The Weimar Triangle
The creation of the Weimar Triangle in 1991 by R. Dumas, H-D Genscher and K. Skubiszewski, was in response to the fundamental vision of Europe’s future shared by France, Germany and Poland, and their view that societal reconciliation had to precede any concerted action within society itself. Initially a special forum aiming to support German and Polish reconciliation, inspired by the experience of France and Germany, Polish accession to the European Union in 2004 saw the triangle become more of a forum for consultations ahead of European negotiations.
The Weimar Triangle came together informally during the Ukrainian crisis with the three ministers Fabius, Steinmeier and Sikorski meeting in Kiev on 20 Feburary 2014 to negotiate a post-crisis solution between President Yanukovych and the opposition. An agreement was signed putting an end to the violence and marking the start of political transition.
The last Weimar Triangle summit with the President of the French Republic, the Chancellor of the German Federation and the President of the Polish Republic was held in Warsaw on 7 February 2011, on the 20th anniversary of the Weimar format.
The last Weimar format meeting between Foreign Affairs Ministers took place in Kiev on 14 September 2016. Their previous meeting, held in Weimar, Germany on 28 August 2016, was an opportunity to celebrate the Triangle’s 25th anniversary and open the annual German ambassadors conference in Berlin on 29 August 2016.
The latest meeting between Secretaries of State for European Affairs was held in Warsaw on 13 and 14 June 2016 and was preceded by meetings in Paris on 30 September 2015 and in Hesse on 26 and 27 September 2014.
Many discussions also take place between ministers and members of parliament:
On a ministerial level, regular meetings have taken place since the Triangle’s creation. The latest meeting between Ministers for Agriculture was held in October 2016 in Le Mans, while Ministers of Finance met in February 2017 in Paris. These meetings between ministers of the Weimar Triangle show the importance of this format in defending shared positions on a European level in more specialized fields.
Members of parliament have also met under the Weimar format: the President of the French Senate, Mr Gérard Larcher, the President of the German Bundesrat, Mr Stanislaw Tillich and the President of the Polish Senate, Mr Stanisław Karczewski also met for the last time on 21 October 2016 in Bern.
Tangible cooperation projects have been implemented in numerous fields.
Foreign affairs: Following the Mettlach Summit in December 2006, a shared training module was rolled out for young German, French and Polish diplomats.
Shared security and defence policy: The Weimar Triangle has obtained good results in the field of defence. In December 2010, a letter was sent by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defence for the three countries inviting Ms Ashton to make proposals with a view to restarting European defence. On the basis of these proposals, a new initiative saw the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the three countries come together, joined by ministers from Italy and Spain, to continue this momentum which notably led to the creation of an operations and planning centre, activated by the Council of the European Union for the Horn of Africa on 23 January 2012. A new meeting in the "Weimar Plus" format bought together Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence from the five countries on 15 November 2012. In April 2015, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence sent a letter to the new High Representative, Ms Federica Mogherini, on the subject of increasing the European Council’s ambitions in June 2015 on issues of Common Security and Defence Policy.
University Cooperation: University cooperation between France, Germany and Poland has its fulcrum at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt Oder, on the Germany-Poland border. France provides the university with two lecturers. The “Europa” trinational Master in European studies inaugurated in 2013, enables students to complete an exchange semester in the universities of Opole in Poland and Mayence and Dijon in France. Some 30,000 student exchanges have been organized over the last 15 years by the OFAJ and the German-Polish Youth Office.
Research: The Genshagen Foundation near Berlin, once a Franco-German centre, now includes Poland and carries out trilateral research projects. The Marc-Bloch de Berlin centre and the Warsaw Centre for French Civilization organize regular conferences between the Weimar countries in the field of humanities and social sciences.
Culture: Since 2006, the Adam Mickiewicz prize has been awarded every year by the Committee for the Promotion of French, German and Polish Cooperation to institutions or individuals who have contributed to relations between the three countries. In the audiovisual sector, the cooperation was set in stone on 19 February 2014 with the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Franco-German channel Arte and Polish television TVP’s Kultura channel.
Decentralized cooperation: The Eurocities network has enabled numerous European projects to be created between the three Weimar Triangle partners including INTERREG, ESPON, Leonardo and Youth in Action. Under INTERREG there are also interregional cooperations within the Weimar Triangle (Hauts-de-France, North Rhine-Westphalia and Silesia; Île-de-France, Brandenburg and Mazovia).