The German Chancellor revealed her perspective of the EU changed after Britain voted to quit the bloc last June.
But, despite this, she said she was still determined to fight for even further European integration.
She cited the election of pro-EU Emmanuel Macron as French president as evidence that the bloc remains "strong".Related articles
Mrs Merkel said: "For many people, including myself, something changed when we saw the Britons want to leave.
"But we have realised in the past few months that Europe is more than just bureaucracy and economic regulation."
She claimed the "decades of peace" following the Second World War "would have been completely unthinkable without the European Union".
GETTYAngela Merkel admitted Brexit changed her view of the EU