Why is Angela Merkel a good leader

It will be official on Sunday evening. Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a press statement for 7 p.m. without mentioning a specific topic. However, she will then declare that she will run again for the 2017 federal election, i.e. that she is applying for a fourth term.

After Donald Trump's election to the White House, this is no longer a question that affects Germany alone or even Europe. Merkel has become perhaps the most important leader in the free, liberal world. Timothy Garton, British newspaper commentator Guardian, wrote recently that the term "leader of the free world" was actually reserved for the President of the United States. After Trump's success, however, he was "tempted to say that the leader of the free world is Angela Merkel".

The New York Times An analysis of Merkel's role in the Trump era begins with the following sentences: "And then there was only one more. After the election of Donald Trump, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel became the last powerful defender of Europe and the transatlantic alliance."

In the Netherlands this is more conservative NRC Handelsblad: "More Trump means more Merkel." And in another text: "Germany and Merkel are developing into the standard bearers of Western values." Even the left one taz from Germany realizes that Merkel is "suddenly becoming the most important head of state in the free, democratic and liberal world".

A German bulwark against everything that Trump stands for

Merkel will not like this role. She is lifted onto a pedestal that she does not want to stand on. Merkel believes in cooperation, in compromises, in dialogue. Not of the model of a lonely leader who controls the fate of the world.

However, she has also brought herself into this role. The day after the US election, she stood in front of the press and dictated conditions for a good cooperation to President-elect Trump. Germany and America are linked by values ​​such as democracy, freedom, respect for the law and human dignity. "On the basis of these values, I offer the future President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, close cooperation."

Merkel's sentences went around the world. In the liberal part of the USA it must have sounded as if Merkel was building a bulwark against hatred, misogyny and xenophobia with heavy equipment; against all that Trump stands for. No other European head of state has formulated the claim so clearly not to be prepared to sacrifice elementary basic values ​​in the fight against right-wing populism.

This can also be seen in the draft of a key proposal for the CDU federal party conference in Essen at the beginning of December. Before Merkel declares herself this Sunday, the federal executive board will meet for a two-day retreat in Berlin in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus, the CDU party headquarters. The draft is to be discussed there. The application will probably be the basis for the CDU's election program. And with it the general plan for how the CDU under Merkel wants to win over the voters of the right-wing populist to extreme AfD.