Navigating the future - German-Polish relations in 2023 and beyond

What will happen to German-Polish relations after the pivotal elections in Poland on 15 October? How might Poland’s role within the EU evolve, and are substantial changes expected in Polish EU policy? And to what extent do the results of the Polish elections allow us to draw conclusions about the possible outcome of next year’s European elections? We addressed these and other questions in our latest online Citizens' Dialogue "Navigating the future - German-Polish relations in 2023 and beyond" on November 13, 2023.

Find here the event report by our media partner "Treffpunkt Europa".

During the interactive session, participants engaged with a distinguished panel of experts, featuring Dietmar Nietan, Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation for the German Federal Government, Aleksandra Rybińska-Wróbel, Board Member of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and Jarosław Bajaczyk, Head of the Political Section at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Germany. The event was moderated by Dr. Birgit Bujard, an expert from the European Commission's Team Europe speaker pool.

Following brief introductions, attendees from Germany, Poland, the UK, Ukraine, and France shared their initial impressions of the Polish election results on October 15. The prevailing sentiment was one of relief and hope for the future. Parallely, the experts were asked about the result’s impact on German-Polish relations. They foresaw a gradual shift in political culture and transnational problem-solving approaches, also anticipating a notable acceleration in bilateral contacts.

An exploration into the potential consequences of the Polish elections on EU policy revealed the participants‘ expectations of significant effects on the Rule of Law and institutional reforms. Concurrently, the experts foresaw heightened interest in Poland as a constructive partner within the EU, fostering increased cooperation.  

In an open question round, participants could address their questions and concerns directly to the panelists. Among several topics, the participants asked about the intensity of cooperation between Germany, Poland and France and about the future of German-Polish cooperation in security and defense.

Following the session of open questions, participants expressed a rather neutral stance after being asked about their current feelings on the upcoming European elections. Meanwhile, experts acknowledged the difficulty of predicting outcomes but noted emerging trends suggesting heightened awareness among European citizens and an anticipation of more assertive decision-making.

Overall, the discussion highlighted the need for continued efforts and collaboration in the evolving political landscape. Thank you for everyone who joined this interesting discussion.

The Citizens' Dialogue was organised by Europa-Union Deutschland in cooperation with the Polish Thinkzine Nowa Konfederacja. We would like to thank the German Federal and Press Office for the financial support.