3rd Dec 2022

Call for German-Polish common foreign policy

Germany and Poland should work together to form the basis for a common foreign policy, the German government representative to Poland has suggested.

"A coherent German-Polish policy is very important", Gesine Schwan told the German daily FT Deutschland.

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Ms Schwan said that the co-operation between the two countries during the election crisis in Ukraine should be a model.

"Ukraine is an example of effective German-Polish co-operation", said Ms Schwan, who is also president of the Europe University Viadrina on the border between the two countries.

Ms Schwan said that Berlin has to take more account of Warsaw's sphere of competence in eastern Europe.

"With us there is still the view that we have to do something for Poland. That [Poland] is now itself appearing as a political actor is met with astonishment", said the government representative.

There are also advantages for Europe, says Ms Schwan.

"Once we experience that co-operation works in areas where we already have dealings, it would be an enormous improvement for the EU".

However, Ms Schwan said that one issue in particular could hurt bilateral relations between the two countries.

She said that calls by Germans - expelled by Poland after the second world war - for damages represents a permanent danger for relations.

Berlin and Warsaw relations have had a bumpy ride recently with both sides disagreeing over the Iraq war and in negotiations over the European Constitution.

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