After 16 years and 107 EU summits, Merkel was called “a monument” when she left. Michel said Merkel’s wisdom will be missed, especially in difficult times. Most of the summits took place in the Europa building. The “artistic miniature version” of that building has recognizable features.
“In the middle of the building is a lantern shape. That is in the middle of the art object. The center represents the heart of Europe.”
Duterre was already aware that Merkel would receive the statuette today. “I think it’s wonderful, I’ve been stressing all day,” he says.
Besides Michel, other government leaders also reflected on Merkel’s departure from Brussels. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said he will miss the German ‘compromise machine’ very much. And there was praise from outside the EU. Former US President Obama also took the time to record a farewell video for Merkel.
“I was sure to be my partner in addressing a series of crises for our populations. I was happy to be your friend,” Obama said.