French President Francois Hollande's third official visit to Warsaw in a year, last 29 November, was meant to relaunch the "Franco-Polish strategic partnership" and included the signature of a ten-page cooperation agreement. In the document(1) that stresses political and military cooperation, the Weimar Triangle (France, Germany and Poland) is mentioned close to a dozen times. Should this be seen as an attempt to give substance to this political platform? "We are trying to transpose with Poland what has worked very successfully with Germany," say French sources. "We are hoping for a qualitative leap and the development of similar mechanisms."

Franco-Polish relations were at their lowest under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, but they have improved significantly since Hollande took office. The current French president seems to have made partnership with Warsaw one of the priorities of his European strategy, which paid off well during negotiations on the EU budget for 2014-2020. With the Franco-German couple going through a rough period, while relations between Germany and Poland are excellent on the other hand, a rapprochement between Paris and Warsaw may prove beneficial in working out compromises in Brussels and could bode well for balance in tomorrow's Europe.


The document encompasses a wide range of policy areas: economy, finance, industry, energy and environment, agriculture, justice and home affairs, neighbourhood policy, science and culture. As a French diplomat explains, "the idea is to establish new reflexes, to hold certain regular meetings and to diversify official meetings". Intergovernmental consultations and meetings of senior officials are thus carved in stone and will have to be held at least once a year. The two states are "determined to advance towards a more united, more integrated Europe of solidarity" and to "mobilise to this effect the full potential of the Weimar Triangle". The coordination of positions on the EU scene is a clearly stated objective.

Cooperation in security and defence is also an essential element, on which two letters of intent were signed. Strategic dialogue, consultation between military staffs, interoperable combat capability building and partnerships in research and technology must have "joint action as their main purpose". "The Poles are more determined to advance on European defence than the Germans," said a diplomat. "Poland is one of the EU states most active in developing...

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