European Union leaders bid farewell to Angela Merkel with a standing ovation | Europe | DW
European Union leaders on Friday (22.10.2021) gave a standing ovation to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the last EU summit in Brussels after 16 years in power in her country.
In a brief farewell ceremony, European Council President Charles Michel said that EU summits without Merkel are “like Rome without the Vatican or Paris without the Eiffel Tower,” according to a European source. “You are a monument,” he added.
At the end of the summit, Merkel said she was leaving the European political scene “at a time when there are reasons for concern” for the EU, due to the migration situation, the post-pandemic economic recovery, and the rule of law in the bloc’s countries.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, gives a plaque of appreciation to Merkel (22.10.2021)
“We have overcome many crises, but we have a number of unresolved problems,” said Merkel, who has attended 107 summits of EU leaders.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo said the chancellor “is someone who has truly distinguished Europe for 16 years and helped us, the 27 (EU members), make the right decisions with so much humanity in difficult times.”
Her Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg added that Merkel’s exit from the scene “will leave a huge void”, as she “has been in office for a long time and has had a significant impact on the development of the European Union.” He added that the German leader “was a haven of peace within the European Union.”
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