A closer look at Angela Merkel
28 June 2012 Last updated at 09:50 BST
There is no doubt who will be pivotal at the summit in Brussels - Angela Merkel has made clear that she will defend German interests and is willing to stand her ground against many other leaders.
She is vilified in Greece, largely approved of in her homeland, and admired from much further afield.
So what is she like?
The BBC's Berlin Correspondent Steve Evans reports.