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Experts: "Kramp-Karrenbauer's election should reassure Europe"

Experts: "Kramp-Karrenbauer's election should reassure Europe"
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By Stefan Grobe
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Analysts in Brussels comment on Merkel's successor as party chairwoman

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The biggest political party in Europe's biggest country has a new leadership - Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (aka AKK) has become Angela Merkel's handpicked successor as party chairwoman.

For the next three years, Germany's partners in the EU will have to deal with a female duo largely in-sync about major political issues like migration, economic reforms and Europe's role on the global stage.

According to Mario Telo, political scientist in Brussels, AKK's most immediate tasks are to heal the divisions inside the Christian Democrats and to stabilize the coalition government in Berlin.

Yet, the overall message to Europe is clear:

"We are living in a Europe that is deeply troubled in which Paris is burning, London, according to observers, is risking the suicide of the Conservative Party over Brexit, and Rome, according to observers, is governed by the irresponsible and incompetent. In this context, Germany demonstrates political stability, continuity and leadership."

As Germans are getting ready for the holiday season, AKK's election hasn't sparked much popular excitement.

Many see the transition to Merkel's close ally as rather re-assuring, yet also a bit boring, because policy changes are not to be expected.

But this could be a plus, says Corinna Horst, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels.

"It's good news for Europe, because we can be sure that both women will work very closely together.

It is clear that AKK will need to tend to party business and national affairs first, but this is closely linked with next year's European elections. I believe that we will see more of her on the European stage in the months to come."

Kramp Karrenbauer - a fresh face for Germany and for Europe.

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