For German Chancellor Angela Merkel's opponents, defectors and even supporters, the announcement that she will not seek the chancellery in 2021 is not yet cause for either celebration or concern.
Merkel, chancellor for almost 13 years, said on Monday she would give up the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Oettinger said that she enjoys trust "from Sophia to Lisbon, from Dublin to Athens".
Warning of the "mainly male" migrants who continued to stream into Germany's big cities three years after Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders to more than a million refugees from war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, he called for tighter asylum and immigration laws.
Developments across Europe have mirrored the new internal divisions in Germany.
"My abiding desire was to occupy my political positions in government with dignity and to leave them with dignity", she told reporters. But the election in Hesse was one more sign of the CDU's ongoing struggle to retain its influence.
Weber, a member of the Bavarian CSU conservative party, told broadcaster ZDF that Merkel had always been a strong voice for Europe, and she could now amplify her leadership role.
The timing of Merkel's announcement was a shock, but probably shouldn't have been. She also said she had made the decision not to stay on as CDU chair before the summer parliamentary recess. The problem is that he doesn't sit in the Bundestag anymore, which could make it more hard for him to use the party leadership as a springboard to the chancellery.
Her coalition of conservatives and Social Democrats did little to support her policies.
Merkel took over as leader of the CDU on the opposition benches and three years later, became chancellor.
In any case, the rest of this year will see little progress, notes Josef Janning of the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, because "she's a very lame duck until a new party leader is elected, without carte blanche to move in Europe".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel presented the German branch of the Israel-based humanitarian group IsraAID the German government's highest honor for integration on Monday. In the Hessian state elections of 28 October, the CDU's electoral share declined by 11.3% and that of the SPD by 10.9%. Merkel's sister party, the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU), also lost its majority to the AfD and the Greens in Bavaria, the country's largest state containing the city of Munich. The new CDU leader would be the favorite to run for chancellor in the next election.
Siaka Fanny, adviser to Ivory Coast's Finance Ministry, was equally effusive: "We need to be meeting together, so that the highest level of African countries have the opportunity to explain how good the business environment is, and how the reforms have been put in place", he said.