Project team

Dr. Sören Hoyer
Dr. Sören Hoyer is an Observatory research officer. He previously worked on his PhD and was associated to the project “citizenship and belonging in Europe” as well as research assistant at the Chair for European Integration in Osnabrück, Germany. His areas of specialization are family and social policy in comparative perspective as well as volunteering and social innovation.
Maike Merkle
Maike Merkle works as a research officer for the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe. She holds a master’s degree in Sociology and Education Science from the Darmstadt University of Technology and the University Toulouse II Le Mirail. During her studies she worked as a research assistant for the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) in Frankfurt/Main where she wrote her master’s thesis on the effects of feedback in learning situations. She worked afterwards in a project on social innovation coordinated by the Institute for Social Work and Social Education at Frankfurt/Main for the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Her proven expertise includes sociopolitical themes in a European context on family policy.
Dr. Jonas Pieper
Dr. Jonas Pieper is political scientist and works as researcher with Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe. He previously worked on European social policy with German Association for Public and Private Welfare. His PhD thesis deals with the role of private providers of social policy in Germany and the UK (New Private Sector Providers in the Welfare State, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). He specialized in the comparative analysis of social policies, recently especially focusing on family policies, gender equality and civic participation.
Alejandro Rada
Alejandro Rada is a trained economist and works as a research officer for the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe. He studied at the Autonomous University Madrid and at the Vienna University of Economics and Business with a focus on foreign trade relations and country risk analysis. He previously worked for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria, in the international affairs department’s European unit – partner of the European Commission’s Enterprise Europe Network. There, he concentrated his work on the European Union’s policy analysis and the European affairs’ SME consultancy.
Lena Reinschmidt
Lena Reinschmidt works as policy officer for the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe. She studied European Studies in Osnabrück (B.A.) and holds a master's degree in international relations from Free University Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin and University Potsdam. Lena Reinschmidt worked for the European Social Observatory (OSE) in Brussels where she gained experience in comparative social policy research. Her fields of expertise are comparative welfare state studies, especially the area of family policy, as well as European social policy, with a special focus on the Open Method of Coordination.
Sophie Rotino
Anne Oertel