Merkel Exits,Germany’s Political Future in a Dilemma !

Thomas (Special Correspondent)

Angela Merkel remained the lone female leader in male-dominated global politics for a long time.Yet,she stood out in the global political spectrum,not for gender but for astuteness and power.

Merkel’s conviction and pragmatic vision have been an asset to Germany and the European Union (EU) as a whole.

After 16 years as the chancellor of Germany,the world’s most powerful woman is stepping down. As her fourth term comes to an end, her party – Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – took a historic plunge in the elections this year.

Her exit has left Germany and other members of the EU in a dilemma. As per media reports,there is fear in the air that this will be the end of Germany’s golden age and the EU’s influence on global affairs.

Merkel might take with her the stupendous years of power and success.But she is leaving her party and the country to its fate and the constitutional quandary.Not an adieu,an impactful leader would expect.

A Look at Germany’s Merkel Years :

Thriving Economy and Improving Employment.There is no doubt about the economic stability Merkel achieved after taking over in 2005 when Germany’s GDP stood at 2.3 trillion euros (USD 2.6 trillion).

In 2020,the gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 3.3 trillion euros (USD 3.8 trillion), making it the most successful economy in Europe, as per Statistics.

Merkel created a significant impact by bringing down the unemployment rate.According to Eurostat,Germany has the lowest unemployment rate in the EU,though it reduced from 4% in July 2020 to 3.6% this year.

On the downside,Merkel was seldom compared to Hitler by a few for her fiscal austerity policies during Europe’s financial crisis.

Nonetheless,the stringent budget cuts helped the redemption of a recession-hit European economy.

Less Room for Diversity Reforms.Women employment ratio has gone up during Merkel’s time.

But the most powerful woman in the world has not taken any measures to bring more women into the political frontline.

Or enough to support working women in Germany. According to Fortune, Merkel is exiting a country where it’s still not easy for women to pursue ambitious careers.

Diversity efforts are far from reality.Germany’s culture and traditions still shadow the career aspirations of working mothers.

Merkel could have implemented diversity reforms, making work easy for women,especially working mothers.

The Controversial Refugee Policy :

When Merkel opened the doors of Germany to welcome the migrants, it wasn’t accepted by many of her counterparts.

Others received her slogan;”wir schaffen das” or “we will manage it.” In 2015 and 2016, the country took in about 1.2 million asylum seekers.

The open-door policy and humanitarian approach changed Merkel’s popularity as an iconic figure and she was chosen as,TIMES person of the year.

Yet,those who opposed the policy saw the move as a betrayal of the EU’s rule mandating migrants to register in the member state they entered.

“Merkel’s stand was a betrayal of the German Volk, an emotion the country’s far-right seized upon, giving the neo-fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD) a new lease on life,” writes Politico.

In conclusion,this is a possible reason for her demeaning popularity and CDU’s fall in the past few years.

Germany After Merkel :

Merkel transformed Germany’s leadership positioning through her amicable leadership in the past two decades.

She has accolades and success to her credit. But, unfortunately, the political scenario in Germany after Merkel will be similar to that of the United States.

American political critic and author Robert Kagen recently wrote in The Washington Post that the United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War.

Biden had to fulfill what Trump left behind, including the controversial withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.

The next chancellor of Germany has diplomatic relationships to mend.Especially with the US,the most important ally to the EU.

Germany’s dialogues with the US have not been healthier during the Trump rule. Besides, the 2015 refugee crisis that fuelled the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is another bigger challenge for Merkel’s successor.

Climate change policies and voter expectations on the same weigh equally like the other issues.

Concluding this with a quote by Rachel Rizzo, adjunct fellow at the Center for New American Security, published in The Washington Post;

“They aren’t contesting the results.Political leaders in Germany understand that once you begin questioning democratic processes,the foundation can start to crumble.That’s exactly what we’ve seen happen in the US.”

Does it resound what Robert Kagen said?.