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Romania

Last updated: February 2019

Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Romania were established on 26 February 1921 and restored on 13 September 1991.

The first chargé d'affaires of Romania accredited to Estonia started in 1997 and until the opening of the Embassy of Romania in Tallinn in 2016, Romania covered Estonia from their Embassy in Helsinki. The first Romanian ambassador residing in Estonia, Ms Daniela-Mihaela Cămărășan, presented her credentials to the President of the Republic of Estonia on 1 November 2016.

Before the opening of the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia to Romania in 2015, all previous ambassadors of Estonia to Romania resided in Warsaw, Poland. The first ambassador of the re-independent Republic of Estonia was Mr Peeter Reštšinski, who presented his credentials to the President of Romania in 2000. From 2001-2005 Estonia's ambassador to Romania was Mr Aivo Orav, from 2006-2009 Mr Ants Frosch, from 2010-2013 Mr Taavi Toom and in 2015 Mr Eerik Marmei. Estonia's current and also the first resident Estonian Ambassador to Romania, Mr Ants Frosch, presented his credentials to the President of Romania on 10 September 2015. Estonia also has three honorary consuls in Romania (in Bucharest, Timișoara and Constanța).

Relations between Estonia and Romania are very good. We are partners in the European Union and in NATO where we share similar views in many matters. In addition, in 2018 both Estonia and Romania celebrated their 100th anniversary.

The opening of embassies in Bucharest (2015) and in Tallinn (2016) has enabled to further develop bilateral relations between Romania and Estonia. In addition, the high level visits in recent years have created more opportunities for cooperation in the field of IT as well as in enhancing trade relations by ensuring better preparedness to help businesses enter our respective markets.

There is interest on both sides towards closer communication between our politicians and parliaments and consultations take place between the ministries on a regular basis. In addition, the XIII Estonian Parliament (in Estonian: Riigikogu) has established an Estonian-Romanian parliamentary group as well as the Romanian Parliament an Estonian friendship group.

Visits

To Estonia
June 2018 Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă 
November 2017 The representative of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union Cristian Marius Badescu
April 2017 Foreign Minister Teodor Meleșcanu
May 2013 Foreign Minister Titus Corlǎtean
April 2011 President Traian Băsescu (state visit)
April 2010 Foreign Minister Teodor Anatol Baconschi in Tallinn for the informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers
June 2006 Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu
September 2004 Minister of European Integration Alexandru Farcas
September 2003 HSH Prince Radu of Hohenzollern-Veringen Special Representative of the Romanian Government for Integration, Co-operation and Sustainable Development
To Romania
June 2018 Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in Constanța (Nordica opening flight Tallinn-Constanța and opening ceremony of the Estonian Honorary Consulate)
April 2018 Chairman of the National Defence Committee Hannes Hanso standing in for Eiki Nestor, the Speaker of the Parliament, at the "Bucharest 9" meeting
October 2017 Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas attending the Bucharest Forum
May 2017 Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (preparatory meeting for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union)
November 2016 Foreign Minister Jürgen Ligi (bilateral visit and meeting of Central and Eastern European foreign ministers in Bucharest)
November 2015 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (meeting of Central and Eastern European heads of state in Bucharest)
October 2013 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (state visit)
June 2012 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip (Cohesion Policy Friends Group meeting in Bucharest)
April 2008 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (Marshall Centre conference in Bucharest)
April 2008 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet (NATO summit in Bucharest)
October 2007 Justice Minister Rein Lang
July 2007 Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo
April 2007 Commander of Defence Major-General Ants Laaneots
April 2004 Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland
October 2003 President Arnold Rüütel

Agreements

Important agreements signed by Estonia and Romania:

  • Intergovernmental Agreement for the Organising of International Highway Traffic (came into force 27.12.1993);
  • Friendship and Co-operation Agreement (came into force 22.05.1994);
  • Agreement on the Readmission of Persons (came into force 15.09.2005);
  • Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Income Tax and Capital Tax and the Evasion of Taxes (came into force 29.11.2005);
  • Agreement on Abolition of Visa Requirement (came into force 24.04.2004);
  • Agreement on Mutual Understanding in the Field of Military Co-operation (came into force 13.01.2005);
  • Agreement on the Mutual Protection of Classified Information (came into force 01.09.2007).

Economic Relations

Trade

Trade relations between Estonia and Romania have been relatively modest. More significant changes in trade volumes could be observed in 2004 when Estonia joined the European Union. Trade volumes began to grow, but declined again as a result of the global economic downturn in 2009 (primarily due to the dramatic decrease in Estonia's export). The trade volumes started to increase again after 2010 until reaching 127 mln euros in 2017 (volumes reached close to 130 mln in 2016 which is +75% compared to volumes in 2015 and -2% compared to 2016). These numbers made Romania the 27th biggest trading partner for Estonia (0.5% share).

Estonian export to Romania has reached 79 mln in recent years (0.6% share of total exports, 24th export destination). The volume has increased in the last years mainly due to the export of machinery and mechanical equipment. The share of goods originating from Estonia accounted for almost 93% of our exports to Romania in 2016.

Romania held the 27th place among the biggest import partners of Estonia in the first half of 2018 (0.4% share). The balance between exports and imports has generally been negative for Estonia in the recent years, but in 2016-2017 the balance was positive as the exports steadily increased.

Trade between Estonia and Romania in 2010-2018 I half (in mln EUR):

Year Export Import Turnover Balance
2010 7.8 11.3 19.1 -3.5
2011 11.1 19.9 31.0 -8.8
2012 10.8 23.8 34.6 -13.0
2013 11.1 38.5 49.6 -27.4
2014 19.1 52.8 71.9 -33.7
2015 30.8 43.5 74.0 -12.7
2016 79.4 50.3 129.7 29.1
2017 78.8 47.9 126.7 30.9
2018 46.6 31.6 78.2 14.9

Main export articles of Estonia to Romania in the year 2017 were machinery and mechanical equipment (phones) 71%, metals and metal products 8% and products of the chemical industry 7%.

Main import articles in 2017 were machinery and equipment 63% (of total imports from Romania), metals and metal products 12% and food and beverages 8%.

In the year 2017 there were 140 Estonian companies exporting to Romania (according to Krediidiinfo) which is up from 79 companies in 2009.

All economic figures originate from the Statistical Office of Estonia.

Investments

As of 30 June 2018, Estonia's direct investments in Romania amounted to 26.3 mln euros (0.4% of all direct investments abroad). These pertained mostly to real estate. At the same time, Romania's direct investments in Estonia amounted to 8.3 mln euros and mostly went into wholesale and retail trade and the finance and insurance sector.

According to the Estonian Commercial Register (in Estonian: Äriregister) there were 71 companies with Romanian participation in May 2018.

Tourism

Opportunities to develop tourism between Estonia and Romania have certainly not been exhausted and the interest of both Romanian and Estonian tourists has risen in the last years. Nordica launched seasonal flights between Tallinn and Constanța in 2018 and due to significant interest towards this route the company will re-open the flights in the summer of 2019.

In 2010, Estonian accommodation establishments housed 1343 Romanian citizens and this figure has grown steadily. In 2015, the number of Romanian citizens in Estonian accommodation establishments was 3441, in 2016 it was 3114 and in 2017 already 4459. In addition to Tallinn, the other popular destinations among Romanians in 2017 were Tartu County and Pärnu County (in 2016 in addition to Tallinn also Tartu County and Ida-Viru County).

Defense co-operation

Defense co-operation between Estonia and Romania is characterized by allied relations through NATO and the European Union. Romania has contributed and plans also to contribute in the future to the NATO Baltic Air Policing with its airplanes on Ämari Airbase.

Romania is preparing to officially join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) in 2019. From the tactical side, the cooperation  between the navies in the field of mine information databases is also continuing. Both, Estonia and Romania are sharing the training- and educational capabilities for the training of officers and non-commissioned officers.

Culture

Cultural relations between Estonia and Romania have been relatively modest in the last few years.

  • On 10-11 September 2007, Tallinn hosted Romanian cultural days.
  • On 10 June 2008, Estonian film “Autumn Ball” (in Estonian: Sügisball) received an award for Mart Taniel's camerawork at the Transylvania film festival in Romania.
  • On 20 October 2008, the first Estonian-Romanian Dictionary was published, which was compiled by Veronika and Regina Palandi. On 11 May 2010, this dictionary was presented in the European Parliament as a sign of two nations integrating in the European Union (at the initiative of European Parliament members Norica Nicolai, Kristiina Ojuland and Adina Ioana Valean).
  • In March of 2011, Marianna Kaat successfully participated in the documentary film festival titled One World Romania with her film “Pit No. 8”.
  • Since 2010, Romania has participated in the world clean-up events as part of the "Let's do it, World!" movement. ("Let's Do It, Romania!")
  • In 2013, Estonian conductor Paavi Järvi conducted the George Enescu music festival in Paris.
  • In 2015, the Romanian television channel TVR2 aired several series introducing Estonia as part of the "Cap Compass" program series.
  • In September 2018, Andra Teede and Imre Siil presented their work at the culture festival dedicated to the capitals of 100-years-old countries. In addition, several Estonian films (in Estonian: Hullumeelsus, Viimne reliikvia, etc.) were presented in the cinemas of Bucharest.
  • In September 2018, cellist Marcel Kits won the first prize at the Cellist Section of the young musicians contest titled George Enescu International Competition 2018 hosted in honour of George Enescu.

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