Germany's Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term as Chancellor in next year's election, a sign of stability after Britain's vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump as the next US president.
Despite a voter backlash over her open-door migrant policy, the 62-year-old conservative said she would stand again in the September 2017 election, ending months of speculation over her decision.
"I thought about this for an endlessly long time. The decision (to run) for a fourth term is - after 11 years in office - anything but trivial," Ms Merkel told a news conference after a meeting of senior members of her conservative Christian Democrat (CDU) party convened to prepare for the election.
Some 55% of Germans want Ms Merkel, Germany's eighth chancellor since World War Two, to serve a fourth term, with 39% against, an Emnid poll showed today, highlighting that despite setbacks, she is still an electoral asset.
Ms Merkel has steered Europe's biggest economy through the financial crisis and eurozone debt crisis and has won respect internationally, for example with her efforts to help solve the conflict in Ukraine.
US President Barack Obama last week described her as an "outstanding" ally.
With Mr Trump's victory in the United States and the rise in support for right-wing parties in several European states, some commentators see Ms Merkel as a bastion of Western liberal values.
"Angela Merkel is the answer to the populism of this time. She is, as it were, the anti-Trump," party ally Stanislaw Tillich, premier of the state of Saxony, told the RND newspaper group, adding that she stood for reliability and predictability.
However, her decision last year to open Germany's borders to around 900,000 migrants, mostly from war zones in the Middle East, angered many voters at home and dented her ratings.
Her party has slumped in regional elections in the last year while support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) has swelled.
In September, after a heavy defeat for the CDU in a Berlin state election, a humbled Ms Merkel surprised the country by saying she wished she could turn the clock back on the migrant crisis, though she stopped short of saying her policy was a mistake.
If re-elected, her responsibilities will range from helping lead talks with Britain on its withdrawal from the EU, soothing tense relations with Turkey, a crucial partner in the migrant crisis, and developing a relationship with Mr Trump.
Domestically, her biggest challenge will probably be managing the integration of refugees in an increasingly divided society and keeping Europe's powerhouse economy on track.
Talented negotiator with a ruthless streak
Ms Merkel, who grew up in Communist East Germany, is a physicist who only became involved in politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
She is seen as a talented negotiator but has also shown a ruthless streak.
A Protestant woman in a mainly Catholic and male-dominated party, at least when she became its leader in 2000, Ms Merkel never built up a regional power base but over the years she has sidelined her main male rivals and has no obvious successor.
She still requires the backing of her Christian Social Union allies in Bavaria, who have fiercely criticised her open-door migrant policy but, with no obvious candidate of their own, are widely expected to fall in behind her.
Polls put her conservative bloc around 10 points ahead of its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats (SPD), with whom she shares power.
Many pollsters see another 'grand coalition' as the most likely option after the September election, although the rise of the AfD makes coalition arithmetic more complicated.
It is unclear whether, if she wins a fourth term, she would serve a full four years.
She has said in the past that she wants to find the right time to leave politics, and not cling on too long.