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Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the twin-city Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice Poland

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the twin-city Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the twin-city Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice, © Thomas Köhler / photothek

05.08.2019 - Article

Two cities on the German-Polish border are working together for a bright European future: Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice have been cooperating closely for centuries. Today, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had a closer look at cooperation in the twin-city.

Two cities, one goal

Frankfurt and Słubice are divided by a river and a national border but joint projects are helping the two cities grow even closer together. Children and young people attend bilingual kindergartens and schools. The European University Viadrina shares an institute with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: the Collegium Polonicum. Not just in education also in other practical spheres, the two cities are cooperating – from connecting district heating networks to combating border crime and introducing a uniform tourist platform and crossborder cultural institutes. In May, the two cities decided to continue the Frankfurt-Słubice Action Plan for 2020-2030.

Foreign Minister Maas meets the Mayors of the twin-city

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in talks with Minister-President Dietmar Woidke and the Mayors of the twin-city of Frankfurt (Oder) und Słubice
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in talks with Minister-President Dietmar Woidke and the Mayors of the twin-city of Frankfurt (Oder) und Słubice© Thomas Köhler / photothek

At the invitation of Brandenburg’s Minister-President Dietmar Woidke, who has also served as Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation since 2014, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited the twin-city today. In the Collegium Polonicum of the Viadrina University in Słubice, he spoke with Lord Mayor René Wilke and Mayor Mariusz Olejniczak about the successful cooperation in the twin-city and about future projects. After walking across the city bridge together, Maas and Woidke visited the Karl Liebknecht Grammar School in Frankfurt (Oder) to wish the pupils all the best for the new school year. The school has been running German-Polish classes and courses since 1992. Afterwards, Maas and Woidke talked to staff of the Municipal Integration Centre in Frankfurt (Oder) to learn more about their work. The Integration Centre which opened on 24 April brings all steps to integrate migrants together under one roof. This includes housing, education, language, job-seeking, health, active participation and voluntary work.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:

Bringing together particularly young people is a key component for further developing German-Polish relations bit by bit. Here, practical problems that emerge in everyday life are tackled. They are often more important for the citizens than the questions on my agenda at international conferences: shared district heating, a new swimming pool. These are good examples of how innovative politicians on the ground are making sure that Europe is palpable for the people. I find that really encouraging.

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