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Germany and Romania: Bilateral relations Romania

02.03.2021 - Article

The German-Romanian Treaty on Friendly Cooperation of 1992 forms the basis for the good and close bilateral relations between Germany and Romania. Both countries share a common interest in a united Europe that is capable of taking action. Germany is regarded as Romania’s most important foreign policy partner, together with the United States. The stability of the neighbouring regions from the Balkans to the Black Sea is a foreign policy priority for Romania. Romania has been a member of NATO since 2004 as well as an EU member state since 2007 and plays an active role in the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and regional EU initiatives (including the Danube Region Strategy, the Eastern Partnership and the Three Seas Initiative).

The German minority, which is held in high regard in the country, plays an important bridge-building role; it is the fourth-largest ethnic minority in Romania (approximately 37,000 people) and is represented by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. There is increasing demand for German language teaching in Romania today also from parents without a German-speaking background. German language lessons are supported by the Federal Office of Administration - Central Agency for Schools Abroad and the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH) network, which comprises 55 partner schools. The German School in Bucharest moved into a new school building in August 2020, whose construction was financed largely by the Federal Foreign Office. German-language study programmes at Romanian universities are popular. More than 80 such courses are available.

Bilateral economic relations have developed very positively since Romania joined the EU. Germany is Romania’s most important trading partner and is its largest foreign direct investor. German investment in Romania is concentrated mainly in the automobile components and retail sector. Many sectors, however, are suffering from personnel shortages and the brain drain to other EU countries offering better pay and conditions. The German business community is represented by the German-Romanian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, a Germany Trade and Invest correspondent’s office and regional German business associations.

Romania, and Bucharest in particular, has a very lively cultural scene. The country has a close affinity with German culture. Thanks to the German minority living there, there is a vibrant tradition promoting interest in the German language and culture. German intermediary organisations, including the Goethe-Institut, the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), the German Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, run various programmes and play an active role in the country.

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