Boon for the EU
“Polish-German relations are just as important for the future of the EU as Franco-German relations,” Foreign Minister Gabriel emphasised after talks with his new Polish colleague Czaputowicz.
Germany and Poland share a long and chequered history, as the Minister continued. For him, this made it all the more important for Poland to work closely now with Germany and also with the European Union. Poland’s accession to the EU made Europe all the stronger, the Minister underscored. Now, he went on, it was a matter of avoiding a division of the EU into East and West. “We have a major interest in Poland and Germany working together with others to stabilise the EU,” Gabriel added, going on to say that in future the EU would only be able to convincingly communicate its ideas on democracy and freedom if it worked together.
Important discussion also where opinions differ
The Ministers also talked about difficult issues in their confidential talks. At the end of last year, the EU launched infringement proceedings against Warsaw due to its controversial judicial reform. Gabriel thanked his Polish colleague for offering to present Poland’s position on this issue in detail once more in Brussels.
The talks also focused on the Polish debate on possibly demanding Germany to make reparations. “We have a clear legal position that all reparation issues have been settled once and for all,” Gabriel underlined. Nevertheless, the Minister went on, the debate in Poland cannot be ignored. One possibility would be a social dialogue dealing with the issues, to be conducted perhaps by academics.
Reviving the Weimar Triangle
In future, relations with Poland are to be deepened: initially, the Polish, French and German State Secretaries are to meet in the so-called Weimar Triangle, to be followed by a meeting of the Foreign Ministers on the fringes of the Munich Security Conference.