(CNN)German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Monday that she would not seek re-election when her term expires in 2021.

Merkel, who has been Chancellor since 2005, made the announcement during a news conference today in Berlin.”It is time today for me to start a new chapter,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin. Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies lose majority in crushing voteAngela Merkel's Bavarian allies lose majority in crushing voteAngela Merkel's Bavarian allies lose majority in crushing vote“This fourth term is my last term as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the next Bundestag election in 2021, I will not run again as Chancellor. I will not run for the German Bundestag any more, and I do not want any other political office.”Merkel told reporters that being Chancellor has been a “very challenging and fulfilling task.”Read MoreHer decision appears to mark the beginning of the end of her 13-year dominance of European politics.German Chancellor and Chairwoman of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel speaks to delegates at the 30th CDU party congress on February 26, in Berlin, Germany. Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005, and is currently serving in her fourth term.German Chancellor and Chairwoman of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel speaks to delegates at the 30th CDU party congress on February 26, in Berlin, Germany. Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005, and is currently serving in her fourth term. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelGerman Chancellor and Chairwoman of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel speaks to delegates at the 30th CDU party congress on February 26, in Berlin, Germany. Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005, and is currently serving in her fourth term.Hide Caption 1 of 30Merkel was born in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1954, but she grew up in East Germany. Her father, Horst Kasner, was a Lutheran minister and her mother, Herlind, was an English teacher.Merkel was born in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1954, but she grew up in East Germany. Her father, Horst Kasner, was a Lutheran minister and her mother, Herlind, was an English teacher. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel was born in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1954, but she grew up in East Germany. Her father, Horst Kasner, was a Lutheran minister and her mother, Herlind, was an English teacher.Hide Caption 2 of 30Merkel, left, attends a New Year's Eve party with friends in Berlin in 1972. In 1977, at the age of 23, she married her first husband, Ulrich Merkel. They divorced in 1982, but she kept the name.Merkel, left, attends a New Year's Eve party with friends in Berlin in 1972. In 1977, at the age of 23, she married her first husband, Ulrich Merkel. They divorced in 1982, but she kept the name. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel, left, attends a New Year’s Eve party with friends in Berlin in 1972. In 1977, at the age of 23, she married her first husband, Ulrich Merkel. They divorced in 1982, but she kept the name.Hide Caption 3 of 30Merkel poses with her siblings, Marcus and Irene Kasner.Merkel poses with her siblings, Marcus and Irene Kasner. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel poses with her siblings, Marcus and Irene Kasner.Hide Caption 4 of 30Merkel visits a children's home during her campaign to become a member of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, in 1990. Before turning to politics, Merkel had trained as a physicist. She was also a spokeswoman for the "Democratic Awakening," East Germany's opposition movement before reunification.Merkel visits a children's home during her campaign to become a member of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, in 1990. Before turning to politics, Merkel had trained as a physicist. She was also a spokeswoman for the "Democratic Awakening," East Germany's opposition movement before reunification. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel visits a children’s home during her campaign to become a member of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, in 1990. Before turning to politics, Merkel had trained as a physicist. She was also a spokeswoman for the “Democratic Awakening,” East Germany’s opposition movement before reunification.Hide Caption 5 of 30A month after being elected to the Bundestag, Merkel was appointed to Germany's Cabinet in January 1991. Chancellor Helmut Kohl named her Minister for Women and Youth.A month after being elected to the Bundestag, Merkel was appointed to Germany's Cabinet in January 1991. Chancellor Helmut Kohl named her Minister for Women and Youth. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelA month after being elected to the Bundestag, Merkel was appointed to Germany’s Cabinet in January 1991. Chancellor Helmut Kohl named her Minister for Women and Youth.Hide Caption 6 of 30Merkel looks at Kohl during a conference of the Christian Democratic Union, their political party, in 1991. At the time, Merkel was a deputy chairwoman for the party.Merkel looks at Kohl during a conference of the Christian Democratic Union, their political party, in 1991. At the time, Merkel was a deputy chairwoman for the party. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel looks at Kohl during a conference of the Christian Democratic Union, their political party, in 1991. At the time, Merkel was a deputy chairwoman for the party.Hide Caption 7 of 30Merkel changed Cabinet positions in 1994, becoming Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Here, she visits a water-control station in Bad Honnef, Germany, in 1995.Merkel changed Cabinet positions in 1994, becoming Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Here, she visits a water-control station in Bad Honnef, Germany, in 1995. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel changed Cabinet positions in 1994, becoming Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Here, she visits a water-control station in Bad Honnef, Germany, in 1995.Hide Caption 8 of 30Merkel, as the country's leader on environmental issues, irons wrapping paper to show how it can be recycled.Merkel, as the country's leader on environmental issues, irons wrapping paper to show how it can be recycled. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel, as the country’s leader on environmental issues, irons wrapping paper to show how it can be recycled.Hide Caption 9 of 30Merkel and Health Minister Horst Seehofer attend a Cabinet meeting in 1995.  Merkel and Health Minister Horst Seehofer attend a Cabinet meeting in 1995.  Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel and Health Minister Horst Seehofer attend a Cabinet meeting in 1995. Hide Caption 10 of 30Merkel sits in a "strandkorb," or beach basket, in an undated photo. In 2000, Merkel became the Christian Democratic Union's first female chairperson. It was the opposition party at the time.Merkel sits in a "strandkorb," or beach basket, in an undated photo. In 2000, Merkel became the Christian Democratic Union's first female chairperson. It was the opposition party at the time. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel sits in a “strandkorb,” or beach basket, in an undated photo. In 2000, Merkel became the Christian Democratic Union’s first female chairperson. It was the opposition party at the time.Hide Caption 11 of 30Merkel, left, attends the opening of the Wagner Festival, an annual music festival in Bayreuth, Germany, in 2001.Merkel, left, attends the opening of the Wagner Festival, an annual music festival in Bayreuth, Germany, in 2001. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel, left, attends the opening of the Wagner Festival, an annual music festival in Bayreuth, Germany, in 2001.Hide Caption 12 of 30Merkel spends part of her summer in Langballig, Germany, in 2002.Merkel spends part of her summer in Langballig, Germany, in 2002. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel spends part of her summer in Langballig, Germany, in 2002.Hide Caption 13 of 30Merkel meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2002, one of many meetings they would have over the years. Merkel speaks Russian fluently, while Putin speaks German.Merkel meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2002, one of many meetings they would have over the years. Merkel speaks Russian fluently, while Putin speaks German. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2002, one of many meetings they would have over the years. Merkel speaks Russian fluently, while Putin speaks German.Hide Caption 14 of 30Merkel speaks in Nuremberg, Germany, ahead of federal elections in 2005.Merkel speaks in Nuremberg, Germany, ahead of federal elections in 2005. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel speaks in Nuremberg, Germany, ahead of federal elections in 2005.Hide Caption 15 of 30Merkel is sworn in as Germany's first female chancellor in November 2005. Merkel is sworn in as Germany's first female chancellor in November 2005. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel is sworn in as Germany’s first female chancellor in November 2005. Hide Caption 16 of 30Merkel visits the White House in January 2006. A few days later she also visited the Kremlin in Russia.Merkel visits the White House in January 2006. A few days later she also visited the Kremlin in Russia. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel visits the White House in January 2006. A few days later she also visited the Kremlin in Russia.Hide Caption 17 of 30US President George W. Bush shows off a barrel of pickled herrings he was presented after arriving in Stralsund, Germany, in July 2006. US President George W. Bush shows off a barrel of pickled herrings he was presented after arriving in Stralsund, Germany, in July 2006. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelUS President George W. Bush shows off a barrel of pickled herrings he was presented after arriving in Stralsund, Germany, in July 2006. Hide Caption 18 of 30Merkel visits troops stationed in Turkey in February 2013. Later that year she was re-elected for a third term.Merkel visits troops stationed in Turkey in February 2013. Later that year she was re-elected for a third term. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel visits troops stationed in Turkey in February 2013. Later that year she was re-elected for a third term.Hide Caption 19 of 30Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer, walk with US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama before a dinner in Berlin in June 2013. Merkel and Sauer have been married since 1998.Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer, walk with US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama before a dinner in Berlin in June 2013. Merkel and Sauer have been married since 1998. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer, walk with US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama before a dinner in Berlin in June 2013. Merkel and Sauer have been married since 1998.Hide Caption 20 of 30Merkel speaks to Obama on the sidelines of a G7 summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in June 2015. Merkel speaks to Obama on the sidelines of a G7 summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in June 2015. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel speaks to Obama on the sidelines of a G7 summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in June 2015. Hide Caption 21 of 30Merkel was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2015. Time Editor-at-Large Karl Vick described her as "the de facto leader of the European Union" by virtue of being leader of the EU's largest and most economically powerful member state. Twice that year, he said, the EU had faced "existential crises" that Merkel had taken the lead in navigating -- first the Greek debt crisis faced by the eurozone, and then the ongoing migrant crisis.Merkel was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2015. Time Editor-at-Large Karl Vick described her as "the de facto leader of the European Union" by virtue of being leader of the EU's largest and most economically powerful member state. Twice that year, he said, the EU had faced "existential crises" that Merkel had taken the lead in navigating -- first the Greek debt crisis faced by the eurozone, and then the ongoing migrant crisis. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2015. Time Editor-at-Large Karl Vick described her as “the de facto leader of the European Union” by virtue of being leader of the EU’s largest and most economically powerful member state. Twice that year, he said, the EU had faced “existential crises” that Merkel had taken the lead in navigating — first the Greek debt crisis faced by the eurozone, and then the ongoing migrant crisis.Hide Caption 22 of 30Merkel and Obama test a virtual-reality headset at a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, in April 2016. Merkel and Obama test a virtual-reality headset at a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, in April 2016. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel and Obama test a virtual-reality headset at a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, in April 2016. Hide Caption 23 of 30Merkel and US President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at the White House in March 2017.Merkel and US President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at the White House in March 2017. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel and US President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at the White House in March 2017.Hide Caption 24 of 30Merkel raises her glass during a toast at the Trudering Festival in Munich, Germany, in May 2017.Merkel raises her glass during a toast at the Trudering Festival in Munich, Germany, in May 2017. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel raises her glass during a toast at the Trudering Festival in Munich, Germany, in May 2017.Hide Caption 25 of 30Angela Merkel records her annual televised New Year's address on December 20, 2017 in Berlin.Angela Merkel records her annual televised New Year's address on December 20, 2017 in Berlin. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelAngela Merkel records her annual televised New Year’s address on December 20, 2017 in Berlin.Hide Caption 26 of 30In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with US President Donald Trump, seated, as they are surrounded by other leaders at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, on Saturday, June 9. According to two senior diplomatic sources, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/politics/g7-photo/index.html" target="_blank">the photo was taken</a> when there was a difficult conversation taking place regarding the G7's communique and several issues the United States had leading up to it. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/politics/g7-photo/index.html" target="_blank">Analysis: The iconic G7 photo is a Trump Rorschach test</a>In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with US President Donald Trump, seated, as they are surrounded by other leaders at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, on Saturday, June 9. According to two senior diplomatic sources, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/politics/g7-photo/index.html" target="_blank">the photo was taken</a> when there was a difficult conversation taking place regarding the G7's communique and several issues the United States had leading up to it. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/11/politics/g7-photo/index.html" target="_blank">Analysis: The iconic G7 photo is a Trump Rorschach test</a> Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelIn this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with US President Donald Trump, seated, as they are surrounded by other leaders at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, on Saturday, June 9. According to two senior diplomatic sources, the photo was taken when there was a difficult conversation taking place regarding the G7’s communique and several issues the United States had leading up to it. Analysis: The iconic G7 photo is a Trump Rorschach testHide Caption 27 of 30German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session at the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's Parliament, on June 28. She pressed lawmakers <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/28/europe/eu-summit-migration-merkel-intl/index.html" target="_blank">to back a tough but humane asylum and migration policy</a> for the European Union.German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session at the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's Parliament, on June 28. She pressed lawmakers <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/28/europe/eu-summit-migration-merkel-intl/index.html" target="_blank">to back a tough but humane asylum and migration policy</a> for the European Union. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session at the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s Parliament, on June 28. She pressed lawmakers to back a tough but humane asylum and migration policy for the European Union.Hide Caption 28 of 30In this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Merkel meets a newborn calf during a visit to the Trede family dairy farm in Nienborstel, Germany, on July 19.In this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Merkel meets a newborn calf during a visit to the Trede family dairy farm in Nienborstel, Germany, on July 19. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelIn this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Merkel meets a newborn calf during a visit to the Trede family dairy farm in Nienborstel, Germany, on July 19.Hide Caption 29 of 30Merkel offers flowers to Volker Bouffier, the state premier of Hesse and the deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), ahead of a party leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin on October 29. The day before, her coalition government suffered heavy losses in a key regional election in Hesse. Merkel later announced she would <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/29/europe/angela-merkel-germany-election-intl/index.html" target="_blank">not seek re-election</a> when her term expires in 2021.Merkel offers flowers to Volker Bouffier, the state premier of Hesse and the deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), ahead of a party leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin on October 29. The day before, her coalition government suffered heavy losses in a key regional election in Hesse. Merkel later announced she would <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/29/europe/angela-merkel-germany-election-intl/index.html" target="_blank">not seek re-election</a> when her term expires in 2021. Photos: In photos: The life and career of Angela MerkelMerkel offers flowers to Volker Bouffier, the state premier of Hesse and the deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), ahead of a party leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin on October 29. The day before, her coalition government suffered heavy losses in a key regional election in Hesse. Merkel later announced she would not seek re-election when her term expires in 2021.Hide Caption 30 of 30angela merkel LEAD IMAGE 05angela merkel life 21 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life 03 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 25 RESTRICTEDangela merkel 06 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 07 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 08 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 09 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life11 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 10 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life 19 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 12 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life 26 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life 13 angela merkel life 27 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life 14 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 24 RESTRICTEDangela merkel life 15 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 23 RESTRICTEDangela merkel 16 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 20angela merkel life time coverangela merkel life 17 RESTRICTED angela merkel life 18 angela merkel life 22 RESTRICTEDMerkel FILE 1220201706 week in photos 061508 week in photos 0629Merkel FILE 0719201801 Angela Merkel 10292018Merkel also announced on Monday that she would stand down from the chairmanship of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party after 18 years in the post. She said that she’s known since the summer break that she no longer wanted to be the CDU chairman and that during the party’s conference in December she will not run again for the position.The announcement is a sign of Merkel’s weakened power within her own party, and waning popularity in the country.Both parties under Merkel’s ruling coalition — the CDU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) — suffered heavy losses in a regional election over the weekend. While the CDU remained the largest party in the election, which was held in the central state of Hesse, its vote was down 10% from the previous election.Second blow to Merkel’s fragile governmentThis weekend’s election is a second blow to Merkel’s fragile “grand coalition” government. On October 14, the Christian Social Union, or CSU — the Bavarian sister party to the CDU — lost its majority in the Bavarian state parliament.It might be time for Angela Merkel to goIt might be time for Angela Merkel to goIt might be time for Angela Merkel to goThe CSU has dominated politics in the state since the end of World War II, ruling for all but three years over the course of nearly seven decades.Speaking on October 15, Merkel admitted that voters had lost trust in the government and that it was her job to “make sure that trust is won back.””I will work on that with as much vigor as I can,” she added.Bavaria bore the brunt of the 2015 refugee crisis; at its peak, thousands of asylum seekers were crossing into the state every day. Since then, both Merkel and her CSU allies have been criticized for their management of the influx.

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