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Germany and Poland – “nothing to be taken for granted” Poland

Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier and Andrzej Duda at the German Polish Forum

Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier and Andrzej Duda at the German Polish Forum, © AA

24.10.2018 - Article

More participants than ever before came to the 19th German Polish Forum to discuss the future of Europe

Minister of State Michael Roth at the German Polish Forum
Minister of State Michael Roth at the German Polish Forum© AA

The German Polish Forum is the principal format for bilateral exchange.
Led by the two Presidents Frank Walter Steinmeier and Andrzej Duda, numerous representatives from the worlds of politics and civil society from both countries met to discuss both current and controversial issues.

The two Presidents spoke on the podium about German Polish relations and Europe’s tasks for the future. Frank Walter Steinmeier emphasised the fact that Poland’s past had to be kept firmly in view when considering such issues. He said that they could be very proud to have regained statehood and glad that the two Presidents were meeting here today and exchanging views on a very regular basis. However, opinion was divided on the issue of judicial reform in Poland and the European Court of Justice ruling on the reinstatement of Polish judges. While Duda defended the reform, Steinmeier stated that Poland must comply with the EU’s legal foundations.

Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth emphasised the following in his welcome address:

Especially against the backdrop of the chequered German Polish history with all of its highs and lows, our relations can by no means be taken for granted. They are a most precious gift that we must cherish and protect each and every day anew.

Solidarity and security

Against the backdrop of the centenary of Poland’s regaining independence on 11 November 1918, two messages were particularly important to Roth. Firstly, with regard to Russia, we must never give the impression that relations between Germany and Russia are at the expense of third parties. And secondly, the European Union is a community of solidarity and security that can be relied upon.

The German Polish intergovernmental consultations are scheduled to take place in Warsaw on 2 November. The fact that they will be attended by the entire Federal Government is a reflection of the great importance Germany attaches to its relations with Poland.

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