Connecting Commission policy-makers with those parts of society that can fruitfully contribute to the development of policies is the first and foremost priority of the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA). The Bureau forges links between the European Commission and think tanks, academia, civil society, churches and communities of conviction.
BEPA activities, its strategic input and reports complement those of other Commission Services since they concentrate on the early stage of the policy cycle, thereby helping to shape policy options in the medium and long term. Within the Commission, BEPA holds a unique position: it operates directly under the President’s authority.
BEPA provides the President of the European Commission, his College of Commissioners and the Commission Directorates General with strategic thinking and policy advice. BEPA advisers assist other experts in the Commission, enriching their work with timely, informed policy and political advice on issues relevant to the President's policy agenda and future policies in the Union.
The changeover to a new Commission (period 2010-2014) has been identified as the right moment to reorganise BEPA’s structures, preparing the Bureau for future challenges and making it more operationally efficient. Where previously BEPA was subdivided into thematic groups addressing three different areas – politics, society and economy – the structure now rests on two pillars: “Outreach” and “Analysis”.
The two new teams are built around BEPA’s two core competences: the Outreach team continues to promote links between policy-makers and society on a European as well as a global level. The Analysis team, on the other hand, is dedicated to policy analysis and advice. In addition, it organises regular meetings between the President, his Cabinet and relevant experts and academics. It also supports the Chief Scientific Adviser and the European Group on Ethics in Science and Technology, which issues opinions on ethical questions in science and technology legislation.