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A Pole and a German in one company – do they always have to lead a cat-and-dog life?

Przemysław POWIERZA
tax advisor, Tax Partner at RSM Poland
Head of German Desk

Nobody will deny that the history of Poland and Germany was very turbulent. It’s a bit similar to the situation of a typical married couple – there were moments of very harmonious cooperation but (sometimes long-lasting) silent days as well… Over the years, on both banks of the Oder we have gathered a number of stereotypes about each other. We are slowly trying to defy them – the most effective way is to do business together.

Poland has already been in the European Union for over 10 years. Last autumn, when I was a guest at an opening session of Institute for Central and East European Taxation (I CEE TAX) at Viadrina European University in Frankfurt-upon-Oder (https://www.europa-uni.de/pl/forschung/institut/institut_ceetax/Ueber_uns/index.html), I heard that these 10 years had changed a lot in mutual perception of Poles by Germans and of Germans by Poles, particularly in the business area. Development in Poland is easily visible: dynamically modernized infrastructure, growing number of family companies which are successful
on European Common Market and first significant successes of Polish companies from various branches. We have earned respect. For the first time from time immemorial, Poles have admired Germans and Germans have admired Poles. This is a good chance for both countries, which are interconnected by the European Union. Changes are also visible inside companies, where cooperation between Polish and German employees (at each level) is looking better and better and it doesn’t seem to be a marriage of convenience. Now we can slowly proceed to the next stage of our mutual relations – familiar with each other, we can start thinking about joint ventures. We are no longer talking about unilateral German investments in Poland but about unanimous enterprise cooperation. This tendency is now well visible. Let’s keep it up.