For the past 16 years, Angela Merkel has reigned as the Chancellor of Germany. Germany, having such a massive European economy, has massive influence over EU politics and global politics. Did Angela Merkel use her position to bolster the EU? Did she strengthen ties with Western democracies? Did she find ways of making the EU a stronger global power that could keep up with the looking threats of Eastern countries? No, no, and no.
In fact, almost the exact opposite happened. I want to clarify something first. Angela Merkel did a great job of making Germany stronger. However, in the process, she undermined every ambition the EU had when she started 16 years ago.
Let’s look at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This gas pipeline has been years in the making and funnels the necessary power to heat homes and provide energy to European countries. It starts in Russia and ends in Germany and completion of the project ended just a few weeks ago.
If you are paying attention to global news, you know that Europe is going through an energy crisis. Russia, and those controlling Nord Stream 2, has made it clear that they have more than enough gas to meet the demands of the EU and essentially end the shortage. But, and there’s always a but, the Kremlin made some big hints that more or less said stop getting your gas from the Ukrainian pipelines first. Ukrainian pipelines can’t keep up with the demand. Russian pipelines can, and do, have the capacity to match demand. So now we have a situation where Moscow has total and complete leverage over the EU. Do you want energy? Fulfill our political demands or else you don’t get it.
Looking towards diplomatic ties, we shift towards Germanies relationship with the US. On Biden’s first day as President of the United States, he had an option to call any world leader. Who did he pick? Angela Merkel. The phone rang, an aid picked up, and Merkel said she was “too busy” to answer the phone as she was spending time in the garden.
Biden was attempting to restore diplomatic ties with Germany and the EU. The leader of the free world calls, extending an olive branch, and you’re “too busy?”
I think one word perfectly summarizes Merkel’s legacy “Merkeln.” What is Merkeln? It started as German slang and became an official dictionary term in Germany. It means “to put off decisions.” And with that, I wrap up my rant on Merkel.