Publication details

Size matters : a comparison of French strategic partnerships with Poland and Slovakia



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source French Politics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords France; Slovakia; Poland; Bilateral cooperation; Strategic partnership
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Description Slovakia (beforehand Czechoslovakia) and Poland have had historically outstanding relations with France, mainly in the interwar period. The relations deteriorated and had suffered from political supervision of Kremlin due to the communist regimes loyal to Moscow established after the WW2. A visible renaissance of both dyads can be observed in 90s as soon as democratic institutions were established in Slovakia and Poland. Moreover, another turning point came in 2008, when France has developed closer strategic partnerships with countries in the Central and Eastern Europe. The historical bonds it shared with Slovakia and Poland, the establishment of formal partnerships brought a significant new impetus in a range of areas of bilateral cooperation. In this paper, we attempt to compare two dyads that share the same partner and formal connection—action plans of partnership with France. We use comparison of contrasts since Poland and Slovakia differ in size, economic output and geopolitical ambitions. The former is considered a middle power, the latter a small state. Both share a similar topics of cooperation with France based on the action plans’ framework. We compared these plans with foreign policy strategic documents. For Slovakia, the action plans represent a unique opportunity to have a closer tie with one of European powers. As expected, we concluded that Poland nurtures a more balanced and ambitious partnership. Warsaw apparently uses its political and economic power to pursue geopolitical goals even above the EU level and teams with France even though action plans do not address the strategic issues in detail.
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