Ms Merkel is said to be gunning to ensure a German takes over as the EU’s most senior official when the current Commission’s five-year mandate draws to a close next year.
According to reports in Berlin’s diplomatic circles, her ambitious vision goes further than previous suggestions she was happy to have a german takeover European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
“The ECB is not the trop priority for Merkel, but the EU Commission,” a high-ranking government official told German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank president and a former economic policy advisor to Ms Merkel, is touted as a future successor to the ECB’s top job but only if the German leader wanted to occupy the position.
She appreciates her former advisor’s readiness to step up in the senior EU position, however, Mr Weidmann’s services will not likely be needed as Ms Merkel sets her sights on the Commission’s presidency.
The Commission has only had one German president; Walter Hallstein, who ruled the EU’s powerful executive from 1967.
Berlin is ready for another German at the EU’s helm as it hopes to create policy in a number of crucial areas, including eurozone reform, the German energy transition or the ongoing trade war with US President Donald Trump.
There are a number of potential German candidates who could appear on the table as the European People’s Party Spitzenkandidat – the process of selecting the European Commission’s president.
Under the controversial process, first used to appoint Mr Juncker, awards the Commission presidency to to party winning the most seats in the European Parliament.
The conservative EPP are once again expected to bring home the most seats at the upcoming European parliamentary election in May 2019.
Manfred Weber has been touted as one of potential German candidates for the Commission presidency.
Already the EPP’s leader in the European Parliament, Mr Weber’s desire to take on the top EU job is an open secret.
Long-time ally of Ms Merkel, Peter Altmaier, is another name on the cards. A current minister for economic affairs and energy in Berlin and is one of the Chancellor’s most trusted advisors.
Much like Mr Juncker, he speaks a number of EU languages fluently and is happy to show off his German, English, Dutch and French lingual skills off during media appearances.
If successful, either candidate could come as a surprise as neither fit the usual profile of a Commission president.
Not since influential Frenchman Jacque Delor held the position for 10 years between 1985-1995 has a Commission president not been a national leader of an EU member.
EPP members former Irish prime minister Enda Kenny and former Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb are also on the list of potential candidates from the current largest parliamentary party.
Ms Merkel’s hopes will likely come under the challenge of French president Emmanuel Macron, who is also hoping to have a countryman in the top role.
EU monetary affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici and Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier are the most likely names to emerge from Paris.
The next Commission president will likely resume their role in November 2019, with Mr Juncker previously expressing his desire to step down from the top job after his five-year mandate comes to an end.