August 17, 2022


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“He was more of a president of the country than a leader of the party.”

More famous than ever … an icon … After 16 years as president of her country, Angela Merkel is leaving power, leaving a huge void behind her.

His actual departure will depend on the duration of the talks, which will begin after the September 26 elections, and are expected to be very long. But already, the Germans are sorry for their “knock”. More than seven in ten say they are satisfied with its activity, including young people. A reputation rating for the jealous greening of many foreign leaders, which goes beyond the borders of Germany. If they could directly elect the “President of the European Union”, more than 40% of EU citizens would vote for Angela Merkel (14% for Emmanuel Macron alone). European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR).

Sustainability: The Key to Success

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Diamond Shaped Hands, Symbol of Stability, Posted by Angela Merkel © Copyright 2020, dpa ( Alley Recte Vorpeholton

It saw the march of four American and four French presidents, including stability and foresight above all, values ​​valued by Germans who did not like much change.

With Angela Merkel, we know what to expect from her looks (uniquely cropped suit, pants, low heels, unchanging hairstyle) and her posture (diamond shaped combined hands). You know me“(“You know me”), He announced at the end of an election debate in 2013. Then he repeated a formula with success.

Without the glamor, without the left and shy nature of his early 90s, the former communist grew up in East Germany, it seemed that he was not going to become.The most powerful woman in the world“(According to Forbes rankings) But over time, the first chancellor in German history thanked her for her authority, her patience, her sense of listening and her consensus, but also her ability to acknowledge her mistakes.

“Angela Merkel is happy because she ruled moderately at the center,” he said. Considers Amanda Crosby, Professor of Political Science at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and researcher at the Center for the Study of Political Life (CEVIPOL) and the European Research Institute (IEE). “Of her four governments, three have formed alliances with the Social Democrats. She has never adhered to business practices. This is largely in the interests of the industry.”

These qualities helped it to leave its mark on several major international crises: the financial crisis, the euro crisis, the migration crisis and, more recently, the health crisis.

Economic success and humanity

The policy of welcoming refugees is one of its greatest achievements. At the end of the summer of 2015, faced with the humanitarian emergency of immigrants invading the gates of Europe, it decided to welcome more than a million people People are fleeing war and poverty, Say this sentence that changes the course of history: “We make it” (“We’ll go there”) A bold challenge, but accepted. Today, The results of German immigration policy are generally considered to be encouraging by experts.

Another achievement: Angela Merkel Leave a country better Economic health. In 2005, Germany was considered the “sickest man in Europe”, With an unemployment rate of more than 10%. Today she has become The economic machine of Europe: The country has regained almost full employment and accounts are in balance despite the widening gap between rich and poor.

Between stability and immobility

In fact, This is mainly due to good economic record Of Labor market reforms were initiated by her predecessor, the Social Democrat Gerhard Schrder, from which Angela Merkel was able to draw fruit.

Many opponents criticize this precisely: for not making big reforms, for being less active than reactionary. “It’s like Angela Merkel’s paradox” Comments Amanda Crespi. “On the one hand, she was not a programmer who was strongly anchored in ideological positions, but on the other hand, she was still able to determine important questions in the ‘reaction’ to events. For example, it follows To the Fukushima disaster [en 2011], He decides to close the power stations Atom. It is a reaction to the immigration crisis and a unilateral decision to open the country’s borders. The fact that he did not have a very significant ideological profile allowed him to be very opportunistic, to respond practically to certain situations. Critics will say it’s too stuck. Those who look at it more positively will say that it guarantees some stability.

Upcoming major projects

Among the key projects she gave to her heir, there is the digital issue in particular. Less than 8% of homes have fiber connected, and only one-third of households in rural areas have access to broadband, making Germany lagging behind in terms of digital networking.

The country lags far behind in rail reform, but especially in terms of energy change, a major challenge in response to climate change. His opponents blame him for it “Semi-Engagement” And question “Ability to Break Historic Cooperation between Key Industrial Circles – Especially the Automotive Industry – and the Christian Democrats”.

The future of CDU-CSU

Finally, from a political point of view, Angela Merkel did not really prepare her successors within her creation. “I think it really didn’t interest her”, Says Amanda Crosby. “He was more of a president of the country than a leader of the party.”

So this is a party in full construction. Weak party to find an identity. Angela Merkel’s most central line ignores the CDU – CSU’s conservative right – wing organization. However, since entering the Bundestack in 2017, the far-right AfD party has been in ambush.

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