Project team

Debora Gärtner
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. Her fields of expertise include elderly (care) policies, demographic change, as well as policies, programmes and projects adressing dementia research and issues in European countries.

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 is the project coordinator at the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe. She holds a master's degree in international relations from Free University Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin and University Potsdam. Previously, she worked for the European Social Observatory (OSE) in Brussels. Her fields of expertise include family policy with a special focus on reconciliation of work and family life as well as gender equality topics.
Christina Schliffka

Christina Schliffka is a research officer at the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe. She holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Frankfurt, with a focus on legislative procedures in the European multi-level system. She previously worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the field of public-private partnerships in development cooperation, primarily on improving working conditions, labour norms and social standards, fair wages and sustainability.