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Germany and Poland: Bilateral relations

07.03.2022 - Article

German-Polish relations are of extraordinary importance for both sides. Since 1989, these relations have developed a dynamism unparalleled in recent history based on the German-Polish Good-Neighbourliness Treaty concluded in 1991. The two countries’ close partnership in the European Union and NATO provides a firm foundation for these relations.

In addition to numerous bilateral contacts, there are regular German-Polish intergovernmental consultations and annual meetings of the German-Polish Intergovernmental Commission for Regional and Cross-Border Cooperation. Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock and Federal Chancellor Scholz travelled to Warsaw for their first official visits in December 2021, just a short time after taking office.

More than 500 town-twinning arrangements, and the partnerships between German Länder and Polish voivodeships also underpin the breadth and closeness of relations between the two countries. Cross-border youth exchange, in particular through the German-Polish Youth Office, is a strong pillar creating numerous projects in which more than three million young people have been involved. Furthermore, Poland has been working closely with Germany and France since 1991 as part of the Weimar Triangle which promotes high-level political contacts as well as trilateral cooperation in the fields of culture and civil society.

The two countries’ economies are also closely interlinked. For more than two decades, Germany has been Poland’s most important partner for trade and investment. In the first quarter of 2021, Poland ranked as the third most important source of German imports for the first time ever.

In Poland, approximately two million people are learning German, giving the country the highest number of German-learners worldwide. Measures to support the learning of German are a priority area of German cultural relations policy in Poland.

The German minority in Poland numbers between 300,000 and 350,000 people, according to its own estimates. The German minority is therefore the largest of the country’s 13 recognised national or ethnic minorities and is represented by one deputy in the Polish parliament.

There are currently approximately two million Poles and people of Polish descent living in Germany, making them the country’s second-largest ethnic group of non-German origin.

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