Merkel reaches out to Poland

EPA/RADEK PIETRUSZKA

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) at a press conference prior to the Visegrad Group Prime Ministers meeting in Warsaw, Poland, 26 August 2016.

Merkel reaches out to Poland


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s February 6 visit to Warsaw is aimed at finding common ground with Poland.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Merkel’s visit is an in-kind gesture after last year’s Berlin visit by Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. The chancellor has also scheduled talks with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, opposition leadership and representatives of Poland’s German-speaking community.

But her most important meeting is with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling national-conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS). It is their first face-to-face in years – the invitation coming from the Polish side, German officials said.

According to DW, the German-Polish relationship is closer than ever. Trade between the two countries hit €100bn in 2016. Defence cooperation is for the most part good. Russia policy is also on the same page, apart from the Baltic Sea pipeline. Regional disagreements are mounting.

And while the European Union has filed suit against Poland on account of its government’s handling of the rule of law, Berlin has not publicly commented on the feud.

DW reported that talks in Warsaw will centre on the future of the EU and migration policy. Poland is looking to tweak membership obligations in favour of member states, something Berlin rejects.

 

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