Germany and Romania: Bilateral relations
The German-Romanian Treaty on Friendly Cooperation of 1992 remains the basis for the good and close bilateral relations between Germany and Romania. In 2022, the 30th anniversary of its signing was celebrated with numerous events in both countries. Germany is regarded as Romania’s most important foreign policy partner, together with the United States.
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 (2022 census: approx. 22,900 people) and is represented by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. There is increasing demand for German language teaching in Romanian schools today also from those without a personal German-speaking background. German language lessons are supported by the Central Agency for Schools Abroad and the Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH) network, which comprises 57 partner schools. The German School in Bucharest was awarded the “Excellent German School Abroad” seal of quality in October 2021. German-language study programmes at Romanian universities are popular. Around 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 largest foreign direct investor (focus on the automotive supply industry and retail sector). Many sectors, however, are suffering from personnel shortages and the continuing 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 (GTAI) correspondent’s office and regional German business associations.
Romania has a particularly lively cultural scene and a close affinity with German culture. Thanks to the German minority, there is a vibrant tradition promoting interest in the German language and culture. German intermediary organisations include the Goethe-Institut, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, as well as the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, which run various programmes and play an active role in the country. Numerous German project partners are making their own contributions to Timișoara’s European Capital of Culture programme in 2023.