German-Polish relations are “important at a personal level”

Prime Minister Morawiecki and Federal Chancellor Merkel talk on the shore of a lake in Warsaw.

Engaged in one-to-one talks – Prime Minister Morawiecki and Federal Chancellor Merkel in Warsaw.

Photo: Federal Government/Denzel

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to Warsaw on Saturday for a one-day visit to meet with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for talks.

One issue they focused on was European policy matters. In view of the 20th anniversary of the Islamist attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001, Europe’s geostrategic situation was one of the topics they covered. According to Merkel, Europe’s political interests and geographical position meant it had to protect itself and do more to boost security. There was currently a “hybrid attack of sorts” going on at the EU’s eastern border, said the Federal Chancellor. The EU's eastern border was currently under "a form of hybrid attack", said the Federal Chancellor. In addition to providing humanitarian aid, the aim here was to protect the EU’s external borders – this was “a common goal shared by all EU member states”, said Merkel. 

Resolving tough issues through talks

In the European context, the two leaders also discussed the rule of law “in quite some depth”, said Merkel. The Federal Chancellor stressed that she hoped to resolve such issues through talks. 

Merkel and Morawiecki focused in particular on future challenges facing Europe – such as the European Union’s promise to provide prosperity for citizens and the goal of achieving shared economic success. “Here we discussed the fact that Europe is no longer meeting this target in all areas,” said Merkel. She noted that the actions of the USA in seeking to compete with Asia also showed “where we have to do our homework” – “investments in research and innovation are an absolute must,” stressed the Federal Chancellor.

Federal Chancellor Merkel lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.

Federal Chancellor Merkel’s trip to Warsaw began with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Photo: Federal Government/Denzel

Poland has a long way to go in transforming its energy system

The talks also focused on the EU’s shared climate targets. With regard to the conversion of Poland's energy system, Merkel said the country "perhaps had the furthest to go in achieving this transformation". Maintaining jobs – and therefore the trust of society at large – while at the same time pursuing the transition towards climate neutrality – “is something that will require considerable endurance,” said the Federal Chancellor. Germany and Poland intended to go on coordinating closely here, she added. 

With regard to German-Polish relations, Merkel emphasised that they had developed well – “in spite of some difficulties”. Economic cooperation was “very, very sound”, she said, noting that cross-border relations were strong. “This is something we need to pursue in even greater depth,” said Merkel. She added that was particularly interested in developing contacts not only between the two governments “but also between the citizens of our countries”. 

Merkel: German-Polish relations are “important to me at a personal level”

German-Polish relations were based on the ability to listen, keep an open mind and attempt to arrive at a compromise, “even when we have difficult issues to discuss”, said the Federal Chancellor. As she stressed: “German unity would never have come about without the members of Solidarity who demonstrated such courage – and that’s something we’ll always remember.” This was why relations between Germany and Poland had always been “important to me at a personal level”, said the Federal Chancellor. Sound German-Polish relations were “always a guarantee of peace, too” – which was why it was so important to “dedicate all one’s energy” to them, something that had always given her great pleasure, said the Federal Chancellor.

You can see a clip of the press conference with Federal Chancellor Merkel on the government spokesperson’s Twitter channel.

The Republic of Poland is located in the eastern part of Central Europe. With a surface area of just over 313,000 square kilometres, the country has a population of just under 38 million – the sixth largest in the EU. Poland shares borders with seven states, namely Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany. Warsaw is the capital and also the country’s most populous city with some 1.75 million inhabitants. Poland became a member of NATO in 1999 and joined the EU in 2004.