Perspectives for German-Polish Relations in the EU-27





In  recent  years  the  seemingly  firm  historical  ties  between  Warsaw  and  Berlin  have  become  increasingly strained. This results from a growing political asymmetry between the two countries. Germany moved into a semi-hegemonial position under the conditions of the triple crisis of banking, economy  and  sovereign  debt  in  the  eurozone.  Consequently,  German  chancellor  Angela  Merkel  was  in  a  strong  enough  position  to  implement  ordoliberal  reforms  of  the  eurozone’s  governance  architecture,  which  were  promoted  as  an  approach  without  alternatives.  Merkel  maintained  her  uncompromising  stance  during  the  migration  crisis  in  the  summer  of  2015,  when  she  demanded  implementation of compulsory migrant distribution quotas across the EU. Poland and the Visegrád countries had initially strongly supported German leadership in resolving the eurozone crisis. The alienation  from  Germany’s  European  agenda  however  became  significant  under  the  conditions  of  the  migration  crisis.  Here  the  firm  opposition  of  Poland  and  the  rest  of  the  Visegrád  Group  towards Germany’s preferences shows a strategic mismatch between the EU’s liberal core, which is spearheaded by Germany, and the concept of the “illiberal” state, which Poland has embraced under the  PiS  government.  The  willingness  to  resolve  these  differences  will  be  crucial  in  determining  the  future shape of Polish-German relations.

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