The office of Coordinator of German‑Polish Intersocietal and Cross‑Border Cooperation was established in 2004 by the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland at the initiative of former Brandenburg Minister-President Matthias Platzeck, with a view to further strengthening the good‑neighbourly and amicable ties between the two countries. Minister-President Dietmar Woidke of Brandenburg assumed the post on 29 January 2014.
The Coordinator’s task is to foster mutual understanding and trust and to propose concrete political solutions to the German and Polish Governments.
As Minister-President of Brandenburg, Coordinator Woidke has excellent contacts with politicians at federal and regional level in Germany and across the border in Poland. He is in a position to shape and improve German-Polish relations at a key interface for intersocietal and cross-border cooperation. Woidke works day in day out – often behind the scenes – on German-Polish cooperation. Examples of his achievements include the swift ratification of the German-Polish police agreement, which has contributed to greater security in the border region ever since its entry into force on 9 July 2015, and the holding of the first German-Polish railway summit on 11 September 2015, which provided political impetus for an increase in rail traffic between the two countries. One tangible sign of this is the special train service co-funded by Berlin and Brandenburg that will run between Berlin and Wrocław, this year’s European Capital of Culture, from April to September 2016, providing an improved connection between the two cities.
Strengthening intersocietal cooperation
As Coordinator for German‑Polish Cooperation, strengthening intersocietal cooperation is a top priority for Dietmar Woidke. He is in close, regular contact with stakeholders in the far-reaching German-Polish network of bilateral institutions, non-governmental organisations and social and cultural initiatives. He places particular emphasis on consolidating and expanding this network.
Coordinator Woidke also works to encourage more Germans to learn the Polish language. He has assumed the patronage for PolenMobil, an initiative run by the German Polish Institute.
Closer cooperation in the border region
Another priority of the Coordinator’s work is promoting closer cooperation in the border region. The German-Polish border region deserves particular attention; it cannot be compared to the border areas between Germany and its western neighbours, in which relations have evolved over hundreds of years. The development of a shared border region only started in 1990/91 following the conclusion of the border and good‑neighbourliness treaties and still faces many social, political and administrative obstacles today. The Coordinator regularly gives new impetus to the development of the region. In this anniversary year, in which we are celebrating 25 years of good-neighbourliness, Minister-President Woidke has invited the German-Polish government commission for border and regional cooperation to hold its anniversary session in Potsdam on 2-3 June 2016.
Dietmar Woidke: Curriculum vitae