Fears of hole in EU heart as German 'Queen of Europe' departs

© Markus Schreiber Angela Merkel has been dubbed ‘Queen of Europe’ by some observers after 16 years as German chancellor

Angela Merkel’s exit from the stage is sparking fears of a hole at the heart of the European Union during challenging times — but there are also hopes for a wind of change.

Tributes have been growing for the German leader — dubbed “Queen of Europe” by some observers after 16 years as chancellor — ahead of elections this weekend to choose a successor. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised Merkel’s “enormous authority” after helping steer Europe through years of turbulence that included the financial crisis, migrant crisis, Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. 

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, who served under Merkel as German defence minister, underscored how important the former physicist’s analytical skills had been for unlocking interminable EU negotiations.

“She can always put things in the context of the many years in Europe she helped to shape,” von der Leyen said.

“And often, when we’ve hit an impasse, she’ll throw out an idea and then we’re moving again. We’ll miss that.” 

– Pragmatic manager –

“Of course, her departure leaves a void,” Janis Emmanouilidis of the European Policy Center told AFP.

He called the departure of the EU’s longest-serving current leader “the end of an era” for the 27-nation bloc.

Few will remember Merkel for any visionary speeches on Europe’s future.

But it has been her much-touted image as a pragmatic manager that has seen her help to maintain unity inside the EU during a period Emmanouilidis dubbed one of “permanent crisis”. 

He said she had shown “continuity and firmness”, qualities that have made her the pre-eminent leader in Europe. 

“The next chancellor will first have to gain stature before being able to look to replace her in this role.”

Merkel’s steady hand has seen her carve out a positive reputation across much of the continent. 

In a survey carried out in 12 EU countries by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), 41 percent of respondents said they would back Merkel if in a vote for the fictitious role of EU “president”. 

“Merkel’s approach of searching for compromises between competing interests is a major source of Berlin’s positive image,” the think-tank said. 

But she has also attracted criticism for her handling of some key challenges.  

During the eurozone debt crisis of the early 2010s, Merkel was lambasted for the delay in coming to the aid of indebted countries, such as Greece, spurring fears of a collapse of the single currency. 

She then drew widespread popular ire in Greece for the swingeing conditions imposed on Athens under a bailout. 

– ‘Hesitancy’ –

Former European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker hailed Merkel for opening Germany’s borders during the 2015 migrant crisis and helping craft a 750 billion-euro rescue plan from the pandemic. 

But he pushed back at those portraying her as the saviour of Europe.  

“It is the German narrative that would like to present it as if she had been at the origin of all the solutions to these serious crises,” Juncker said. 

“I do not underestimate the role she played, but I am far from overestimating it after having experienced her hesitancy.” 

Former Spanish foreign minister Ana Palacio in an editorial criticised Merkel’s “strategy of waiting for desperate situations to call for desperate measures”.

She argued that this has “often benefited those who break the rules”, such as right-wing Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, accused of dragging his country away from European values.

Merkel departs with the EU facing a raft of historic challenges — from recovering after the pandemic, to fighting climate change and fashioning a geopolitical role for a Europe caught between the United States and China. 

“Many of the most pressing challenges Europe faces are impossible to address with the Merkel method,” analysts from the ECFR wrote, insisting they require “not only cosmetic changes but political support for more radical solutions”.   

“The EU will need a more visionary and courageous Germany to strengthen its foundations and defend its place in the world.” 

lob/aro/del/dc/bp

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Attack on Hindus Not Communal But Conspiracy; Will Take Stern Action: Bangladesh Home Minister

© Provided by News18 Attack on Hindus Not Communal But Conspiracy; Will Take Stern Action: Bangladesh Home Minister The recent attacks against Hindus in Bangladesh is not a communal issue ... Read more »

How to surrender in Teamfight Tactics (TFT)

Multiplayer games can be a blast, but they can easily turn into an exhausting chore if you’re trapped in one. In Teamfight Tactics (TFT), you never want to be stuck ... Read more »

New York city hall to remove Jefferson statue over slave-ownership

New York City lawmakers have voted to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson, one of the United States’ founding fathers, from the council chambers because of his slave-owning past. © ... Read more »

How to complete Breaking Brick Mountains in Final Fantasy XIV Online

The Breaking Brick Mountains 2021 event has arrived in Final Fantasy XIV Online. It’s a collaboration event between Final Fantasy XIV and Dragon Quest X, with players undergoing a quest ... Read more »

As Africa's glaciers melt, millions face drought and floods, UN says

By Tim Cocks © Reuters/Katrina Manson FILE PHOTO: A vehicle drives past Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania’s Hie district JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -Africa’s fabled eastern glaciers will vanish in two decades, 118 ... Read more »

British MP stabbing suspect reportedly caught on video before deadly attack

People leave flowers at a memorial to murdered MP Sir David Amess erected by them outside the houses of Parliament on October 18, 2021. News Licensing / MEGA Surveillance camera ... Read more »

Net zero plans to blow £37bn black hole in road taxes unless ‘new sources' found, Treasury says

Revenue from road taxes will all-but disappear as the UK goes green, the Treasury has conceded – blowing a £37bn black hole in its budget unless “new sources” are found. ... Read more »

Top doctor warns Queensland to see 16,000 Covid cases as borders open

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A top doctor says a wave of up to 16,000 serious Covid cases will rip through Queensland when borders are opened in December.  ... Read more »

Diver finds crusader sword dropped on journey to Holy Land 900 years ago at bottom sea off coast of Israel

A SHOCKED scuba diver has found an ancient sword that experts say dates back to the Crusades. The artifact, which is believed to have been dropped on the journey to ... Read more »

Hilarious moment Dec Donnelly accidentally mixes up The Queen and Kate Middleton calling her ‘Your Majesty'

TV star Declan Donnelly prompted laughter today when he introduced Kate Middleton as “Your Majesty”. The manner of address is reserved for the Queen – with the I'm A Celebrity ... Read more »

De Lima tags as ‘fake news' posts on disqualification from reelection bid

© Leila de Lima FB Leila de Lima – Feb 09, 2021 Detained Senator Leila de Lima said reports claiming she has been disqualified to run for reelection in Eleksyon ... Read more »

Welcome Fall Footwear's Newest BFF: The Red Wing Heritage GORE-TEX Classic Moc

© Courtesy of Red Wing Heritage Today marks a special day in fall footwear. Modern outerwear staple Red Wing Heritage and leading pioneer in waterproofing technology GORE-TEX have teamed up ... Read more »

A Florida restaurant chain says staff got bigger tips after it hired a $1,000-a-month robot to carry plates. The robot gives servers more time with customers, the owner said.

© Sergio’s Restaurant A Servi robot in Sergio’s Restaurant. Sergio’s Restaurant A Florida restaurant chain says staff got bigger tips after it hired a robot to help out, The NYT ... Read more »

Ant Anstead Shares a Kiss with 'Magical' Renée Zellweger

© George Pimentel/WireImage; Michael Kovac/Getty Images Ant Anstead is gushing about his girl! The 42-year-old TV personality took to Instagram on Monday to share a snap of himself kissing his ... Read more »

I don't hate the MacBook Pro's notch, but I don't want to see it on Windows

The memes are funny, but I don’t hate the notch on the new MacBook Pro. © Provided by Windows Central Apple announced the new MacBook Pro yesterday. Inside, the laptop ... Read more »

The Golden Joystick Awards 2021 voting is now live

© Provided by Windows Central A special year for the awards and for all of gaming. What you need to know The Golden Joystick Awards are held every year by ... Read more »

Indonesia, Malaysia bimbang Australia peroleh kapal selam dari AS

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Menteri Luar Indonesia, Retno Marsudi menerima kunjungan rakan sejawatan dari Malaysia, Saifuddin Abdullah di Jakarta semalam. (Gambar Facebook) PETALING JAYA: Menteri Luar Indonesia, Retno ... Read more »

Jamie Redknapp's new wife Frida Andersson cradles her baby bump as she leaves wedding reception with family

JAMIE Redknapp’s new wife Frida Andersson cradled her baby bump as she left her wedding reception last night. The 48-year-old footie pundit tied the knot with his blonde bride, 37, ... Read more »

Sir David Amess's campaign for city status for Southend is finally – and very movingly – over

During two hours of moving tributes, there was much laughter in the House of Commons (Parliament Live) Last Thursday, Sir David Amess was on BBC Radio Essex talking, to the ... Read more »

Man arrested after he beats woman in face in Middletown, police say

Police said they have arrested a North Carolina man for causing severe injuries to a woman’s face in Middletown. Kasime Leary, 39, of Ahoskie, NC was arrested Monday after undercover ... Read more »

Inside Jamie Redknapp and Frida Andersson's whirlwind romance as ‘inseparable' couple who share 6 kids marry in secret

IT was a very happy occasion for Jamie Redknapp yesterday as he married his heavily pregnant girlfriend Frida Andersson after a whirlwind 20 months. The couple – who are so ... Read more »

UK music streaming faces scrutiny from competition watchdog

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 3, 2018 file photo, a trading post sports the Spotify logo on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.K. regulators are stepping ... Read more »

Statue of Thomas Jefferson to be removed from New York's City Hall

A towering statue of Thomas Jefferson that has stood in New York’s City Hall since 1833 is expected to be removed and sent to a museum amid growing objections about ... Read more »

Older people in Moscow told to stay home for four months amid COVID surge

People are seen outside a vaccination centre in the State Department Store, GUM, in Moscow MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Moscow city government on Tuesday ordered elderly people to stay home ... Read more »

Celebs Go Dating announces 2022 series with a makeover

Photo credit: Channel 4 Celebs Go Dating is officially returning for a 10th series, and it's set to be bigger, better, and more romantic than ever before. Following Celebs Go ... Read more »

US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots

FILE – This Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 file photo shows a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the first round of staff vaccinations at a hospital in Denver. On ... Read more »

Here's What The Critics Are Saying About Eternals

Marvel Studios/YouTube After many delays, Marvel’s “Eternals” is nearly here. Directed by Academy Award winner Chloé Zhao and starring the likes of Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, ... Read more »

Danny DeVito Joins The Already A-List Cast Of Disney's Haunted Mansion

Tsuni-USA/Shutterstock Not content with injecting franchises into our eyeballs by way of Marvel heroes, “Star Wars” characters, and their own iconic animated favorites, one of Disney’s other tried and tested ... Read more »

Wall St opens higher as earnings whip up risk appetite

© Reuters/BRENDAN MCDERMID Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York (Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes opened higher on Tuesday as upbeat quarterly reports from Johnson & ... Read more »

Man who had cops called over bloody Halloween displays won't back down

A Texas man who’s gruesome Halloween props prompted multiple police visits last year is back at it with even grislier displays for the upcoming holiday. Steven Novak Instagram He’s shown ... Read more »

Arizona mom waiting for bus fatally shot for ‘no apparent reason,' family says

Cleopatra Johnson, 45, was waiting for a bus in west Phoenix when she was fatally shot. Facebook An Arizona mom of five was shot and killed at a bus stop ... Read more »

Terrified mum convinced stranger is living in her attic after finding tinned food & seeing figure walk past baby's cot

A TERRIFIED mum is convinced there’s someone living in her attic after she saw a figure walk past her daughter’s crib – she says she’s moving house and buying a ... Read more »

Oxford University slams protest over pro-life stall at Freshers' Fair

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Oxford University has condemned protestors who destroyed a pro-life society’s stall at a Freshers’ Fair. Students at the university tore down posters advertising ... Read more »

My £100-a-week McDonald's addiction left me unrecognisable to my own parents so I transformed my life and lost 4st

A 22-year-old woman spent £100 every week on McDonalds until she confronted her problem and transformed her life when her parents stopped recognising her. Cora Henderson, from Sydney in Australia, ... Read more »

Lab-grown coffee: Why it's good for planet Earth, but not so for farmers in Ethiopia

© Provided by CNBCTV18 Scientists in Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre are developing coffee from cell cultures in a laboratory and say that it has a much lesser climatic impact ... Read more »

Zoho One customer base grows 60% globally in 2020

© Provided by The Times of India CHENNAI: Software firm Zoho Corporation said on Tuesday that with increased digitization, the company’s integrated business applications product Zoho One saw customer growth ... Read more »

St. John's gets plenty of love in Big East preseason poll

Julian Champagnie drives against New Hampshire Getty Images Preseason expectations haven’t been this high for St. John’s since the last time it reached the NCAA Tournament in 2018. Like that ... Read more »

Windows 11 is here, hybrid work anyone? Top tips

The pandemic has made work from home a permanent kind of fixture for organisations and going forward, this is set to stay. While return to office orders will come eventually, ... Read more »

Police officer, 40, charged with string of child sex abuse offences

A POLICE officer has been charged with a string of child sex abuse offences. Lee Cunliffe, 40, a Greater Manchester Police detective constable, was charged with 11 offences today. Lee ... Read more »

Market Roundup: Sensex falls by 49 points, Nifty ends at 18,418; check top gainers and losers here

© Provided by Firstpost Market Roundup: Sensex falls by 49 points, Nifty ends at 18,418; check top gainers and losers here Domestic market indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 ... Read more »