The Beginning of the End of the Merkel Era
Analysis by Tamás Levente Molnár
There have been extraordinary turbulent developments in German politics since the federal elections in September 2017. Angela Merkel’s first attempt to form a coalition government failed, so she had to continue the grand coalition. The CDU and its sister party, the Bavarian CSU, performed weakly at important state elections over the last months. As a result, Merkel revoked her previous principle of always keeping party leadership and chancellorship in a personal union. The race for the CDU chairmanship revived the party, but also brought old divides to the surface. With narrow difference, the CDU delegates chose Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to be Merkel’s successor, thus female party leaders do not play an episode role in the party’s history anymore. The aim of the policy brief is to present the developments which led to the current situation of the biggest German governmental party, to examine the prospects of a divided power constellation, the main challenges of the new CDU chairperson, and the chancellor’s options for governing.