Bellevue Programme


Accelerating integration of the European Union presents the member states with the challenge of developing new forms of crossborder cooperation. Government policy is defined increasingly by European law, and the expanding competencies of the European Union now touch on areas that used to be the preserve of national government. At  the same time, domestic and security issues like immigration require multilateral agreement and a shared approach. Cross-border working relations cannot be established by institutions, but by the people who work in them. To overcome the barriers between national governments, we need personal networks and an understanding of the different work cultures. The question is how staff in our national ministries can be prepared to participate in this endeavor. The initial requirement is an excellent academic degree as well as a period of qualification in the national administration system. In addition, every civil servant who assumes responsibility at the European level should acquire practical experience in another European member country for an extended period of time.

The programme promotes the participants’ professional, intercultural and European policy expertise and hence their capacity to assume leadership positions; and it intensifies cross-border cooperation between the ministries, thereby enhancing their European outlook and competence.

The Bellevue Programme is deliberately not bilateral but a rotating exchange between European partner countries that is designed to foster a pan-European network among public administrators over time. The Bellevue Programme is unprecedented in Europe in terms of its duration, intensity, and number of participating countries.

The programme was established in 2004 by the Robert Bosch Stiftung together with the Office of the Federal President in Germany. It derives its name from Schloss Bellevue, the official residence of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Robert Bosch Stiftung funds the programme and is responsible for its implementation.

The programme provides highly qualified young executives from key government authorities across ten EU member states with a 12-month work placement in one of the partner countries.