Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania

The Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (German: 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) organised on ethnic criterion representing the interests of the German minority in Romania.[2][3][4]

Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România
Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen in Rumänien
PresidentPaul-Jürgen Porr
Leader in the Chamber of DeputiesOvidiu Victor Ganț
Founded1989 (1989)
HeadquartersSibiu, Sibiu County, Romania
Membershipc. 40,000 (2004)
IdeologyGerman minority interest
International affiliationFederal Union of European Nationalities[1]
European Parliament groupEPP-ED (January–November, 2007)
Colours  Red-burgundy
Senate
0 / 136
Chamber of Deputies
1 / 330
European Parliament
0 / 33
Mayors
5 / 3,176
County Councillors
5 / 1,340
Local Council Councillors
68 / 39,900
Website
www.fdgr.ro

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.[5] Despite originally being a German minority party, it gradually grew quite popular amongst many ethnic Romanians, especially in parts of Transylvania and Banat, including, most notably, the major city of Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt), where the party still holds a majority in the local city council (12 out of 23 seats), as well as in the County of Sibiu. 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 Iohannis, have earned respect as thorough administrators.[6] 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.[7]

At local administration level, most notably in Timișoara (German: 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.[8] For the 2020 Romanian local elections however, the FDGR/DFDR supported Dominic Fritz (the candidate of the USR PLUS) for the seat of mayor of Timișoara which the latter also won in the first round with 53.24% over former national liberal 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 CDU leader and former chancellor Angela Merkel or president Joachim Gauck.[9][10]

Overview and organizationEdit

 
The Schuller house, the seat of the FDGR/DFDR in Mediaș (German: Mediasch), Sibiu County.
 
The Lutsch House, the seat of the FDGR/DFDR in Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt).[11]
 
The local headquarters of FDGR/DFDR in Suceava (German: Suczawa), Bukovina in August 2020.

The history of the German minority in Romania, and more specifically, their presence in the historical region of Transylvania, spans approximately a millennium. Under the blanket term "Romanian Germans" (German: Rumäniendeutsche) a wide variety of different regional German-speaking groups are included 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 Mediaş (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).[12][13]

ControversiesEdit

Both during and after the 2014 presidential campaign of former FDGR/DFDR president Klaus Iohannis, 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 Iohannis during his terms as mayor to the forum itself.[14] 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 is a distinct platform which has nothing to do with the latter, consequently not inheriting anything from it.[15]

PresidentsEdit

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

Chronology of FDGR/DFDR deputiesEdit

Localities with FDGR/DFDR mayorsEdit

2016 Romanian local electionsEdit

 
FDGR/DFDR headquarters in Orăștie (German: Broos)
 
FDGR/DFDR electoral poster in Brașov (German: Kronstadt)

After the 2016 Romanian local elections, the FDGR/DFDR candidates won the following localities (most of them belonging to Satu Mare County):[20][21]

Furthermore, the FDGR/DFDR also held 91 local councillor seats in 32 communes.[22]

2020 Romanian local electionsEdit

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 politiciansEdit

Electoral performanceEdit

Election Chamber Senate
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
1990 38,768 0.28 1 19,105 0.14 0
1992 34,685 0.32 1 588 0.00 0
1996 23,888 0.20 1
2000 40,844 0.31 1
2004 36,166 0.35 1
2008 23,190 0.30 1
2012 39,175 0.53 1
2016 12,375 0.18 1
2020 7,582 0.13 1
2024 TBD TBD TBD

See alsoEdit

  • Romanian ethnic minority parties
  • Step by step (Romanian: Pas cu pas, German: Schritt für Schritt, ISBN 978-6065887565), autobiographical volume by Klaus Iohannis and bestseller in the history of Gaudeamus International Book and Education Fair[25][26]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The term Regat refers to the territorial extent of the Romanian kingdom before World War I.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Liste der Mitgliedsorganisationen, FUEN - Federal Union of European Nationalities
  2. ^ Markus Nowak. "Minderheit mit Brückenfunktion". Deutsches Kulturforum östliches Europa (in German). Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Statul - FDGR". Forumul German Sibiu (in Romanian). Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Romania, Historical Development". European Commission (official website) (in Romanian). 1 December 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  5. ^ Gidó Attila (2012). Cronologia minorităţilor naţionale din România. Vol. I Albanezi, armeni, bulgari, croaţi, eleni, evrei şi germani. Editura Institutului pentru Studierea Problemelor Minorităţilor Naţionale (in Romanian). Cluj-Napoca. p. 303. ISBN 9786068377087.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Federația Tineretului German din România (FTGR), 7 June 2020, FDGR.ro.
  8. ^ "Forumul German Sibiu - Despre noi". Forumul German Sibiu (in Romanian). Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Casa Lutsch". Forumul German Sibiu (in Romanian). Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  12. ^ "FDGR-Regiunea Extracarpatică". Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Struktur des DFDR". FDGR.ro (in German). Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Doctorul Paul Jürgen Porr, succesorul lui Klaus Iohannis la conducerea Forumului Democrat al Germanilor din România, 5 March 2013, Gândul
  17. ^ Medicul Paul Porr este noul președinte al FDGR, 10 July 2013, Mediafax
  18. ^ Aleşii Votează: Pagina deputatului: Ganț Ovidiu Victor Archived October 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ ADZ: Ovidiu Ganţ resümiert zehn Jahre Politik - Der Abgeordnete stellt in Bukarest sein Buch vor, 22 September 2011
  20. ^ Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România. "Rezultatele FDGR în alegerile locale din 2016". FDGR/DFDR website (in Romanian). Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  21. ^ FDGR Sathmar. "Demokratisches Forum der Deutschen im Kreis Sathmar". www.schwabe.ro (in German). Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  22. ^ "Lista competitorilor care au obținut mandate". 2016bec.ro (in Romanian). Archived from the original (XLSX) on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  23. ^ Astrid Fodor aleasă cu 57,13%, 6 June 2016, Ora de Sibiu.
  24. ^ Forumul regional Bucovina, 7 June 2020, FDGR.ro.
  25. ^ Anca Simionescu (24 November 2014). "Cartea lui Klaus Iohannis, bestseller absolut în istoria Gaudeamus". Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian).
  26. ^ Klaus Iohannis. "Pas cu pas". www.academia.edu (in Romanian). Retrieved 11 July 2020.

External linksEdit