German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Poland on March 19 to improve relations between the two countries. Her message is one of EU unity.
Merkel was scheduled to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
As reported by Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, relations have been strained by disagreements on rule of law, immigration and refugee policy, Poland’s new Holocaust law, as well as a new gas pipeline.
Polish government spokeswoman Joanna Kopcinska said Warsaw hoped for “a good and pragmatic cooperation with Berlin”.
Merkel will have to balance between enlisting Poland’s help with backing the EU while also being firm on EU core principles that have been challenged by Poland’s sweeping judicial reforms, reported DW.
Both Brussels and Berlin say Warsaw’s reforms are an attack on the independence of the judiciary. The Polish government, however, has repeatedly argued the reforms are necessary to root out corruption.
Warsaw has also criticised the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will be routed from Russia to Germany, but bypass Poland and Ukraine.