The Weimar Triangle: Over 30 years of cross-border cooperation between Germany, France and Poland
The Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (Poland), Jean-Yves Le Drian (France) and Annalena Baerbock in Lodz on 1 March 2022, © Florian Gaertner / photothek
The Weimar Triangle provides Germany, France and Poland with an important forum in which to coordinate approaches to cross-border and European issues. Alongside the governments themselves, the parliaments and civil societies of the three countries are also working closely together.
On 28 August 1991, the then foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland – Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Roland Dumas and Krzysztof Skubiszewski – met in Weimar on Goethe’s birthday to set up the Weimar Triangle.
Their aim was to identify shared fundamental interests regarding Europe’s future and to extend cross-border cooperation. In a 10-point declaration, the ministers underscored the major responsibility the three countries shoulder for the European integration process. Historic milestones since then include in particular Poland joining both NATO (1999) and the European Union (2004).
Over three decades after it was established, this trilateral negotiation and cooperation format is more important than ever when it comes to injecting fresh impetus into political and civil society dialogue and thereby making Europe more united and able to act. The Weimar Triangle thus symbolises how Europe's future can be jointly shaped at many different levels and across borders.
Meetings at government Level
The Ministers for Foreign and European Affairs of the three countries meet regularly for trilateral talks to discuss current political issues and develop joint initiatives.
Meeting of foreign ministers: Annalena Baerbock, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Zbigniew Rau last met in the Weimar Format in Lodz (Poland) on 1 March 2022. This meeting was heavily overshadowed by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine started by President Putin. You can read the joint declaration adopted on this occasion here
Meeting of ministers for European affairs: The last meeting of the three ministers for European affairs was held in Lens (France) on 21 January 2020. You can read the joint declaration adopted on this occasion here
There are also regular meetings between the heads of government of the Weimar Triangle countries as well as individual line ministries. On 8 February 2022, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish President Andrzej Duda. You can learn more about their meeting and read the joint declaration adopted on this occasion here
Cooperation between parliaments
Parliamentary cooperation also plays a key role in the Weimar Triangle. As well as the parliamentary presidents and their deputies, a number of committees convene in the trilateral format.
Civil society initiatives
In recent years, exchange at the level of civil society has become increasingly important – in the form of town twinning arrangements, youth exchanges and cultural events. These vibrant meetings play a crucial role in helping the citizens of these three countries at the heart of Europe grow even closer together.