Liaison Office in Washington DC
“The European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC (EPLO) is responsible for facilitating the development and strengthening of relations between the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament on issues calling for Transatlantic legislative and political cooperation. It contributes to the development of a Transatlantic network of legislators and legislative staffers focused on issues that require legislative and political cooperation” -- Former EP President, Jerzy Buzek, inaugurated the office on April 29, 2010.
Beyond strengthening US and EU parliamentary ties the EPLO maintains strong working relationships with US-based universities, think tanks, NGOs, business organisations and the press. It provides these partners with a point of reference for following developments in the European Union, most particularly from the perspective of the European Parliament, the EU’s directly elected body of legislators representing over 500 million European citizens.
The EPLO reaches out to the interested US general public and to all those studying the history and institutions of the European Union at school. It does this through lecturing in educational institutions around the country and through its social media platforms.
What We Do:
- strengthening strategic links at all levels with US Congress bodies, i.e. by fostering political contacts between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and members of Congress,
- enhancing their participation in transatlantic structures and meetings, promoting long-term joint legislative planning as well as a joint legislative early-warning system
- identifying key legislative issues of mutual interest and assuring necessary information exchange with new communication channels, by monitoring US legislation and two-way notification of potential opportunities as regards both European and US legislation
- preparing and assisting enhanced mutual European Parliament-US Congress contacts, with particular emphasis on committee-to-committee links, including annual and ad hoc visits of delegations, committee chairs or rapporteurs, exchange and training originated visits at staff level, and by means of video-conferencing
- improving mutual perception and understanding between administrations, i.e. by organising/attending information seminaries, presentations and other events, preparing and distributing new publications/newsletters/web postings
- reinforcing cooperation with the EU Delegation in Washington DC, thus easing and promoting information flow and synergies in initiatives in the framework of the transatlantic dialogue
History of the Office:
The EPLO is the only European Parliament office outside the European Union. It is situated at 2175 K Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. in the same building as the European Union Delegation to the United States. The EPLO comprises a number of European staffers, policy experts and American interns.
The origins of interparliamentary relations between the European Parliament and the United States Congress date back to 1972 when a US Congress delegation visited the European Parliament for the first time. This interparliamentary relationship is, indeed, the longest and most intensive one in the history of the European Parliament.
The delegation with the EU is one of only three official delegations of the US Congress, alongside those with Canada and Mexico.