France and Poland


Political relations

Political dialogue between France and Poland was given a new lease of life in 2020 with the French President’s visit in February. During the visit, President Macron and Prime Minister Morawiecki signed a Franco-Polish declaration on cooperation on European matters (with three pillars on security and defence, the climate, and industrial, tax and competition policy) and a new cooperation programme (2020-2023) under the Franco-Polish strategic partnership agreement signed in 2008.

The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2022 fostered convergence on the issue of sanctions against Russia and support to Kyiv in the context of the war in Ukraine. 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.

There are many areas of convergence with the new Polish government that should be seized on, including support to Ukraine, reflection on EU enlargement and reform, development of the bilateral economic and military partnership, reform of European fiscal governance rules, and building a European value chain in the nuclear field. The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs held a first call with her Polish counterpart, Radosław Sikorski, on 14 December. Further bilateral discussions should take place in early 2024.

France and Poland will also meet again, along with Germany, in the Weimar Triangle format created in 1991. The Weimar format was reactivated at ministerial level in 2020 following the French President’s February visit to Warsaw. It had last met, in ministerial format, in 2016, but the Heads of State and Government have met three times since 8 February 2022 (most recently in Paris on 12 June 2023), the Foreign Ministers five times since August 2020 (most recently on 22 March 2022), and the Europe Ministers four times (most recently on 12 May 2023 in Poznan). The situation in Ukraine has been the main subject of discussions since February 2022. The June summit addressed military support to Kyiv and Ukraine’s path to NATO membership.

French presence

French community: 5,731 on the consular register. A similar number are probably unregistered. Around 600,000 French visitors per year.
Embassy in Warsaw and Consulate-General in Kraków.


President Emmanuel Macron visited Warsaw and Kraków 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 Franco-Polish political declaration on cooperation in European matters; 2) A new technical Cooperation Programme under the Strategic Partnership for the years 2020-2023; 3) A declaration of intent for enhanced cyber security cooperation. 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 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 two Ministers spoke several times by telephone in 2022.
Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Olivier Becht visited Poland in December 2022.

Foreign Minister Colonna spoke with her new Polish counterpart, Radosław Sikorski, by telephone on 14 December 2023.


French Ambassador to Poland: Étienne de Poncins (since September 2023)
Polish Ambassador to France: Jan Emeryk Rościszewski (since April 2022)

Economic relations

Following a steady rise in bilateral trade, reaching a historic peak of almost €22 billion in 2019 (up 5.7% year-on-year), trade in goods between France and Poland fell by 6.8% in 2020 because of the pandemic, to €20.5 billion. It did however recover from 2021 onwards, with two consecutive records bringing it to €25.5 billion in 2021 and 29.5 billion in 2022. In 2022, our bilateral trade represented 4.2% of Poland’s foreign trade, making France the country’s fourth-largest trading partner. Meanwhile, trade with Poland represented 2.1% of French foreign trade, with Poland our tenth-largest partner.

Exporting €13.7 billion of French goods to Poland, France was its eighth-largest supplier in 2022, while Poland was France’s tenth-largest customer, accounting for 2.3% of our exports that year, down 0.2 points year-on-year.

French foreign direct investment stock stood in late 2021 at €20.4 billion (8.5% of total stock in Poland), up from €17.2 billion the previous year, making France the fourth-largest foreign investor, behind the Netherlands (19.7%), Germany (16.7%) and Luxembourg (12.5%), although the indirect flows via the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Cyprus should be kept in mind.

In 2021, 1,251 businesses controlled in part by French entities were present in Poland, holding assets estimated at €5.8 billion (27.7 billion złoty, or 12% of foreign assets). Subsidiaries with equity of more than $1 billion account for almost 98.5% of French assets in Poland.

France is particularly present in services, especially telecommunications, in which the 2020 purchase of Poland’s leading telephone operator, Play, by the French company Iliad, came on top of the already strong presence of Orange Polska. France also stands out for its presence in the retail sector (Auchan, Carrefour, E. Leclerc) and banking, as the fourth bank nationality in 2021 (BNP Paribas, the sixth-largest bank in Poland, as well as Crédit Agricole and Société Générale). It holds 7.1% of assets in this sector, behind Spain (9.4%), Germany (8.9%) and the Netherlands (7.9%), according to the financial supervisory authority, the KNF.

Cultural, 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 key 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 fifth-largest destination for Polish students, both for enrolment in degree programmes and Erasmus+. There is a focus on trilateral 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 Commission’s third 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 fourth 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 9 Alliance Française branches in the regions (Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Łódź, Lublin, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Toruń and Wrocław). The ninth Alliance Française branch in Poland, in Rzeszów, was inaugurated in November 2023 by Ambassador de Poncins.

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.

Other cooperation

French armed forces personnel are seconded to take part in the training of Ukrainian service members in Poland, under the European EUMAM mission.

Updated: December 2023