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.
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 Nietan was appointed on 9 March 2022. His predecessors in office were Professor Gesine Schwan (2004‑2009) and former Minister of State Cornelia Pieper (2009‑2013) and Dietmar Woidke (2014-2022).
Dietmar Nietan issued the following statement on 9 March 2022 following his appointment by the Federal Cabinet:
I am very much looking forward to my new task, for relations with Poland are extremely special to Germany. Alongside our partnership in the EU and NATO, our relationship is marked by bilateral ties at many levels: cross-border commuters and German-Polish twin-cities; Poles who live and work all over Germany or companies which have created the tightest of networks between our economies.
In the face of the Russian aggression, Germans and Poles are called upon more than ever before to work together closely to make Europe strong and to stand up for our shared values.
We Germans will never forget the courageous stance of people in Poland for justice and freedom, a stance which made possible the fall of the Iron Curtain and German reunification. After the German crimes committed during the Second World War and the division of the Cold War, the Treaty on Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation of 1991 became a symbol of Poland’s readiness to engage in reconciliation against the background of our painful history. Important joint institutions have emerged from this and have brought people in both countries closer together: the German-Polish Youth Office, the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation or the German-Polish Intergovernmental Commission for Regional and Cross-Border Cooperation.
Above all, however, it is the wide range of links between our civil societies and our interaction across the border which form a strong and rich foundation of partnership with Poland. As Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation, I will work to further consolidate these key bridges and strengthen mutual understanding and trust.