Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania

The Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (German: Das Demokratische Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien or Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien, DFDR; Romanian: Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România, FDGR; in short Forumul German or Das Forum) is a political party (legally recognized as an association of public utility according to the governmental decision HG 599 as per 4 June 2008) organised on ethnic criteria representing the interests of the German minority in Romania.[4][5][6]

Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
Romanian: Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România
German: Das Demokratische Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien/Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien
PresidentPaul-Jürgen Porr
Leader in the Chamber of DeputiesOvidiu Victor Ganț
Managing director[a]Benjamin Józsa
Founded28 December 1989 (28 December 1989) in Sighișoara/Schäßburg[1]
HeadquartersSibiu, Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania
Membershipc. 40,000 (2004)
c. 20,000[b][2]
IdeologyGerman minority interest
Christian democracy
Conservative liberalism
National affiliationNational Minorities Parliamentary Group
International affiliationFederal Union of European Nationalities[3]
European Parliament groupEPP-ED (January–November, 2007)
Colours  Red-burgundy
0 / 136
Chamber of Deputies
1 / 330
European Parliament
0 / 33
5 / 3,176
County Councillors
5 / 1,340
Local Council Councillors
68 / 39,900

Initially, the FDGR/DFDR was a cultural association representing the culture of the German community in Romania, but it subsequently became a moderately successful local political party (especially amongst Romanian voters as well), most notably in parts of Transylvania (central Romania) and Banat (south-western Romania). Consequently, the counties where the FDGR/DFDR obtained the highest political scores in many local elections after 1989 are Sibiu (German: Kreis Hermannstadt) and Timiș (German: Kreis Temesch) respectively.

History (1989–present) edit

The forum was founded at the end of 1989, in the wake of the Romanian Revolution which culminated with the downfall of Nicolae Ceaușescu's dictatorship.[7]: 303  Despite originally being a German minority party (and, initially, a cultural organization), it gradually grew quite popular amongst many ethnic Romanians, especially in parts of Transylvania and Banat, including, most notably, the major town of Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt), where the party still holds a majority in the local town council (12 out of 23 seats), as well as in the County of Sibiu.[8] Aside from its significant presence in Transylvania and Banat, the FDGR/DFDR is also active in Bukovina (i.e. Suceava County), yet without any elected representatives in the local politics, acting instead in the manner of a cultural foundation which periodically organizes a wide range of educational and cultural events.

In terms of reputation, the party is regarded as independent, whilst its politicians, including former Sibiu mayor, former party leader, and current President of Romania, Klaus Johannis, have earned respect as thorough administrators.[9] The FDGR/DFDR has often cooperated with the National Liberals (PNL), to which Iohannis became a member and one of its prime leaders (as vice-president) starting from February 2013. Additionally, the FDGR/DFDR also has a youth wing known as the German Youth Federation in Romania (German: Jugendforum), currently headed by Adelheid Simon.[10]

At local administration level, most notably in Timișoara (German: Temeswar or Temeschburg) or Baia Mare (German: Frauenbach or Neustadt), the FDGR/DFDR has also co-operated with another Romanian centre-right historical party, namely the PNȚCD.[11] For the 2020 Romanian local elections however, the FDGR/DFDR supported Dominic Fritz (the candidate of the USR PLUS, now USR) for the seat of mayor of Timișoara which the latter also won in the first round with 53.24% over former national liberal (PNL) mayor Nicolae Robu.

In recent years, the main headquarters of FDGR/DFDR in Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt) organised several foreign receptions of high ranking German officials, among which most notably there were former Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) leader and former chancellor Angela Merkel and president Joachim Gauck.[12][13]

Overview and organization edit

The Schuller house, the seat of the FDGR/DFDR in Mediaș (German: Mediasch, Transylvanian Saxon: Medwesch), Sibiu County.
The Lutsch House, the seat of the FDGR/DFDR in Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt, Transylvanian Saxon: Härmeschtat).[14]
The local headquarters of FDGR/DFDR in Suceava (German: Suczawa), Bukovina in August 2020.

The history of the German minority in Romania, and mostly, their presence in the historical region of Transylvania, spans approximately a millennium back in time. Nevertheless, under the blanket term "Romanian Germans" (German: Rumäniendeutsche) a wide variety of different regional German-speaking groups are included (some which are native to other regions of Romania) as follows:

Since 2000, the FDGR/DFDR has won offices on both local and regional levels. In Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt), the FDGR/DFDR's Klaus Johannis has held the office of mayor from 2000 to 2014. In 2004, the forum gained 60.43% of votes in local elections for the Municipal Council. In addition, the FDGR/DFDR held 12 out of 23 seats in the Sibiu Municipal Council, forming an absolute majority alongside the PNL.

Following the 2016 local elections in Sibiu County (which has a population of about 450,000 residents), the FDGR/DFDR won 8 out of 33 seats in the County Council, where it is the third strongest political faction, after the National Liberals (PNL) and Social Democrats (PSD).

The FDGR/DFDR has also had mayors in office since 2004 in the cities of Mediaș (German: Mediasch) and Cisnădie (German: Heltau), as well as in a few villages in Satu Mare (German: Sathmar) county. The FDGR/DFDR is an associated member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities and was formerly affiliated with the European People's Party (German: Europäische Volkspartei).

Additionally, at local political level, the FDGR/DFDR is organized in five distinct branches as follows: FDGR Banat (German: DFDR Banat), FDGR Bucovina (German: DFDR Buchenland), FDGR Transilvania (German: DFDR Siebenbürgen), FDGR Transilvania de Nord (German: DFDR Nordsiebenbürgen), and FDGR Regiunea Extra-carpatică (German: DFDR Altreich).[15][16]

Controversies edit

Both during and after the 2014 presidential campaign of former FDGR/DFDR president Klaus Johannis, who subsequently became president of the National Liberal Party (PNL) during the autumn of the same year, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) accused the forum of being the legal continuator of the German Ethnic Group (Romanian: Grupul Etnic German din România) concerning alleged dubious retrocessions of several buildings from Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt) by Johannis during his terms as mayor to the forum itself.[17] While the German Ethnic group was indeed a fascist organisation during World War II which represented the German minority in Romania between 1940 and 1944, the FDGR/DFDR is a distinct platform which has nothing to do with the latter, formed after 1989 anti-communist revolution and consequently not inheriting anything from it.[18]

Presidents edit

Paul Philippi, former FDGR/DFDR president between 1992 and 1998.

Chronology of FDGR/DFDR deputies edit

Localities with FDGR/DFDR mayors edit

2016 Romanian local elections edit

FDGR/DFDR headquarters in Orăștie (German: Broos) situated in Hunedoara County.
FDGR/DFDR electoral poster in Brașov (German: Kronstadt, Transylvanian Saxon: Kruhnen)

After the 2016 Romanian local elections, the FDGR/DFDR candidates won the following localities (most of them belonging to Satu Mare County):[23][24]

Furthermore, the FDGR/DFDR also held 91 local councillor seats in 32 communes.[25]

2020 Romanian local elections edit

After the 2020 Romanian local elections, the FDGR/DFDR candidates won the following localities (most of them belonging to Satu Mare County):

In addition, the party now holds 68 local council seats (39 in Satu Mare, 13 in Sibiu, 10 in Brașov, 4 in Timiș, 1 in Maramureș, and 1 in Arad) as well as 5 county council seats in Sibiu County.

Notable FDGR/DFDR politicians edit

Electoral performance edit

Local elections edit

National results for the County Councils (CJ)[28]
Year National Sibiu Brașov Timiș Arad Caraș-Severin
Votes % Seats
1996 18,568 0.21
4 / 1,642
1 / 39
0 / 41
1 / 45
1 / 39
1 / 39
2000 21,882 0.26
4 / 1,718
4 / 39
0 / 41
0 / 45
0 / 39
0 / 39
2004 76,843 0.84
11 / 1,436
11 / 33
0 / 35
0 / 37
0 / 33
0 / 31
2008 46,872 0.56
9 / 1,393
9 / 32
0 / 34
0 / 36
0 / 32
0 / 30
2012 62,528 0.64
11 / 1,393
9 / 32
2 / 34
0 / 36
0 / 32
0 / 30
2016 42,652 0.51
10 / 1,436
8 / 33
2 / 35
0 / 37
0 / 33
0 / 31
2020 24,333 0.34
5 / 1,340
5 / 32
0 / 34
0 / 36
0 / 32
0 / 30

Legislative elections edit

Election Chamber Senate
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
1990 38,768 0.28
1 / 396
19,105 0.14
0 / 119
1992 34,685 0.32
1 / 341
588 0.00
0 / 143
1996 23,888 0.20
1 / 343
2000 40,844 0.31
1 / 345
2004 36,166 0.35
1 / 332
2008 23,190 0.30
1 / 334
2012 39,175 0.53
1 / 412
2016 12,375 0.18
1 / 329
2020 7,582 0.13
1 / 330

See also edit

Further reading edit

  • 2014 – Step by step (Romanian: Pas cu pas, German: Schritt für Schritt, ISBN 978-606-588-756-5), autobiographical volume by Klaus Johannis and bestseller in the history of Gaudeamus International Book and Education Fair, detailing his political career as mayor of his native Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt).[29][30]
  • 2015 – First step (Romanian: Primul pas, German: Erster Schritt, ISBN 978-606-588-831-9), a continuation of the volume "Step by step" by Klaus Johannis which was published in 2014. The volume describes his future plans as president.[31]
  • 2019 – EU.RO – un dialog deschis despre Europa (English: EU.RO – an open dialog on Europe, German: Ein offener Dialog über Europa), an introductory and statistical volume on the European Union (EU)[32]

Notes edit

  1. ^ (German: Geschäftsführer)
  2. ^ A more recent figure
  3. ^ Can be somewhat considered as part of the Transylvanian Saxon community, at least in religious terms, being also Evangelical Lutheran.
  4. ^ Native to both Maramureș and Bucovina, a sub-group of the Carpathian Germans (German: Karpatendeutsche or Mantaken)
  5. ^ Renowned Transylvanian Saxon academic/professor doctor, archaeologist, and historian
  6. ^ Also subsequently served as Honorary president of the FDGR/DFDR
  1. ^ The term Regat refers to the territorial extent of the Old Romanian Kingdom and, respectively, of the Kingdom of Romania before World War I.

References edit

  1. ^ "Aniversarea de 50 de ani a emisiunii Akzente (@TVR1)". Akzente, the public TV show of the German minority in Romania on TVR (in Romanian and German). 17 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania". The official website of Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN). Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  3. ^ Liste der Mitgliedsorganisationen, FUEN - Federal Union of European Nationalities
  4. ^ Markus Nowak. "Minderheit mit Brückenfunktion". Deutsches Kulturforum östliches Europa (in German). Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Statul - FDGR". Forumul German Sibiu (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Romania, Historical Development". European Commission (official website) (in Romanian). 1 December 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  7. ^ Ciobanu, Vasile (2012). "Germani". In Gidó Attila (ed.). Cronologia minorităţilor naţionale din România. Vol. I Albanezi, armeni, bulgari, croaţi, eleni, evrei şi germani (in Romanian). Cluj-Napoca: Editura Institutului pentru Studierea Problemelor Minorităţilor Naţionale. pp. 303–364. ISBN 9786068377087.
  8. ^ Victor Spinei (2019). "Migrații, politici de stat și identități culturale în spațiul românesc și european" (PDF). Volumul II: Germanii din România
    Migrație și patrimoniu cultural după 1945, edited by Mathias Beer, Sorin Radu, Florian Kührer-Wielach
    (in Romanian). Editura Academiei Române. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  9. ^ Andreea Zamfira (2009). "Les minorités nationales allemandes et hongroises dans le mental collectif des Roumains: une incursion dans l'imaginaire pour mieux comprendre la société et le politique". Rusca (in French). Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Federația Tineretului German din România (FTGR)". 7 June 2020. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Forumul German Sibiu - Despre noi". Forumul German Sibiu (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Alocuţiunea Preşedintelui Federal Joachim Gauck la Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România, cu prilejul vizitei de stat în România". Bundespräsidialamt (in Romanian). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  13. ^ Diana Zaim (9 May 2020). "Angela Merkel în cadrul Forumului Democrat al Germanilor din România: Sibiul are acum un rol important de a arăta că România este o democraţie". Calea Europeană (in Romanian). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Casa Lutsch". Forumul German Sibiu (in Romanian). Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  15. ^ "FDGR-Regiunea Extracarpatică". Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Struktur des DFDR". (in German). Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Revolta la Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din Romania, dupa ce senatorul PSD Liviu Pop, supranumit si 'ministrul genunche', a spus ca FDGR e continuator al nazistilor". Opinia Timișoarei (in Romanian). 24 August 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  18. ^ "FDGR răspunde PSD: "Nu a intrat în patrimoniul nostru nici o şcoală şi nici o grădiniţă retrocedată"". Turnu Sfatului (in Romanian). 1 October 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  19. ^ Doctorul Paul Jürgen Porr, succesorul lui Klaus Iohannis la conducerea Forumului Democrat al Germanilor din România, 5 March 2013, Gândul
  20. ^ Medicul Paul Porr este noul președinte al FDGR, 10 July 2013, Mediafax
  21. ^ Aleşii Votează: Pagina deputatului: Ganț Ovidiu Victor Archived October 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ ADZ: Ovidiu Ganţ resümiert zehn Jahre Politik - Der Abgeordnete stellt in Bukarest sein Buch vor, 22 September 2011
  23. ^ Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România. "Rezultatele FDGR în alegerile locale din 2016". FDGR/DFDR website (in Romanian). Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  24. ^ FDGR Sathmar. "Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen im Kreis Sathmar". (in German). Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  25. ^ "Lista competitorilor care au obținut mandate". (in Romanian). Archived from the original (XLSX) on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  26. ^ Astrid Fodor aleasă cu 57,13%, 6 June 2016, Ora de Sibiu.
  27. ^ Forumul regional Bucovina Archived 2020-06-07 at the Wayback Machine, 7 June 2020,
  28. ^ Romanian Permanent Electoral Authority Board. "Autoritatea Electorală Permanentă". (in Romanian). Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  29. ^ Anca Simionescu (24 November 2014). "Cartea lui Klaus Iohannis, bestseller absolut în istoria Gaudeamus". Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian).
  30. ^ Klaus Iohannis. "Pas cu pas". (in Romanian). Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  31. ^ Filimon, Paul (6 April 2015). ""Primul pas", a doua carte scrisă de preşedintele Iohannis. Când se lansează". România Liberă (in Romanian).
  32. ^ "EU.RO. Un dialog deschis despre Europa de Klaus Iohannis". Cartepedia (in Romanian). 19 October 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2020.

External links edit