EU Leaders Wave Off Merkel’s Compromise Machine

EU leaders bid farewell to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels after 16 years and 107 EU summits. Luxembourg Prime Minister Bettel will personally miss the German “compromise machine” very much, he says.


At the start of the second and final day of Merkel’s most likely last EU summit, the chairman of the Council of Governments and Heads of State, Charles Michel, addressed her. Merkel, 67, is leaving politics and maybe making way within a few weeks for social democrat Olaf Scholz, who is energetically forming a cabinet.

Merkel, “as the EU’s resting point”, will, of course, leave a “big hole”, Austrian Chancellor Schallenberg said.

The outgoing Chancellor has often personally revived stalled EU summits, says Bettel. “She was a compromised machine. A lot of times when we simply couldn’t get any further, Angela would say, ‘Okay, I suggest tak-tak-tak’ and then it came together.”

EU leaders will discuss migration on Friday, an issue with which the union has made little progress during Merkel’s reign.

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