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Germany and Poland: Bilateral Relations Poland

29.10.2020 - Article

German-Polish relations are of great importance for both sides. Since 1989, these relations have developed a dynamism unparalleled in recent history. Shared interests in many areas and the two countries’ close partnership in the European Union and NATO provide a sound basis for the future.

The political relations between Germany and Poland are exceptionally diverse. 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. In 2019 alone, the Federal President, the Federal Chancellor and the Foreign Minister all visited Poland several times for political talks and the Second World War memorial events.

Also below national level, there is a deep and broad network of relations between Poland and Germany. Regional and cross‑border cooperation, some 450 town‑twinning arrangements, and the partnerships between German Länder and Polish voivodeships also ensure exchange is lively in many spheres. 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 on culture and civil society.

The two countries’ economies are closely interlinked. For more than two decades, Germany has been Poland’s most important trading partner by far. Bilateral trade was worth approximately124 billion euro in 2019. In Poland, some 1.84 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.

According to its own estimates, the German minority in Poland numbers between 300,000 and 350,000 people. The census of 2011 calculated a figure of 148,000 people. The German minority is therefore the largest of the country’s 13 recognised national or ethnic minorities and is currently represented by a deputy in the Polish parliament. Many members of the minority have both German and Polish citizenship. There are currently approximately 2.2 million people of Polish origin living in Germany, meaning they are the country’s second-largest ethnic Group.

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