WATCH: Angela Merkel’s European Legacy | EuropeChats Episode 5

In this new episode of EuropeChats, we’re taking a look at the legacy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chancellor Merkel announced this year that she would be standing down after 16 years in power.

The German elections took place on 26 September 2021, and for the first time since 2005, we knew she would not emerge as Chancellor. TEPSA Secretary-General Jim Cloos prepared European Council summits throughout Merkel’s period in office, and shares with us his impressions of her European leadership through a series of crises since 2005.

“Mrs Merkel came into power in 2005. This was the year when a new MFF was being negotiated. It was as always a highly controversial matter, with Germany playing a key role as the biggest net payer. After the failure to conclude under Luxembourg presidency (not the fault of LU!), she worked hard with the new UK presidency to find consensus at the EUCO. In other words, she almost immediately made her mark in Brussels. She surprised people with her quiet authority, her knowledge of the files and her tactical skills”

But we also look at some of Chancellor Merkel’s failures and controversies, including the famous “Wir Schaffen Das!” statement which Jim argues created divisions in Europe at the time of the Refugee Crisis, and critiques of Merkel’s indecision in the area of foreign policy.

EuropeChats is TEPSA’s talk show dedicated to answering your questions about the European Union. If you ever wondered what competences the EU has, what effects its policies have on your day-to-day life, and why the EU is so important, then this show will give you all the answers you need! Every episode, Jim Cloos, TEPSA Secretary-General will be answering your questions about Europe and the EU.

Jim Cloos is TEPSA’s Secretary-General, and has spent a lifetime in the heart of Brussels. As the former Deputy Director General for General and Institutional Policy at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, he was involved in European decision-making at every level. He had a key role in drafting the Maastricht Treaty during the Luxembourgish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 1991, and has an intricate expertise on EU Affairs and the internal functioning of the European institutions. There is no-one better placed to answer any question about Europe that you might have.

Mariam Khotenashvili is TEPSA’s Executive Director. Her background combines research coordination, policy advocacy, project management and academic work. Her fields of expertise include EU foreign and development policies and in particular the European Neighbourhood Policy. Mariam is your direct line into the European bubble, and to Jim’s expertise.