Angela Merkel has done a great deal of good in the past year as the Chancellor of Germany. She welcomed the Syrian refugees with open arms, in a time when they really just needed a place to be safe and out of harms way. Even after the Paris attacks, she is still sticking to her original plan of openness. She also handled the Greek situation with pragmatism and fortitude.
I can support Angela Merkel being Time's person of the Year. Merkel has been a huge factor of keeping the EU together in times of despair in Europe. Europe is in a very place economically and it's hard to keep so many countries together. She has done just about everything she can to help them survive.
As a qualifying thought, Time is a magazine and the purpose of any cover design is to sell magazines. Since Time is supposed to reach an educated audience, they can't put Kate Upton on their cover so they went with another controversial female. Merkel was listed because of her efforts in: advancing the European Union, proposing policies for the immigration crisis, and for being able to broker between the West and Russia.
The Person of the Year award doesn't necessarily go to the best or nicest person, but the person who made the greatest impact. That could very well this year be Donald Trump. It is not to say that Angela Merkel is not deserving, but she has actually perhaps had a greater impact in prior years than she has in 2015. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has created a significant social movement behind his Presidential campaign. Not necessarily that it is a good one, or a positive one. However, he has definitely made a huge impact in public discourse in 2015.