She Lived Near the Berlin Wall – Angela Merkel’s Legacy

Period reckoning post September 2021, will be documented in German history as the post Markel era. Angela Markel, the tallest leaders of Germany and European Union, will step down as Chancellor of Germany, after serving four consecutive term, a period spanning nearly 16 years.  After Helmut Kohl, she is the Germany’s second-longest-serving leader.

She played an important role in keeping the fabric of Europe together. Eurozone debt crises, was testing time for the unity of European union. Several member nations of the Eurozone Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland etc were severely hit by the crises, failing to keep their sovereign commitment for meeting the obligations. It was the time when Euro could have failed. Ms Merkels initiative and values were aligned to keep Europe together. European Stability mechanism was created for capitalising the troubled member state and European Central Bank’s operations were transformed for defusing the crises, by keeping the liquidity tap opened for the troubled members.

Despite her difference with Trump, she was committed to strengthen transatlantic ties and recognizes the role of Washington is shaping the unified Germany. Nord Stream 2 has been one of the key bone of contention between Germany and Washington, concerning Europe energy security vis a vis influence of Russia in using Nord Stream 2 as a geopolitical weapon. Under her leadership, Germany has remained committed to NATO despite differences in Defence budget. During 2014, following the Russian annexation of Crimea, she led the consensus for EU sanctions against Russia.

2015 refugee crises were a testing time for Ms Merkel. Despite fierce criticism from her opponent, she embraced the refugees from war shattered countries and helped them to socially and economically integrate with the German Society.

Her commitment to climate is unquestionable. She was instrumental in signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. She is popularly called as the Climate Chancellor. Climate is the CenterStage agenda in the current elections in Germany. Though she has been criticised for not doing enough for exiting coal and favouring Automotive Industry, she stands tallest amongst peer Global Leaders, when it comes to benchmarking pro climate initiatives by the peer leaders. It remains to be seen, the initiatives that will be undertaken by the upcoming leader to achieve Germany’s ambition of achieving net-zero by 2045.

Her biggest achievement lies in keeping the Europe together during crises, commitment to transatlantic ties while managing serious differences with Trump, managing trade relations with China despite trade issues between US and China and commitment to Climate.

It will not be easy for her successor to fill the void created by her especially in terms of Global acceptance and support. Her successor has to earn it. She was not just a politician but also a trained scientist and star student.  She was a brilliant student in mathematics and Russian and later studied physics at Leipzig University and earned a PhD in quantum chemistry. She moved to East Germany, as an infant and lived near the Berlin wall. The wall shaped her thought process and fostered her believed in the freedom and democratic values. When the wall came down in 89, World had no idea that wall had given a way to a young woman, who will turn out to be one of the tallest leaders of modern time and make Germany one of the world’s most powerful and prosperous Nation.

Bureau Galactik Views

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