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France and Poland

Political relations

The relationship between France and Poland is governed by the strategic partnership agreement signed in 2008 and renewed in 2013 and 2020. It was particularly intense between 2012 and 2015. The French President’s visit to Poland on 3 and 4 February 2020 brought renewed vigour. Bilateral relations are accompanied by trilateral Franco-German-Polish dialogue within the scope of the Weimar Triangle, which was launched in 1991 to facilitate German-Polish rapprochement and went on to become one of the instruments for Poland’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

French presence

French community: 5,758 registered in July 2022.
Polish community in France: around 1 million in 2022.

Visits

President Emmanuel Macron visited Warsaw and Krakow on 3 and 4 February 2020, accompanied by four Ministers (Jean-Yves Le Drian, Florence Parly, Élisabeth Borne and Bruno Le Maire). Three documents were signed during the visit: 1) a political Franco-Polish declaration on cooperation in European matters; 2) a new technical Cooperation Programme under the Strategic Partnership for the years 2020 to 2023; and 3) a Declaration of Intent to strengthen cooperation in the cyber security field. President Macron received Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Paris on 17 March and 24 November 2021 and the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, on 27 October the same year.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex attended the commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp on 27 January 2022. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna made a first visit to Warsaw on 31 May 2022, on the way back from Kyiv, and met with her Polish counterpart. The French Minister of State for Europe, Laurence Boone, spoke by telephone with her Polish counterpart, Konrad Szymański, on 23 August that year.

Ambassadors

French Ambassador to Poland: Frédéric Billet (since October 2019)
Polish Ambassador to France: Jan Emeryk Rościszewski (since April 2022)
Chair of the Friendship Group at the French National Assembly: Frédéric Petit (Mouvement Démocrate group)
Chair of the Friendship Group at the French Senate: Valérie Boyer (Les Républicains group)

Economic relations

Trade between France and Poland is particularly extensive and has been rising almost continuously for more than 20 years. It exceeded €10 billion in 2005, €20 billion in 2011 and hit a new record of €25.5 billion in 2021.

Poland remains France’s leading partner in Central Europe, with French investment stock in the country of €17.2 billion as of the end of 2022, representing 8.4% of foreign direct investment in the country and making France Poland’s 4th largest investor. While the public health crisis reduced bilateral trade in 2020, it grew again in 2021 while France’s trade gap increased.

France is particularly present in services, including the telecommunications sector, because of the strength of Orange Polska and Play (Iliad), in retail, in banking, and in transport equipment. France’s imports from Poland are varied, with a major share of electrical equipment, automobile vehicles, automobile equipment and furniture.

French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland: ccifp.pl/?lang=fr
Business France office in Poland: http://export.businessfrance.fr/pologne/export-pologne-avec-notre-bureau.html

Cultural, educational, scientific and technical cooperation

There is very considerable scientific and academic cooperation, with 76 dual degrees in place, the integrated action programme Polonium, and institutional relations forged between French and Polish research bodies (agreements between the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Polish Academy of Sciences, many study grants). France is the 5th largest destination for Polish students, both for enrolment in degree programmes and Erasmus+. There is a focus on rrilateral cooperation (with Germany) and European cooperation. The University of Warsaw is host to the Franco-Polish Human and Social Sciences Research Centre, a research unit and centre for conferences and debate. A Franco-Polish scientific year was held from March to December 2019. Following the European’s 3rd call for proposals under the European Universities Initiative, 10 consortiums of European universities involve French and Polish partners.

Linguistic and educational cooperation seeks to maintain French as the country’s 4th most-taught foreign language: 12.6% of pupils learn French in high schools, but only 0.8% in primary schools since the generalization of a compulsory foreign language in the first three years at school, which in 99% of cases is English. In total, around 280,000 children are learning French. 27 schools have 36 bilingual sections in which a total of 3,675 pupils are taught. The French Lycée René Goscinny in Warsaw has 699 pupils, 25% of whom are Polish.

In addition to the Institut Français branches in Warsaw and Krakow, there are 8 Alliance Française branches in the regions (Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Łódź, Lublin, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Toruń and Wrocław).

Poland has been an observer member of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) since 1997.

Active decentralized cooperation (175 twinning agreements and 350 cooperation projects identified at all levels of local government) is a precious source of influence.

Updated: 26 August 2022