Centre for International Security

Poland and Germany in the European Union

The project on “Poland and Germany in the European Union – New frameworks and paradigm of bilateral relationship in foreign policy and cross-border cooperation” is jointly conducted by the Hertie School and the University of Wrocław. It explores the dynamics of intergovernmental and trans-border relations between Germany and Poland from different empirical and theoretical angles. In particular, the project sheds light on the EU's role in this context – as an arena and political framework for bilateral relations as well as an actor in its own right. The project aims to identify drivers and constraining factors on different governance levels, which impact the functioning logic and processes of bilateral cooperation and bilateral agenda-setting on the EU level. The research agenda is being pursued by conducting two case studies: one on Polish-German cross-border cooperation and one on bilateral cooperation in the areas of EU foreign, security and defence policy.

Guiding research questions are the following: What are drivers and impeding factors to bilateral Polish-German relations? How have bilateral relations between Germany and Poland developed over time? Under which circumstances do bilateral approaches shape EU governance as a whole? How has EU membership affected bilateral relations? How does collaboration between Germany and Poland vary across policy areas and which impact do differentiated structures like the Eurozone, Schengen or CSDP have?

Project goals

  • Mapping theoretical approaches to describing and analysing bilateral relationships in the EU context – from a supranational, bilateral and cross-border perspective
  • Providing in-depth empirical findings on the Polish-German relationship with a particular focus on cross-border relations and cooperation in the area of security and defence
  • Adding to the academic debate by identifying drivers and impeding factors to bilateral cooperation, focusing on the example of Polish-German relations
  • Connecting scholars and building a strong interdisciplinary Polish-German network


Workshop: Bilateral relationships among EU countries – New approaches and challenges

11 – 12 April 2019, Hertie School, Berlin