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The Weimar Triangle: Germany, France and Poland celebrate 25 years of joint engagement for Europe

On August 28, Foreign Minister Steinmeier received his French and Polish counterparts Jean-Marc Ayrault and Witold Waszczykowski in Weimar. They discussed and coordinated their policies on the most pressing issues facing the European Union – continuing a good, long-standing tradition.

The Iron Curtain had only just been swept aside, today’s “Union” was only the European “Communities”, and travelling to a neighbouring country involved passing barriers and submitting to border checks: When Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Roland Dumas and Krzysztof Skubiszewski met in Weimar for the first time exactly 25 years ago, it was in a very different Europe.

Their talks gave birth to what would become a historic format: With the Weimar Triangle, three great European nations have been demonstrating for a quarter century that they bear special responsibility for European integration, and that they want to cooperate as equal partners from both Eastern and Western Europe. The Weimar Triangle provided significant impetus and direction at many critical moments during the process of European integration.

A truly historic format

Joint press conference with the three foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle

Joint press conference with the three foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle

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Joint press conference with the three foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle

Joint press conference with the three foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle

Joint press conference with the three foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle

The three foreign ministers also used this meeting to intensively discuss how Europe can jointly tackle the challenges it is facing. The referendum in the United Kingdom has raised new questions: How can the EU be improved and become more capable of action? 

“We must show that Europe adds value for citizens, by aiding and assisting them through projects, in specific and tangible ways – with respect to security, migration policy, or economic growth and employment”, Steinmeier declared following the talks with his Polish and French counterparts. 

He went on to say that developments in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood require joint responses. Europe must continue taking concerted action with a view to creating stable peace in Ukraine. “We must continue to work toward de-escalation, adherence to the ceasefire and compromises with respect to the political package – all of which will require a willingness to compromise by the parties to the conflict”, Steinmeier said. Steinmeier also spoke with Jean-Marc Ayrault and Witold Waszczykowski about how to further enhance security in Europe through better cooperation between national authorities. He went on to say “it is good, especially considering the many difficult issues we are facing, that we can rely on our close and strong friendships, such as this Weimar Triangle”.

After their political consultations at Ettersburg Palace, the three foreign ministers’ next stop was the city centre of Weimar. There, they met with young people in the afternoon to discuss issues related to Europe. Finally, the French and Polish foreign ministers travelled with Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Berlin, where on Monday they will jointly open the annual Conference of the Heads of German Missions at the Federal Foreign Office.

Find out more:

The Weimar Triangle

Full statement of the foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle (in English)

Full statement of the foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle (in German)

Full statement of the foreign ministers of the Weimar Riangle (in French)

Full statement of the foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle (in Polish)


Last updated 28.08.2016

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