Ms Merkel was a machine of compromise, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel recently said. When the negotiations were blocked, she mostly found something that brings us together to get things done.
This was exposed in July 2020, when EU leaders struck a deal on an unprecedented € 1.8 trillion (2 trillion) budget and coronavirus recovery fund after a disputed four-day summit. .
At his 107th and last European summit, European Council President Charles Michel told Merkel: You are a monument. A summit without it would be like Rome without the Vatican or Paris without the Eiffel Tower, he added.
The appreciation from his counterparts was sincere, although there had been a lot of friction over the years. Merkel has always sought to keep the EU as tightly knit as possible, but has staunchly defended Germany’s interests, clashing with Greece during the debt crisis and at odds with Hungary, Poland and others on their refusal, unlike Germany, to welcome migrants arriving in Europe.
Merkel has said she is withdrawing from the EU in a situation that also concerns me.
We have been able to overcome many crises in a spirit of respect, always in an effort to find common solutions, she said. But we also have a series of unresolved issues, and there are great unfinished business for my successor.
This is also true at home, where her record dominated by the crises she has tackled and including a pandemic that is waking up again as she resigns is a mixed bag. She leaves Germany with lower unemployment and healthier finances, but also with well-documented gaps in digitization, many health units have used faxes to transmit data during the pandemic and what the critics say it is a lack of investment in infrastructure.
She has made strides in promoting renewable energy, but has also been criticized for acting too slowly on climate change. After announcing in 2018 that she would not run for a fifth term, she failed to ensure a smooth transition of power in her own party, which collapsed in the September elections in Germany.