Dec 6, 2018
The Angela Merkel era is ending. The weekend of December 7-8 in Hamburg the curtains draw half closed and we will see who officially waits in the wings to take over. Currently, there are three candidates are vying for that position.
Angela Merkel became chairwoman of the Christian Democratic party in 2000 and Chancellor five years later. In what many see as the first step of a tactical retreat, Angela Merkel announced in late October that she would not seek reelection to head her party, though she will remain in her spot at the head the government until the next elections in 2021 – or at least presumably. Because of course as soon as someone else takes over leadership of her party, Germany will have a new heir (or heiress) apparent.
The cast of characters is interesting: The ambitious Jens Spahn, currently serving as health minister in the government; the woman generally viewed as Merkel’s anointed heir and perhaps a kind of Merkel 2.0, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and finally Friedrich Merz, an old arch rival of Merkel’s, who abandoned politics for finance after he was elbowed out by her in 2002.
Jan Techau and Sudha David-Wilp join Rachel Tausendfreund to discuss the three candidates, their chances, and what any of these candidates might mean for Europe and Germany’s leadership globally.
Think and Tank links: Jan Techau tanks the German debate on the Global Compact
Sudha David-Wilp talks about the Visegrad Insight publication "Central European Futures"
Rachel Tausendfreund recommends the Guardian long read “How colonial violence came home: the ugly truth of the first world war”