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Dietmar Woidke: in direct contact with the new coordinator for relations with Germany Bartosz Grodecki – good relationship in the border region must not be compromised as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

20.04.2020 - Press release

Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation Dietmar Woidke is seeking a close and constant dialogue with the Polish Government’s new coordinator for relations with Germany Bartosz Grodecki. The Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation said in Potsdam today that the most important objective was to ensure that “the good and friendly relationship in the German-Polish border region is not compromised as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on public life”. Woidke spoke to the Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration on the telephone for the first time today following Grodecki’s appointment.

He congratulated Grodecki on his appointment and expressed his relief that the position of coordinator for relations with Germany had been filled in Warsaw once again. He said that it was vital particularly at this time to cultivate and maintain the close relationship in a spirit of trust between the Germans and Poles, which had been built up over the course of many decades, despite current restrictions to travel and the freedom of movement.

Woidke said the following in this regard:

Recent weeks have shown that this has long been a shared region in which people live and work. Only when the borders are closed do we acknowledge and experience how important open European borders are. Of course, we understand that each country is first doing everything that it can to protect its own citizens from becoming infected. Nevertheless, I am also committed to ensuring that the interests and concerns of our neighbour always be taken into account. I am therefore delighted that I now have a direct point of contact on the Polish side once again with whom I can jointly discuss and promote intersocietal and border cooperation in times of the coronavirus crisis.

Woidke emphasised the following:

So many valuable things and so much partnership and friendship has come into being on both sides of the Oder and Neisse in the past years and decades. Particularly in the 75th year after the end of the war, we must do everything to ensure that this precious gift is not compromised on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

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