Countries: Germany , Poland
Regions concerned: Görlitz municapality (DE), Zgorzelec municipality (PL)


Before 1945, Zgorzelec was a German town. With the establishment of the German-Polish border that year on the Oder-Neisse line, the town was divided between the two countries. The right bank of the town thus became Polish and took the name Zgorzelec. Cross-border collaboration began during the middle of the 1960s and intensified, particularly from the 1990s onwards. To officialise their cooperation activities, Görlitz and Zgorzelec signed a joint declaration on 5 May 1998. Since this date, the two towns have cooperated under the name “Eurocity Görlitz-Zgorzelec”. The zone of cooperation includes the urban district of Görlitz (Kreisfreie Stadt) on the German side and the urban commune (gmina) of Zgorzelec on the Polish side.

Historical and geographical context

Görlitz was divided between Germany and Poland following World War II. The right bank thereby became the town of Zgorzelec, in Poland. German reunification and European enlargement in 2004 have encouraged intensification of cooperation between the two towns. While Görlitz is seeing a fall in its population, the population of Zgorzelec is increasing. The level of unemployment on the Polish side is between 12 and 13% and between 13 and 14% on the German side. The difference between the two countries on an economic level is still very large. Local cross-border flows primarily involve the inhabitants of Görlitz who cross to the Polish side of the border to take advantage of consumer services and goods which are less expensive than in Germany. However, there is currently no statistical monitoring of cross-border flows to analyze more precisely the socio-economic reality of these two cities.