Angela Merkel is the most successful politician since World War Two. Whether you love her or loathe her, the German Chancellor has consistently been ranked one of the world’s most powerful women (often occupying the top spot) since she first took office in 2005. She has been described by TIME magazine as the “de facto leader of the European Union”. Her approval rating in Germany stands at 84% despite being in power for over 16 years. In fact, she holds record high approval ratings even outside of Germany.
In 2018, Chancellor Merkel announced she would not run for reelection in 2021. Federal elections are scheduled for September, and Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) are due to elect a new party leader at a virtual congress starting on Friday 15 January. The new party leader is likely (though not guaranteed) to also become the CDU’s candidate for chancellor. So, as her party picks her successor, how should we assess the outgoing Chancellor Merkel’s legacy?
What will be Merkel’s legacy? Will history remember the German Chancellor as a cautious pragmatist? A shrewd political survivor? How has she managed to stay in power for 15 years? Has she made the right calls in the three major crises she has managed: the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!