The Chancellor is desperate to preserve the European status quo against the tide of populism and increasing anti-immigration sentiment.
But according to Jana Puglierin, a policy expert from the German Council on Foreign Relations GDAP, said Ms Merkel’s world is under threat from three very powerful and unpredictable men.
1. Donald Trump
The election of Donald Trump as US President has radically altered Berlin’s relationship with the US, Ms Puglierin said, posing a “constant risk” on the international stage.
The recent G7 summit in Italy showed how even Ms Merkel, an experienced international player, was unsure how to deal with the erractic Republican billionaire.
The GDAP expert said there was a potentially “high” risk of conflict between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump, but one that could be controlled thanks to common transatlantic values and the Washington “apparatus” that exists to maintain them.
However, an “open conflict” with Trump would have unforeseeable consequences for Merkel and Germany, she said.
2. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The second leader is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s all-powerful president, whose irritability is arguably superior even to Mr Trump’s.
He has publicly hurled insults towards the EU and Germany in particular, and threatened to tear up the deal stopping millions of refugees from crossing the Turkish border into Europe.
Puglierin said: “As Erdogan clearly directs his country towards autocracy and moves further and further from the West, Germany’s potential for influence is diminishing. But the consequences of an open conflict are not so high.
“An annulment of the refugee deal and a refugee wave would be fatal for Merkel regarding domestic policy, but Germany could deal with it.”
3. Vladimir Putin
Finally, the third thorn in Ms Merkel’s side is also the most familiar – Vladimir Putin.
Although the Russian president has been in office throughout the whole of Ms Merkel’s term, their relationship remains more businesslike than overly friendly. The pair are already involved in a disagreement over Ukraine, and Eastern Europe remains on tenterhooks as to what Russia’s next move will be.
“When Angela Merkel looks out of her window at the Berlin Chancellery, she probably feels very lonely at home,” Ms Puglierin told Focus.
“She would be well advised to keep pushing relations with other like-minded partners. These include countries such as Australia, Japan or Canada.
“Particularly in the area of trade and economy, joint initiatives by these countries increase the respective influence. This is especially true with regard to the relationship with the USA. After all, business is one of the main concerns for Donald Trump.”
She also called for a common security policy as a central measure to strengthen Europe on an international level, especially against heads of state such as Trump, Erdogan and Putin.
“A strong Europe simply has a lot more influence,” she said.