Research Group Transnationalism Working Paper
Unequal partners : security and identity at the Polish-German border
- The sovereignty of the European nation states in the realm of security politics is gradually eroding. At the same time the European integration to a large degree influences the level of direct bilateral police cooperation, since cross-border crime has come to be perceived not as only a national, but as a common problem for the European nation states. At the German-Polish border, "Europe's Rio Grande", these high expectations concerning security policy are put into practice. With Poland's EU accession, Polish and German border guards are no longer spatially separated, but jointly control travellers. Joint patrols and contact points have already existed since 1998. On the one hand, the enforced meeting of German and Polish border policemen may help dismantle mutual prejudices. On the other hand, other cleavages may appear, based on cultural, systemic and institutional factors, which hinder the development of mutual trust and reinforce the asymmetrical relationship between the Schengen member Germany and the "junior partner" Poland.