What if Merkel were to go to Brussels?

An interview with Angela Merkel has fuelled speculation that she may have plans to go to Brussels - even before her time as chancellor ends. She told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that she feels duty-bound towards Europe. At the same time she reaffirmed her decision to withdraw from politics in 2021. Nevertheless, Europe's media eagerly discuss the topic.

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Népszava (HU) /

Difficult to imagine Merkel as a pensioner

Merkel switching to Brussels would be good for her successor as CDU leader, Népszava reflects:

“It would be in Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's interest to have Angela Merkel out of the picture as quickly as possible: her popularity rates are sinking and the domestic stage is all she has left, while the chancellor - owing to the division of labour - is busy with foreign policy and EU reform and doesn't have to make unpopular decisions at the moment. It's also difficult to imagine Angela Merkel going into retirement when her mandate ends in 2021. ... Even if Merkel decides to go to Brussels later on, no doubt a special position will be found for her even then.”

Phileleftheros (CY) /

The EU needs fresh faces

Commenting in Phileleftheros columnist Xenia Tourki thinks little of the idea of Merkel occupying a top EU post:

“It's truly tragic and at the same time it shows that the EU clearly lacks competent staff. As good as Angela Merkel may be, she can't be that irreplaceable. It's simply not acceptable that whenever problems crop up and solutions need to be found, the EU always takes the same approach. There are other competent, gifted and passionate figures. The union needs young people who are willing to fight for it. The EU must offer them space and stop rehashing the past.”

Gazeta Polska Codziennie (PL) /

This is really about Weber

Gazeta Polska Codziennie asks why Merkel is putting the end of her career on the agenda now of all times:

“Firstly to assuage her critics, who worry that she'll run for chancellor for a fifth time. Secondly to show that she has the situation in Berlin under control, because she plans on staying in power until autumn 2021. Thirdly, this is a clear signal that she won't try to become president of the European Council, the position the unfortunate Donald Tusk will occupy until late autumn of 2019. That bolsters the chances of Manfred Weber - her countryman, apprentice and chair of the EPP group - securing the position of Commission president. If he wins it will also be a personal victory for Merkel, who's been championing his cause.”