The Weimar Triangle format was created in 1991 at the instigation of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, with his French and Polish counterparts, Roland Dumas and Krzysztof Skubiszewski, to develop a shared vision for Europe and forge closer ties between the three countries’ societies.
The Triangle was initially the key forum for supporting German-Polish reconciliation, inspired by the Franco-German experience. After Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004, it became more of a forum for cooperation ahead of European Union negotiations.
The last Weimar Triangle Summit at the level of Heads of State and Government (the French President, German Federal Chancellor and Polish President) was held in Paris on 12 June 2023. The discussions focused on support to Ukraine to help the country repel Russia’s war of aggression, such as NATO enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The last meeting at Foreign Minister level was held in Łódź, Poland, on 22 March 2022, where they discussed the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (European sovereignty), the Polish Chairmanship of the OSCE, and the war in Ukraine.
The Europe Ministers met in Poznań, Poland, on 12 May 2023 and expressed their support for the European Union enlargement process, which should take place in a constructive atmostphere in order to strengthen the European Union. Support to Kyiv was also discussed.
The last meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers was held in Weimar on 26 and 27 June 2023, discussing support to Ukraine, deepening of the capital markets union and fiscal rules.
The Genshagen Foundation details all meetings of Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers and Europe Ministers.
Tangible cooperation projects have been implemented in numerous fields.
Common Security and Defence Policy:
- Creation of a European Union operations and planning centre for the Horn of Africa in January 2021
- Enhanced structured defence cooperation, with the participation of most Member States. This cooperation was agreed in 2018 at the suggestion of the Weimar format Foreign and Defence Ministers.
Trilateral academic cooperation:
- The cornerstone of this cooperation is European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). France provides this university with two academics. The tri-national “Europa” European Studies master’s degree, inaugurated in 2013, enables students to alternate semesters between the universities of Opole (Poland), Mainz (Germany) and Dijon (France). There are 20 European university alliances with joint French-German-Polish participation.
- The Genshagen Foundation near Berlin (initially a Franco-German centre) has involved Poland since 2015 and implements trilateral research projects to strengthen political and social dialogue within the Weimar Triangle and, more generally, artistic and cultural dialogue in Europe. It has two key pillars: (1) the trilateral “tandem residency” which aims to bring to life European cooperation by offering authors and translations of all literary genres from France, Germany and Poland the opportunity to work together at Schloss Genshagen; (2) the annual trilateral summer school at Genshagen attended by master’s students from various universities: Sorbonne University in Paris, France, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.
- Conferences in the Weimar format in the fields of humanities and social sciences organized by the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin and the University of Warsaw’s Centre for French Civilization and Francophone Studies (CCFEF), which also organizes an annual scientific conference in the Weimar format.
- The Young European Awards were organized by the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) from 2017 to 2019 in partnership with the Hippocrène Foundation, the Alliance Foundation, the German-Polish Youth Office (GPYO) and the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation (FWPN/SDPZ).
- Civil society, understood as all non-institutional actors, drives the trilateral cooperation of the Weimar Triangle. Several projects have been set up by associations in the three countries, including youth exchanges, twinning programmes and cultural events. These associations are often partners and they form a network of citizens committed to building relations between France, Germany and Poland.
- Examples include the Europamobil project, financed by the Genshagen Foundation, and the French-German-Polish Youth Parliament project, coordinated by the Maison de l’Europe des Yvelines (MdEY), near Paris. The Franco-German Cultural Council (HCCFA/DFKR) organized a Weimar format event in Paris with the French Ministry of Culture on 9 and 10 December 2021, on “Young people and Europe: starting with culture!”.
- The Weimar Triangle of Businesswomen, created in Gdansk in 2018, has more than 200 members.
- The International Youth Summit as part of the Regional Weimar Triangle is a cooperation project between the French Hauts-de-France Region, the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Polish Silesian Voivodeship. It aims to foster a sense of European citizenship, intercultural dialogue and European mobility for young people from the three areas.
- The 2023 International Youth Summit as part of the Regional Weimar Triangle was held in Lille in July, with the involvement of the FGYO. The FGYO plays a major role in the Regional Weimar Triangle, fostering trinational relations between France, Germany and Poland through civil society by enabling young people from the three countries to meet and discover new horizons. The 2023 Summit focused on the challenges of the energy transition.
Updated: February 2024