Angela Merkel’s Life and Career
Woman in Politics
The greatest German Chancellor was born on 17 of July, 1954 in Hamburg, Germany. She was the oldest child of Kasner’s family children. The girl was given a name Angela Dorothea. Later on, she was joined with her brother, Marcus, and sister, Irene.
Angela was raised in the provincial town of Templin that is located near to Germany’s capital, the city of Berlin. Her father was a Lutheran pastor and shared the communist ideology that dominated at that time in German Democratic Republic. Naturally, as a Lutheran pastor he enjoyed the freedoms and rights that were denied to the representatives of other confessions, even the
Living in GDR meant that one should have necessarily belonged to the socialist-led movements. The future European leader joined one of them, namely Free German Youth movement. For the first time her leadership skills and ambitions were realized through this organization, as she became a representative of the district board. She also actively participated in the Agitprop, the campaign aimed at promotion of youth movements.
Despite little success in leadership abilities, Angela did not chose politics as her major. Instead, after finishing her studies in Templin, she entered the University of Leipzig and started to master her knowledge in physics. In 1978 she graduated and earned her doctorate. The next step in her career led to the employment at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry in Berlin where she spent 2 years researching various physic-related concepts.
Angela was married twice. Her first attempt was made to Ulrich Merkel, the physician, in 1977. However, it ended up with divorce five years after. In 1998 Merkel remarried to Joachim Sauer who is a professor in chemistry.
The central mystery of Merkel’s life is her decision to enter the world of politics. She rarely refers to those vulnerable times when the Wall felt and the new opportunities opened. Perhaps, a few reasons, both external and internal forced this woman to make a decision that led to such a turning point in her life. Reflecting on the facts provided in her biography list, Packer considers that once Merkel had founded herself a single woman in her thirties employed at the East German institution with no future, she realized that for woman with her ambitions the world of politics is a new challenge. She must have realized that the politics would be the key realm in the recently united German Republic.
With the reunification of Germany a lot of doors, indeed, had opened. A lot of governmental positions were offered to the representatives coming from East Germany. Merkel joined the newly formed Democratic Party. During the first democratic elections, held in East Germany, voters chose Merkel for a position of deputy spokesman for the new government. Shortly after the reunification the party, which Merkel belonged to merged with the Christian Democratic Union Party. During the first post-unification democratic elections held in the entire Germany Merkel was elected to Bundestag. A few months later Merkel was appointed as the Minister for Woman and Youth. From 1998 she occupied the position of the Minister of Environment and Reactor Safety.
In 1998 Merkel became a Secretary General at CDU party. Finally, after a series of financial scandals within the party she was elected as a chair of CDU party and came to the position in 2000. Merkel has brought a range of meaningful changes to the party. First of all, she was an Ossi, e.g. coming from the East Germany. Secondly, she was a woman, a scientist with strong Lutheran views on religion. The party she was going to lead mainly consisted of conservative men with deep roots in Catholicism supported primarily by the constituencies in the southern Germany.
Such a contrast helped Merkel to won the hearts of the German voters as she was considered as the main candidate for the CDU and Bavarian Christian Social Union during the general elections held in 2002. However, these elections seemed to be less favorable for Merkel than it was expected to be. She lost mainly due to the lack of support of her own party. Another party leader Eldmund Stoier undermined her positions having won the candidacy for CDU ticker, though he did not manage to won the Chancellorship.
Despite the misfortunes, Merkel shortly after became a leader in the lower chamber of Bundestag. She headed the conservative opposition to the ruling government and promoted a few economic changes that were crucial for the future of German economic well-being. Among others, she advocated the deregulation policies, which could let the market laws regulate the economy. Despite strong public opposition she supported the U.S. government in invading Iraq and insisted on the necessity of building strong diplomatic and economic relationships with the American government.
However, even though Merkel often shared the views that somehow contradicted to the ones of her co-citizens, the support of her never grew weaker. It eventually resulted in electing her as a Germany’s first female Chancellor. She also managed to head the Grand Coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, CDU and CSU while emphasizing on the strategic importance of building strong ties with the USA, redesigning of the healthcare system in the Germany as well as on revising its taxation policies.
Currently, there are no threats detected in Merkel’s political future. Recently, she has been re-elected as a leader of the CDU party. Nearly 97% of the voters chose her to head the party. In accordance with the political experts, there are few or none who is sufficient enough to fill Merkel’s shoes. The debates are now held around the question of will Merkel run again in 2017. In case she does, she will break the political record of Kohl who has led German government for 16 years. At the same time, some experts suppose that such a Merkel-addiction of CDU might have negative consequences in the future when Merkel will decide to withdraw. Merkel’s powerful position, though, is strongly supported by the image of the country she is in charge of. It seems that once a politician manages to keep things in order, in his or her own state, then he or she might be potentially ale to ensure peace and well-being over the entire European continent.
The sky, however, has not always been as cloudless as it is now for Merkel.
The challenges that Merkel had to face while climbing political mountains were of diverse character:
- First of all, she came from the depressing region of East Germany, which, as seemed, had no future on the contrary to the developing West Germany. In comparison with the Western politicians she was usually underscored because of her origin.
- Secondly, she was a woman. Even in the progressive Germany and Western Europe women had not been perceived seriously.
- Thirdly, despite her leadership initiatives in the youth movements Merkel had little experience in the world of politics. She was a scientist, a true one. And the latter trait, perhaps, determined her future significantly. The experts as well as observers of Merkel’s career stress that she possesses strong analytical abilities. She often views the same problem from different paradigms and perspectives.
- Additionally, she is extremely curious about the things surrounding her. Perhaps, such features have transformed and contributed to the success she experiences now.
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Reflecting on challenges that Merkel faces one should mention her role of the European leader. It is not a secret that for years she advocates the idea of creation of political union within the territory of Europe with strong economic ties in order to ensure peace, stability, development and prosperity of the nations living here.
However, currently the European integrity is at the stage of stagnation due to the financial crises and overall economic problems existing within the Euro zone. Merkel, as an unofficial political leader of the united Europe is currently considering the ways out from the situation that currently prevails in Europe. Additionally, she has to ensure the united position of the EU in the Ukrainian question, which remains to be rather challenging, uncertain and hard to resolve. The unity in this regard is often undermined by the efforts of national governments, for example, the Hungarian one which acts in the contradiction with the European position as to the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Merkel is often viewed as woman with strong emotion. Indeed, she passes political decisions waiving all the emotions she has and solely with the reason switched on. Packer emphasizes that she treats politics as scientist. When she has an opinion it seems to be found and non-revisable. Every issue is approached methodically, with drawing comparisons, risk weighting, reactions anticipation etc. Even when the decision is passed Merkel sits for a while before taking action.