German Chancellor Angela Merkel has "grave doubts" about a changing approach to global affairs in which compromise and multilateralism seem to be lacking.
"There is a new approach that we see in the world today, an approach that harbors doubts as to the validity of the international system, they say 'shouldn't we look after our own interests first' and then out of that develop an order that is good for all," she told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
"I have my grave doubts that this is the right way to go about it."
"I think (that when it comes to) our national interests — I think we should always understand them in such a way that we always remember that others also have their own vested interests, factor them in and then shape a win-win situation that will guide us in international politics."
Nonetheless, Merkel said there was room to reform international institutions. "I think we ought to say we are ready to look at established institutions but reform them so that the balance of power is actually realistically reflected in the way that they are built up."
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Chancellor Merkel announced in October that she would not seek re-election as either party leader or chancellor and that this current term, her fourth in office which ends in 2021, would be her last.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected in December as the new leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and is seen as natural successor to Merkel, and is expected to continue her style of steady and pragmatic leadership.
Merkel's forthcoming departure from politics will be a loss to Europe as she has been a long-standing leader of the region and something of a moral compass for Europe, despite criticism of her decision to allow over a million migrants, mainly of Syrian origin, into Germany in 2015.
There is no obvious replacement for Merkel as Europe's figurehead with her counterparts in Western Europe, such as French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Italy's government all experiencing political upheavals.