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The Coordinator of German-Polish Cooperation

15.04.2020 - Article

Dietmar Woidke is the Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation. His task is to help the two societies further enhance their ties and to advance joint German-Polish Projects.

Germany and Poland enjoy close neighbourly relations based on their joint membership of NATO (since 1998) and the European Union (since 2004). Historical links, brisk trade, cross-border civil-society activities, youth exchanges, numerous partnerships between municipalities and regions as well as a dense network of cooperation in the border region form a stable foundation for our relations.

Dietmar Woidke
Dietmar Woidke© brandenburg.de

The office of Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation was established in 2004 with a view to strengthening the good-neighbourly ties between the two countries.

Dietmar Woidke, Minister-President of Brandenburg, was appointed on 29 January 2014. His predecessors in office were Professor Gesine Schwan (2004‑2009) and former Minister of State Cornelia Pieper (2009‑2013).

Strengthening cross-border cooperation

As Coordinator, strengthening cross-border cooperation is a top priority for Dietmar Woidke. The German-Polish border region is very different to the border areas between Germany and its western neighbours, where relations have evolved over time. The development of a shared border region only started in 1990/91 following the conclusion of the border and good-neighbourliness treaties.

Diemar Woidke and Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz in Berlin
Diemar Woidke and Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz in Berlin© Marc Darchinger, Körber-Stiftung

The Coordinator strives to provide fresh impetus to foster cross-border activities and links and to set aside social, political and administrative obstacles. One key sphere is cross-border transport infrastructure. The annual German-Polish railway summit on improving rail traffic on the lines to Szczecin, Poznań and Wrocław, for instance, has contributed to this.

Strengthening intersocietal cooperation

Dietmar Woidke regards promoting contacts among young people from the two countries as well as the expansion of Polish tuition in the border region as another priority. He is therefore in close contact with stakeholders in the far-reaching German-Polish network of institutions, non-governmental organisations and social and cultural initiatives. For example, he is the patron of the PolenMobil, an initiative by the German Poland Institute, the aim of which is to stimulate interest in Poland and the Polish language in German schools.

Partner in Poland

During the German‑Polish intergovernmental consultations in Warsaw on 2 November 2018
During the German‑Polish intergovernmental consultations in Warsaw on 2 November 2018© dpa

Dietmar Woidke is in direct contact with his counterpart on the Polish side, the Coordinator for Polish-German Border and Regional Cooperation, a position introduced by the Polish Government in 2014. Since 8 April 2020, Bartosz Grodecki, Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of the Interior, has held this role.

The Coordinator and his Polish counterpart participate in the annual German-Polish intergovernmental consultations, which last took place in Warsaw on 2 November 2018. His regular visits for political talks take him to Warsaw and the border region.

You will find Dietmar Woidke’s curriculum vitae in German and Polish here.

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