Congressional European Parliament Initiative (CEPI)
The Bertelsmann Foundation and the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Brussels office administer the CEPI, which fosters greater knowledge of and debate between the US Congress and the European Parliament (EP).
This joint initiative helps create a common trans-Atlantic political culture to facilitate better policy cooperation and best-practice exchange in both legislative bodies. The CEPI connects Congressional and EP staff with similar policy expertise and provides them with deeper awareness of the legislative processes and the political and institutional challenges that exist across the Atlantic.
The CEPI comprises three pillars:
- The US-EU Briefing Series: Each year, the CEPI program includes a "Brussels 101" briefing on Capitol Hill and a "Washington 101" briefing in the EP. In 2012-13, the program will also include an issue-specific "EU Voices in Congress" briefing series.
- CapitolWire and EuroWire e-Publication Series: CapitolWire and EuroWire are occasional publications that highlight issues, legislation and policymakers. CapitolWire examines the US Congress from the vantage point of EP staff and offers timely operational analysis. Similarly, EuroWire examines the EU from the vantage point of Congressional staff.
- The Congressional-EP Staff Exchange Fellowship: At the heart of the CEPI, the Congressional-EP staff exchange brings together ten Congressional and ten EP staff twice per year (once in Washington, DC and once in Brussels). Each gathering is a five-day series of seminars, talks and team-building exercises that provides greater understanding of the fellows' policy portfolios and insight into the legislative processes on the other side of the Atlantic. Fellows are notified of their acceptance to the program in February of each year. The length of the fellowship is the full calendar year. The program annually focuses on two policy portfolios that can benefit from trans-Atlantic legislative cooperation. In 2011, those portfolios are energy/natural resources and border security/anti-terrorism.