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The stain on Merkel's legacy

Posted On: 24 Oct 2021   |   Posted By: Politico

Daniel Hegedüs is transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States
BERLIN - Angela Merkel's 16-year German chancellorship oversaw all three main European Union crises of the 21st century: the 2008 financial and sovereign debt crisis, the 2015 migrant crisis and the ongoing rule of law and democracy crisis.
And while she performed admirably with first and successfully survived the second, it's the last one that will define her legacy. Merkel is not simply leaving the EU's rule of law problem - the most transformative challenge for European integration in the long term - unsolved for her successor. It is primarily under her watch that the authoritarian ambitions of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Poland's strongman Jarosław Kaczyński were able to grow to pose a systemic challenge for the EU.
Merkel has been constantly criticized for being soft on Orbán and prioritizing the interests of the German automotive and manufacturing industries over the democratic integrity of the EU. She...

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