Program Officer, Center for Central and Eastern Europe of the Robert Bosch Stiftung

Areas of Expertise

  • European Neighborhood Policy and Eastern Partnership
  • EU relations with Central and Eastern Europe, especially Belarus

Foreign Languages

English, Czech


Media Inquiries

Susanne Marcus
Phone: +49 (0)30 25 42 31 -32

Marie-Lena May has been program officer at the DGAP since 2008. She is responsible for the Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg for Good Governance of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

She previously worked at the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V. (Institute for Foreign Relations) on minority policy in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS.

She studied political science and public policy at the University of Konstanz and at Karls University in Prague and studied Czech history, culture, and language at the University of Regensburg. She has an M.Sc. in public policy and management and a degree in administrative sciences.


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Selected Publications

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
An important tool with ambivalent interim results
by Marie-Lena May
DGAPstandpunkt 4, December 14, 2012, 4 pp.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
300 representatives of civil society gathered for the fourth Civil Society Forum at the end of November 2012. With authoritarian governments viewing it as unnecessary and owing to its own structural deficits, the Forum cannot be considered fully established yet. But marking it as a “failure” would be careless. It contributes essentially to political decision-making in the EU’s Eastern neighborhood countries, and thus is worthwhile for the EU to support as a long-term process.
Category: Government and Society, Political Participation, Europe, Eastern Europe
Crossing Borders
Rethinking the European Union’s Neighborhood Policies
by Almut Möller, Cornelius Adebahr, Claire Demesmay, Carsten Främke, Lucas Lypp, Marie-Lena May, Stefan Meister, Katrin Sold, Marek Souček, Ulrike Stern, Marcel Viëtor, Natasha Wunsch
DGAPanalyse 2, August 18, 2011, 100 pp.
Crossing Borders
The debt crisis calls for the EU’s full attention – and threatens to supplant the fact that urgent action is needed on Europe’s periphery. The revolutions in North Africa demand answers; further EU enlargement needs to be planned and implemented. There are many common topics that link the European Union and its neighbors, from energy to migration. Thus, cross-border space must be created in which EU policies on a range of topics can be further developed
Category: European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), Eastern Partnership, European Union, Europe, Eastern Europe
How to deal with Belarus?
New Approaches in EU-Belarus Relations
by Marie-Lena May
DGAPkompakt 2, May 11, 2011, 6 pp.
Since the rigged elections and the violent crackdowns on demonstrations in December 2010, EU-Belarus relations are at a low point. To develop a new EU strategy toward Belarus, the EU should take a closer look at the structural developments in the country and approach two groups for a new cooperation: the pro-European youth and the disappointed elite.
Category: European Union, Political System, Democratization/System Change, Belarus, Europe, Eastern Europe
Test Case Belarus
Consequences for the EU after the 2010 Belarusian Presidential Election
by Marie-Lena May, Stefan Meister
DGAPstandpunkt 1, January 3, 2011, 3 pp.
On the evening of the Belarusian presidential election Alexander Lukashenko showed that democracy in Belarus will only be possible without him. The violent disbanding of protests and the disregard for the most basic human rights by the Belarusian security service should be answered with harsh sanctions by the European Union. If the European Union takes its advocacy for democracy and human rights seriously, it needs to make Belarus a test case for a consistent foreign policy.
Category: European Union, CFSP, Eastern Partnership, Political System, Democratization/System Change, Belarus, Europe, Russia
The EU’s Eastern Partnership
A Misunderstood Offer of Cooperation
by Stefan Meister, Marie-Lena May
DGAPstandpunkt 7, September 30, 2009, 4 pp.
The EU’s Eastern Partnership
The European Union’s Eastern Partnership may fall through without ever having really gotten off the ground. As such, EU members, the target countries, and Russia misunderstand the purpose of the proposed partnership. It is important to use the Eastern Partnership as a basis for developing a essentially new policy towards EU’s neighbors in the East.
Category: Eastern Partnership, CFSP, European Union, Economy and Finance, Development Policy, Eastern Europe, Caucasian States of the former Soviet Union, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine
External Debacle – Domestic Chance
The interim government in Prague during the Czech EU Presidency 2009
by Gereon Schuch, Marie-Lena May
DGAPstandpunkt 5, May 15, 2009, 4 pp.
In the Czech Republic, the coalition government formed by Conservatives, Christian Democrats and Greens has been overthrown by a no-confidence vote at the end of March 2009. Since 8 May, a cabinet of government officials has assumed the official functions until early elections in mid-October—and this during the Czech EU Presidency.
Category: Czech Republic