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Germany and Romania: Bilateral Relations Romania

13.10.2020 - Article

The German-Romanian Treaty on Friendly Relations and Partnership in Europe of 1992 underscores the good and close relations between the two countries. Germany is given credit for providing extensive support in connection with Romania’s accession to the EU. Germany and Romania share a common interest in a capable and united Europe. Germany is regarded as Romania’s most important foreign policy partner, together with the United States. Romania has ratified the EU fiscal compact and is working towards the introduction of the euro. The full application of the Schengen Agreement is a policy goal. The stability of the neighbouring regions (from the Balkans to the Black Sea region) is a key foreign policy priority. Romania has been a member of NATO since 2004 and is active in the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and regional EU initiatives (the Danube Region Strategy and the Eastern Partnership).

The German minority, which is well regarded in the country, plays an important bridge-building role as the fourth-largest ethnic minority with around 37,000 people. It is represented by the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. There is an increasing demand for German language teaching also from parents without a German-speaking background. The Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad has an office there, and 55 partner schools belong to the PASCH network. The German School in Bucharest will move into its new school building, which has been financed largely by the Federal Foreign Office, in August 2020. German-language study programmes at Romanian universities are popular. More than 80 are available.

Economic relations have developed very positively since Romania joined the EU. Germany is Romania’s most important trading partner and the second largest foreign direct investor. German investment in Romania is concentrated mainly in the automobile components 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. German stakeholders, including the Goethe-Institut, the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), the German Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, run various projects and play an active role in the country.

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