FORA.tv Speaker - Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany. Merkel, elected to the German Parliament from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since April 9, 2000, and Chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary party group from 2002 to 2005. She leads a Grand coalition with its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), formed after the 2005 federal election on 22 November 2005.
In 2007, Merkel was also President of the European Council and chair of the G8. She played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration. In domestic policy, health care reform and problems concerning future energy development have thus far been the major issues of her tenure.
Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany. She is considered by Forbes Magazine to be the "most powerful woman in the world at the present time". In 2007 she became the second woman to chair the G8 after Margaret Thatcher.
Chancellor Merkel is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
In 2008 Merkel received the Charlemagne Prize "for her work to reform the European Union." The prize was presented by Nicolas Sarkozy.
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