German Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-elected to the leadership of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with an overwhelming majority on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. This came as no surprise, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.
Mrs Merkel was a protege of Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1973-1998). It was Chancellor Kohl, and before him Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1949-1963), who saw that to ensure decisions are implemented it was crucial to have the chancellor in control of the party.
This concept has practical merit, but it also has a downside - it makes it difficult to find substitutes as chancellor and inside the party.
Her role is undisputed in Germany and her ability to adapt to internal perceptions, conditions and sensibilities is highly developed.
Angela Merkel’s role is not only important for Germany, but for Europe too. Germany is Europe's most powerful economy. The German chancellor is a dedicated and powerful woman and Europe seems to look to her for leadership.
The weakness of other economies in Europe and the lack of leadership in most European countries means Germany and Mrs Merkel are leading by default. This is not necessarily a situation Germany wants although it shows leadership in Europe’s economy and finances, as well as in relations with Russia.
The result is that Germany and its chancellor have shouldered a lot of responsibility. It is unfortunate that the UK, and its Prime Minister David Cameron, is unable to assume a stronger role and presence because of the UK’s internal politics.
Chancellor Merkel is a true European. She has excellent relations with the new leaders of the European Union, the President of the Council, Donald Tusk and the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Her strong presence in the European context is bound to continue.
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