World's most powerful women: In pictures
Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's top billing derives in part from her leadership of the EU's biggest and most competitive economy, and for her crucial role in negotiations over euro zone sovereign debt.
Known as 'the decider', nothing gets done in Brussels without her consent. Despite a tough two years for the EU, Merkel's calm handling of negotiations have sent her stock at home soaring; last month her approval rating in Germany reached 77 percent. (Bloomberg)