Policy Papers Notes du Cerfa

German-Polish Relations: Track Record and Perspectives Note du Cerfa, No. 12, May 2004

The birth of a ' Germano-Polish community of interests ' in Europe implies overcoming new challenges, whether it be in the form of historical debates, especially concerning the 'center against compulsions' or international security (war in Iraq, transatlantic relations) and European politics (European constitution). The Iraqi crisis, together with diverging views on transatlantic relations have widened the gap between Germany and Poland since Autumn 2002. Differences of opinion regarding the European Constitution have divided the two countries, at least for the moment.

The non-concomitance of foreign policy tradition, a sort of 'shock between civilizations', will not disappear with a compromise over the European Constitution and shall affect Germano-Polish relations and the good functioning of an enlarged European Union. The two countries do not have a strategy enabling them to construct a community of interest within the EU beyond the enlargement process. They will now have to redefine several facets of their relationship as neighbours and their common interests in Europe in an honest and friendly manner.

Germano-Polish multilateralism shall suddenly open unto multilateralism. Given the precursory role played by the Poles and the Germans before NATO enlargement regarding military cooperation and taking account of Poland's political importance for central European stability and well aware that the absence of common accord between the French and the Germans could block any future evolutions in the EU, it has once again become important to take a new look at trilateral relations ('the Weimar triangle').

This content is published in French - Les relations germano-polonaises : bilan et perspectives