Changes are pretty common in our everyday lives. We change our clothes to suit the weather, we change the channels on TV and we constantly make decisions depending on the conditions and time. There are also big changes that take place not very often but we can have an impact on them and that will define our living standards in years to come – political choices.
In our rapidly changing world it is a common thing that active political leaders can’t give an accurate response to the upcoming changes and challenges. A series of terrorist attacks in Europe, Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory became the events that not only marked the need for changes, but also heralded as a new era that will change the political layout in the world.
For the last few years the far-right parties are on the rise in Europe and they are ready to put aside the conservative way and act decisively. Among them the Party for Freedom from the Netherlands and its leader Geert Wilders, in France it is Marine Le Pen’s National Front, in the Federal Republic of Germany it is the anti-EU Alternative for Germany and Frauke Petry. These parties represent different countries but all of them have the same ideas and goals – they all come out against Islam, speak for leaving the EU and getting back the national sovereignty. More people are tired of being under the bureaucracy of the European Union.
The EU expansion to the Eastern Europe also couldn’t stay without consequences. Instead of democracy and prosperity it pushed the growth of insecurity and brought to power people like Kaczyński who openly express their sympathy for the dictatorship and totalitarianism and that was impossible to imagine in the previous years. In fact, the EU turned the countries of Eastern Europe into the source of cheap labor force, destroyed their social systems, introduced the low salary level and encouraged the growth of unemployment. All of it resulted in the rising of nationalist ideology in these countries and undoubtedly in the nearest future a police regime will establish there.
The only person who still believes in the promising future of the EU in its current condition is, apparently, Angela Merkel. And for that future she is ready to become Germany’s Chancellor for the fourth time in a row, ignoring the need of German people for changes and pushing Germany into further isolation.
Over the last years the Chancellor time after time showed her inability to cope with her duties. The open door policy caused the migration crisis in the EU, but Merkel lacks self-determination to resolve the problem. The opposition and the rest of Europe see this and Germany is losing its authority in their sight. Even Merkel’s key ally Horst Seehofer since 2010 speaks for immigration restriction from the Muslim countries and he did not support Merkel’s “We can do it” credo on accommodating the almost 1.1 million migrants and refugees who settled in Germany in 2015. Amid disagreements over the immigration policy, Merkel’s declaration about unity and mutual understanding between the nations, democracy and freedom in Europe look like oddity and obviously have no understanding both in the EU and in the rest of the world. In fact, Merkel’s policy promoted excessive economic, social and political division within the EU and furthermore Merkel shows her bigger rigidity, and coalition that previously was a dangerous weapon in Merkel’s hands, started falling apart.
Shift in power – not only a natural process but also a reasonably required thing. When the changes come, you either stick to them adapting your approach or take the sideline giving the qualified people a chance to act. Merkel’s strategy hadn’t changed for the years and today we see the consequences. Everybody understand that, even Merkel’s party fellow members who ask her for a hardline policy, but not the Chancellor herself who continues to insist that Germany can do it and she is not going to change her position.
Since her election in 2005 Merkel used the achievements of the ex-Chancellor Gerhard Shröder and his government. It helped her to rest for two terms in a relative comfort and it is worth noting that the appearance of a new Chancellor at that moment fitted the situation in Germany and the spirit of time. However, the ongoing tendency of the present is the shifting in power which is determined by the objective reasons and popular discontent and Merkel still ignores both of them because her legacy could be in danger. The escalating criticism of the Chancellor shows the beginning of a large-scale face-off between the political elite groups in Germany and there is no place left for Merkel in that battle.