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Poland, Germany and EU Enlargement: The Rising Prominence of Domestic Politics. ZEI Discussion Papers: 1999, C 51

Publication Date
  • Enlargement
  • Germany
  • Poland


Key Hypotheses. - As far as Polish and German strategic foreign policy objectives are concerned, the German-Polish relationship and the enlargement of the European Union to the East are interdependent. After the end of Communism in East Central Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Poland and Germany discovered a ‘community of interests’. This notion was based on the assumption of Poland’s future EU membership. - Currently, the process of EU enlargement has entered the stage of formal negotiations. The implications of this development for German-Polish relations are twofold. Firstly, the success of the accession process and subsequently the condition of the Polish-German relationship has become more dependent upon progress in all areas of Germany’s and Poland’s European diplomacy. Secondly, the relationship has been exposed to the influence of a larger group of domestic agents, some of which are not so concerned about strategic foreign policy objectives. - Germany’s current European policy prioritisation and domestic developments in both countries are slowing down the EU enlargement process with consequences for Polish-German relations. However, both countries strategic objectives - to complete the process of unifying Europe, remain unchallenged.

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