The Revival of the Weimar Triangle
The Polish, French and German ministers of foreign affairs debated last week on the future of the Weimar Triangle at the Jacques Delors Institute in Berlin. Throughout the meeting, Laurent Fabius, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Radosław Sikorski underlined the importance and the potential of this collaboration. Sikorski recalled their last meeting in Kyiv on February 20th when the three assisted in negotiations aimed at ending the Ukrainian crisis.
During the debate, the ministers reviewed the origins of the “Weimar Triangle”. This regional cooperation gathers two founding countries of the European Union (EU) and the most important economy of Central and Eastern Europe. Created in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Triangle aimed at connecting a free Poland with the dynamic Franco-German duo. Times have changed since its creation; with a new generation that knows neither war nor the Iron Curtain. Today, these countries are strong powers in Europe, whose governments advocate for a more politically integrated Europe. This is why the Weimar Triangle should be the “compass of a more active Europe” as stated by Fabius. He stressed that such a collaboration is the “way to go further” while working within the ensemble of European partners.
The ministers developed further ideas for cooperation within the Weimar Triangle. They proposed to work together in new sectors such as Energy or Industry. They considered the possible addition of Poland to the Airbus project, for example. They also stressed pursuing traditional cooperation in areas such as defence. What’s more, Fabius linked the Weimar Triangle to the “European idea” itself. This cooperation could be a way to improve European management in raising concrete proposals for further integration, such as in energy. Sikorski proposed a European market for gas in order to build a more secure and competitive EU.
Most importantly, the ministers returned to the Ukrainian crisis. They emphasised their common position and their capacity to speak with one voice in order to shape a solution in February, obtaining an agreement between Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. Admittedly, this agreement has not been respected; however, one country alone would not have had such an impact in the solution to the crisis.
In conclusion, the Weimar Triangle is both a forum and a method of cooperation between the three countries, plus a means to further European integration.
Charlotte Guériaux is a graduate of the ESCP Europe and of the Institute of Political Sciences of Strasbourg. She has a diploma in European politics from the Jagiellonian University. She concentrates on Central and Eastern European politics and economics, with a specialisation on Poland.