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Polish-German city partnerships: facts, potential, challenges

Polish-German city partnerships are one of the major areas of bilateral relations. Their valuable aspect is to enable mutual acquaintance of the inhabitants of both countries and the implementation of specific projects that have a direct impact on cities, their organizations and people involved in exchanges. In addition to supporting the Polish-German rapprochement and good practices, city partnerships help diverse social groups that do not deal with European issues and do not have in their daily lives contact with other Europeans to understand the importance of European integration. 

Hence the project is devoted to Polish-German cooperation at the local government level, but in the context of the European integration process. The forms of this cooperation, its reasons, intensity and results are different. The research is aimed at learning about these forms and motivations for cooperation, the challenges they bring and good practices. 

The processes of mutual influence of Polish and German solutions and culture, changes in cooperation caused by Poland's entry into the EU, political, social, cultural and economic phenomena of this cooperation as well as their mutual influence will be analyzed. Polish-German cooperation will be presented against the background of other international cooperation of cities.

The description of good practices will allow one to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of other cities, and thus has a chance to contribute to the development of contacts and their strengthening and shaping new, valuable solutions for residents. The analysis will also allow to indicate to what extent cooperation between cities can influence other levels of Polish-German cooperation and bringing together both societies.

The research will be based on the analysis of available materials, conducting in-depth interviews with selected representatives of Polish and German cities (officials and representatives of civil society and other institutions involved in cooperation in city partnerships) and an online survey conducted in both countries. The results will be published in Polish and German online and also presented at conferences and discussions in both countries, to which representatives of local governments, politicians, diplomats, officials, NGO activists and funders - people who deal with the issues of cooperation between cities and relations Polish-German at various levels, will be invited.

Implementation date: March 2019 - April 2020

Partners: Institute of Public Affairs, Deutsches Polen-Institut Darmstadt, Association of Polish Cities

Project implemented thanks to the financial support of the Polish-German Science Foundation

Contact - Agnieszka Łada
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