Verón, senior fellow at Bruegel; Peter Kerstens, economic counselor at the EU Delegation to the USA; and Julie Chon, global head of public investment strategy at Perry Capital. The briefing centered on the current state of the eurozone crisis and its implications.
The CEPI is supported by a grant from the European Commission. The same group of staffers convened in Brussels earlier this year 29 May – 2 June for high-level meetings, workshops and seminars with leading European experts and government officials.