Germany and Poland: Bilateral relations
German-Polish relations are of extraordinary importance for both sides. Since 1989, these relations have developed an unparalleled dynamism on the basis of the German-Polish Good-Neighbourliness Treaty concluded in 1991. The two countries’ close partnership, also in the European Union and NATO, provides a firm foundation for these relations. Moreover, Poland, Germany and France have worked closely together since 1991 within the framework of the Weimar Triangle. The focus in this constellation is on high-level political contacts as well as trilateral cooperation in the fields of culture and civil society.
Political dialogue encompasses not only numerous bilateral contacts but also the German-Polish intergovernmental consultations and 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, not long after taking office. High-level political visits between the two countries are frequent.
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 with projects that have already involved more than three million young people.
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. Poland is Germany’s fifth-largest trading partner.
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 of German cultural relations and education 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.