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Warsaw-Berlin – 25 years of partnership!

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Warsaw-Berlin Cooperation Agreement. Both capitals will be celebrating this silver jubilee. A host of attractions has been prepared for the residents, including performances, exhibitions and concerts.

The anniversary year of 2016 will see a number of co-organised festivals and exhibitions. German artists will showcase their installation-art pieces and put on performances at the Nowy Teatr theatre, and in July, Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle will open an exhibition set up by the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. Joint projects will also be carried out by Teatr Powszechny and the Maxim Gorki Theater, and by the Polish Institute in Berlin and the Göthe Institute in Warsaw, among other projects.

Warsaw has launched a special contest for initiatives celebrating the 25th anniversary of the partnership. As a result, nine artistic projects will receive funding, including projects by the following foundations and associations: Fundacja Inicjatyw Kulturalnych Plaster, Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Fundacja Polskiej Sztuki Nowoczesnej, Fundacja Rozwoju Teatru NOWA FALA, Fundacja Scena Współczesna, Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Społeczno-Kulturalnych Stacja Muranów, Stowarzyszenie Plan B and Fundacja Badań Przestrzeni Publicznej TU (a total of PLN 500 k will be committed to these projects).

The two capitals will also cooperate in the area of education. Indeed, internships have been arranged for young teachers from Warsaw and Berlin, joint works have begun on a combined Warsaw-Berlin guidebook (25 locations to mark the 25th anniversary), and the autumn will see the launch of teacher courses as part of the "Intercultural competence of teachers in multicultural cities – Warsaw-Berlin" programme. From 3 to 8 May, Warsaw will be hosting the members of Berlin's European Youth Parliament.

On Saturday and Sunday, 7 and 8 May, Warsaw will be visited by Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller. Together with Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, this guest of honour will attend the Schuman Parade on Saturday, at 12:00, and also a debate on the challenges faced by European metropolises, scheduled to take place at 16:00-17:30 at the "Marzyciele i Rzemieślnicy" Social Innovation House at 25 Bracka Street. The two Mayors will give an opening speech for the European Concert in the Multimedia Fountain Park in Podzamcze (the concert starts at 20:00).

On the same day, a MAN double-decker bus produced by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) will enter the streets of Warsaw to join the parade and later, for two weeks, it will provide a bus service for Warsaw residents on line 180 (on a shortened route between Wilanów and Esperanto). The bus will also be in service during the Night of Museums on 14 May.

On 25 and 26 June Warsaw will host a football tournament for the Mayor of Warsaw Cup featuring youth U13 and U15 teams from Germany and Poland (including Hertha Berlin, TSC Berlin, TEAM Frankfurt, the Willy Brandt School in Warsaw, Polonia Warszawa, Stomil Olsztyn, Ursus Warszawa and Znicz Pruszków).

The Mayor of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz will visit Berlin in early July. On 1 July the Solaris bus of Warsaw's Municipal Bus Company (MZA) will start to run in Berlin. On 2 July, at 15:00, the Tee-Haus of the Tiergarten Park will host a piano concert featuring pianists from Warsaw.
Starting from 22 July, Berliners will have the opportunity to see a Polish contemporary art exhibition entitled "Shared Issues", and on 26 August a 10-day festival will be launched in Berlin's Park am Gleisdreick in cooperation with Radio Eins, with Warsaw as the guest of honour.

In September the capitals will co-organise workshops in Warsaw, featuring experts from both cities.

On 17 June 1991 the Republic of Poland and the Federal Repulic of Germany signed the Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation.
On 12 August 1991 Mayors Stanisław Wyganowski and Eberhard Diepgen signed the Warsaw-Berlin Friendship and Cooperation Agreement to govern the cities' cooperation in the fields of the economy and technology, spatial planning, municipal transport, civil engineering and housing construction, municipal supplies and municipal cleaning, environmental protection, culture, sports, education, higher education and the promotion of cultural heritage. In February 1994 MZK Warszawa and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) signed an additional Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of municipal transport.