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Merkel ‘highly qualified’ for EU post: Juncker

Angela Merkel will bid farewell to the chancellor’s office in Berlin in 2021. The outgoing president of the European Commission thinks she is “a complete and endearing work of art” who would do well in Brussels.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Germany’s Funke Media Group on Saturday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is “highly qualified” for a top European Union job.

Asked whether he could imagine her assuming an EU office after her term as chancellor ends in 2021, Juncker said he “could not imagine” Merkel “disappearing into thin air.”

“She is not only a person of respect, but also a complete and endearing work of art,” Juncker said.

Merkel steered the bloc through a period of economic crisis and political turbulence after becoming chancellor in 2005, earning her the reputation of being Europe’s most powerful leader.

Upon announcing her intention to step down as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Merkel said she would not seek any other political offices after 2021. Her longtime ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has succeeded her as party leader and is widely seen as a contender for the chancellorship.

Juncker’s historic hope

Juncker will step down as the head of the EU’s executive branch on October 31 after a single term in office.

The former prime minister of Luxembourg was appointed in 2014, after the European Parliament grouping that includes Merkel’s conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the European People’s Party (EPP) nominated him for the post and won the largest share of the vote in parliamentary elections.

Asked about what he would like historians to write about his presidency, Juncker said: “He tried his best … Perhaps it would be nice to add that he put some things in order.”