Dr Michael Köhler has been Director of Neighbourhood Policy at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in the European Commission (EC) since 2015. He is responsible for cooperation with Mediterranean Arab countries and Israel. Since joining the EC in 1994 he has held many positions including Director for the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood in the DG for Development and International Cooperation; Head of Cabinet to the Commissioner for Energy; and Head of Cabinet to the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Before joining the EC, he worked as a representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Morocco and Tunisia, and later worked in the Policy Planning Department of the Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development in Germany. He has authored numerous books and articles on international Islamic studies and foreign policy. He is also a Professor of Europe and the Mediterranean at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He holds a DPhil in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Hamburg University (1987).