Director for Neighbourhood South at the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
Michael Köhler is the Director for EU-Neighbourhood Policy at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, where he is responsible for cooperation with Mediterranean Arab countries and Israel. Previously he had been Head of Cabinet to Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger between 2010 and 2013 and Head of Cabinet to Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Dr. Borg, between 2008 and 2009. Since he joined the European Commission in 1994, Dr Köhler has held several positions, including desk officer for Yemen and Iraq; Assistant to the Director for South Mediterranean, Middle and Near East; Deputy European Correspondent; Deputy Head of Unit in charge of the co-ordination of Common Foreign and Security Policy; Deputy Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Borg; Head of Unit for International Affairs and Law of the Sea at the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and acting Head of Unit for Maritime Policy for the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Before joining the European Commission, he worked as a representative of 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. Michael Köhler holds a Dr. phil. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Hamburg University (1987). He authored about thirty books, articles in international Islamic studies and foreign policy reviews on aspects of the political, economic and cultural development of the Muslim World, on the Arab League and on regional integration in the Maghreb, co-operation in the Mediterranean and development co-operation. Since 1997 he teaches at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and since 2000 he is a senior Fellow of the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany.