Who is Angela Merkel? Not just the candidate, but the person. She’s certainly one of the most successful politicians in modern European history, and even her critics credit her as a shrewd political operator.

Shortly after her birth in Hamburg in 1954, Frau Merkel’s father (a Lutheran pastor) moved the family to East Germany. She did well at school (earning prizes for her fluency in Russian and mathematics) and studied physics at the University of Leipzig. When the East German regime collapsed, Angela Merkel was already politically engaged, and she would later enter the Bundestag and rise rapidly to the rank of minister under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Her ambition within the German Christian Democrat Party (CDU) would eventually take her all the way to the top, when she became the first female Federal Chancellor of Germany in 2005. Today, she is in her third term, and is considered one of the most powerful women in the world. In 2016, she announced her intentions to run a fourth time for chancellor, was elected as CDU party chair for the ninth time at their party congress.

What has she achieved so far? The challenges she’s faced during her time in office have not been simple: the financial crisis, the Greek debt crisis, the refugee crisis, Brext… the list goes on and on. How well has Chancellor Merkel weathered these storms? Has her response been carefully considered or overly cautious? She was awarded the Charlemagne Prize in 2008 for her contribution to European integration and overcoming the Eurozone crisis. President Obama presented her the Freedom Medal for her global commitment in 2011. In the same year, the Federal Government decided to comprehensively reject nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. However, Merkel’s approach to the 2015 refugee crisis caused a political backlash at home. This was also the reason for the only real decline in her popularity (although by now most German polls suggest he popularity has returned to its pre-crisis level).

Has Angela Merkel been a good German Chancellor? The Schwarzkopf Foundation, as part of its “Understanding in Europe” project, has collected questions and comments from pupils from across Germany. We’ve taken these questions and put them to EU politicians and experts to get a response.

The first student question was: Was Angela Merkel a good chancellor?

We first put this question to Christoph Herwartz, who has written many articles about Chancellor Merkel as a journalist. How would he respond to this question?

The second question was: Can Angela Merkel basically do what she wants?

What would Mr. Herwartz say?

For another perspective, we also talked with the EU blogger Manuel Müller, who, as a “European Federalist” on his blog, analyzes EU politics. What would he say to this question?

Has Angela Merkel been a good German Chancellor? Should she have a fourth term in office? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image Credits: (c) BigStock / palinchak
This debate was published in cooperation with the Schwarzkopf Stiftung and their project “Understanding Europe”. Disclaimer
ECPA


104 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  2. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  3. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  4. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  5. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  6. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  7. avatar
    Jimmy Gautam

    Merkel is worse than Hitler for Germany.
    The Germany was destroyed due to Nazi’s policy for less than 50 years. Merkel’s immigration policy would destroy Germany forever.

    Germany would face frequent home grown terrorists attacks in future. Most of those terrorists might be the generation of the migrants that Merkel let into the country !

    May God Bless Germany

  8. avatar
    Gururaj Bhat

    She is good female administrator and humanist but by inviting the refugees from Arab she created a great blunder in the history of Germans which has already wounded from two world wars and by her mistakes the country once face the same turmoil in the near future from these Muslim refugees .

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Gururaj Bhat
      Humanist?
      More likely a ‘Germanist’ given the demographic timebomb facing Germany!

  9. avatar
    Jason Picci

    She was the best cog they could find for their plans at the time, but now that time is up.

  10. avatar
    Andrea Scacchi

    Germany is enslaving the rest of europe, particularly the south to rule it.
    The oppressed people of europe should secede from the EU and ask russia to protected them.

    • avatar
      Dino Šakanović

      Be free do to that. Ask Ukrain, Belorusia or Gruzia how cool is Russian “protection” O:) Trol :)

    • avatar
      Andrea Scacchi

      Ukrain was actually destabilized by a fascist coup (backed by cia?) The former gov was prorussia.
      The crimean referendum enlight the fact that some Ukrainians identify themself as Russian.
      Or are referendum good and valid only when we said so? (Brexit, scotland, catalogn..)
      oh the media said putin is bad, so must be so… mmm
      (As russia occupied many sovereign nation as the us recently?)
      Beside the reality that to country like mine economic Sanction on russia are a huge deal on exports and we would likely benefit from russian oil rather than rely only on opec’s one..

    • avatar
      Andrea Scacchi

      Beside that, if you can’t stand an opinion without addressing one as “troll”…
      Well, bad for you my friend.

    • avatar
      Stefania Portici

      Andrea Scacchi quello che hai detto lo condivido tranne la parte della Russia. Nè Russia nè USA , andare daccordo con tutti si ma sotto la “protezione” di nessuno , L’ Europa ha bisogno di proteggersi da sola , europa fatta di Stati sovrani che collaborano e si rispettano .in pace con sè e con gli altri

    • avatar
      Andrea Scacchi

      Beh… nel mulino che vorrei si.. ma nel mulino che vorrei l’europa è una confederazioni di liberi stati. Non una unione bancaria con un governo di cooptati e un parlamento che è uno specchio per allodole…
      Finché l’europa sarà germanocentrica io sarò contro benché qualsiasi nazione da sola sia un incubo (per quello la russia.. o la cina. Almeno quelli non si fanno saltare in aria per un amico immaginario)

  11. avatar
    Andrian Marinov

    Angela? Good Chancellor? She is trying to make the core population of her country a minority. Hates on eastern europeans and invites muslims from the third world. Forces the so hated Eastern Europe and the rest of our continent to receive muslims from Asia and Africa without them even being threatened by war. Promotes anarchy by condemning countries that protect their borders and forces them to allow the muslims to jump the borders illegally as if theres no border wall at all and as if theres no legal way to enter our sacred land.. But yes, she is a good chancellor. To the new population of Germany that is..

  12. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Debating Europe, no words about how Junker just made a speech about his “Europe” from “Vigo do Varna, from Spain to Bulgaria”. Funny, he simply ignore Ireland and Portugal, both west of Spain. ;) But yeah, I can see how this is a terrible subject for you to introduce here. It would not help your pro-EU propagandistic intentions at all…

  13. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Debating Europe, no words about how Junker just made a speech about his “Europe” from “Vigo do Varna, from Spain to Bulgaria”? Funny, how he simply ignore Ireland and Portugal, both west of Spain.
    But yeah, I can see how this is a terrible subject for you to introduce here. It would not help your pro-EU propagandistic intentions at all…

  14. avatar
    Ionut Teodorescu

    We are talking about her as GERMAN chancellor…so yes. She did what was best for her country. I wish we had someone like her…

  15. avatar
    Luis Terra

    Good for Germany and very bad for Europe. Schulz is a much better candidate for Europe and Germany. Merkel’s economic policies almost destroyed Europe and are now proven wrong. I’d love if she lost.

    • avatar
      Conceição Reis

      Entre um e outro que venha o diabo e escolha.

    • avatar
      Luis Terra

      Conceição Reis Não é bem assim. Que mania de pormos todos no mesmo patamar, há diferenças, grandes a nível social e ténues a nível económico. Não são iguais.

    • avatar
      Conceição Reis

      Pessoalmente, gosto de Schulz e a Frau Merkel é muito simpática. Em termos políticos, dispenso os dois, que defendem o mesmo: a hegemonia alemã e sabemos no que deu.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Luis Terra
      Schultz? LOL!

  16. avatar
    Marcelo Augusto Pires

    She is one of the best heads of government in the world currently. She is serious, honest, well intentioned, firm while tender, puts global/ EU/ German priorities ahead of political agenda and a hard worker. She is a good negotiator and a pacifist. You may not like her, but deep inside you know she is doing the right and intelligent thing.
    I wished many more countries had a leader like her.

  17. avatar
    Marcelo Augusto Pires

    Just to mention, I also like Martin Schulz. I think both of them are great leaders despite some political differences. Germany is fortunate to have these two serious politicians.

  18. avatar
    catherine benning

    Has Angela Merkel been a good German Chancellor?

    She stands for genocide of the indigenous German peoples. So, only if you believe this is a good policy for Germany can you agree with the notion she is the best person as German Chancellor. She won the Charlmagne Prize for her adherence to this policy. So, it cannot be disputed that her main aim is destruction of Germany as we know it. Followed by destruction of the rest of Europe as we know it.

    Read the book Practical Idealism by Richard Coudenhove- Kallergi. That will give some insight into what she and by affiliation her party stand for.

    https://sovereignwales.com/2016/09/20/the-genocidal-kalergi-plan-to-destroy-the-indigenous-nations-and-peoples-of-europe/

    And another revelation to open discussion on this subject that has been kept very quiet indeed.

    https://www.infowars.com/the-kalergi-plan/

    And here is a list of politicians and others who have won the Charlmagne prize. Not surprisingly you will see so many of them are supporters of this plan for European domination by extermination. .

    https://www.geni.com/projects/Recipients-of-the-Charlemagne-Prize/12120

  19. avatar
    Tiromanzino May

    She has supported the Irak, Lybian, Syrian wars.

    She has destroyed social equity not only in Germany but across Europe.

    She is again the LGTB basic rights.

    She has created Trump, Brexit and a migration crisis of biblical proportions.

    Le Monde Diplomatique publish this week an article speaking about how the Economic miracle of Germany can only be described as a illness. Based in pensioners having to work with 500 €/ month pensions, teachers with children forced to work in sex shops and so on.

  20. avatar
    Dee O'brien

    Sign of the times when this is the calibre of politician we have….and she’s still in power instead of doing time

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Dee O’brien
      EXCELLENT POST!

  21. avatar
    Danny boy

    Has she been a good chancellor?, well put it this way, Putin and Erdogan would vote for her if they could.

  22. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    She should be locked up for aiding terror and crime. She should be treated as acomplice to all migrant crimes

    • avatar
      Stefania Portici

      i crimini che ha commesso la Germania sono crimini economici che ha ammazzato il popolo europeo ( lei vive sui sacrifici dei suoi partner , vive sulle spalle degli altri ammazzando fisicamente la gente degli altri stati europei ) Non si può accusare per aver ospitato, in quel caso il crimine lo ha commesso chi ha cacciato non chi ha ospitato

  23. avatar
    Stephen Earle

    Her migrant open door policy has resulted with the blood of her fellow Europeans on her hands

    • avatar
      Rémi Martin

      Have you ever been in Germany? And know what they think about her?

  24. avatar
    Marco Matani

    She succeded in bringing back Germany to oppress the rest of Europe. The fact that germans will elect her again is the proof that they hate other europeans, southerns expecially, are they aware or not of that.

    • avatar
      Rémi Martin

      Who cares about this? It isn’t our problem!

    • avatar
      Elisabet Regi Arjona

      So Who cares about Europe then?… Don’t blame when Europe default .

    • avatar
      Rémi Martin

      Elisabet Regi Arjona Nobody or not enough peoples care about EU; and this is the problem!

    • avatar
      Rémi Martin

      Do you bet? She’s got 15 points more than Schulz… AfD is third.

    • avatar
      Paweł Kunio

      Rémi Martin how many “points” got Schulz and afd on this scale?

  25. avatar
    Erika Nardon

    Dopo 3 mandati uguale 15 anni da Cancelliera, si potrebbe anche cambiare, non sarà l’unico genio sulla terra, se genio è!

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