France and Romania


Political relations

France traditionally enjoys a significant goodwill in Romania, which has its origins in Napoleon III’s support for the creation of the Romanian State, and later a lasting brotherhood of arms forged during the First World War. Ties were maintained during the Communist period, with General de Gaulle visiting Romania in May 1968. Bilateral political dialogue has developed significantly since 1989 when France supported Bucharest’s dual candidacy to the European Union and NATO, and culminated in February 2008 with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with a roadmap that was updated in 2013 and 2016 and, most recently, on 26 October 2020.

French presence

Consular section of the Embassy in Bucharest; consular agencies in Brașov, Cluj-Napoca, Constanța, Iași and Timișoara
French community (April 2021): 3639 French nationals registered


One of President Macron’s first bilateral visits as President was to Bucharest, on 24 August 2017. He received his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, in Paris on 27 November 2018 to launch the 2019 France-Romania Season. On 14 and 15 June 2022, President Macron again visited Romania to meet French troops deployed under the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence and to meet with President Iohannis. Iohannis was again received in Paris on 11 November 2022 on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum.

The Romanian Prime Minister, Ludovic Orban, made an official visit to Paris on 26 and 27 October 2020. During his visit, he met the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the National Assembly and Senate.

There is regular contact at ministerial level. The Minister of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, visited Bucharest on 14 and 15 September 2021, as did the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, on 25 and 26 November that year. Meetings also take place on the sidelines of European events, including during the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2022. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, visited Bucharest on 15 July 2022 to co-chair the Moldova Support Platform ministerial conference.
Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited Romania on 27 January 2023. The Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, visited Bucharest on 3 and 4 July 2023 to take place in an international economic forum.

More information:


French Ambassador in Bucharest: Nicolas Warnery (since September 2023)
Romanian Ambassador in Paris: Ioana Bivolaru (since September 2023)

Economic relations

France has significant economic interests in Romania and is a major economic partner for the country as its third-largest customer and sixth-largest supplier. With a foreign direct investment stock of €8.3 billion and 9.4% of holdings, France is the third-largest foreign investor behind Germany (14.9%) and Austria (11.4%), but ahead of Italy (8.5%), the United States (6.6%) and the Netherlands (6.2%).

Our companies have typically been present more than 20 years and are part of the country’s economic fabric. The Romanian economy has more than 4,000 companies under majority French ownership, directly employing more than 125,000 people and producing turnover of €16.4 billion, or 7.5% of GDP. Almost all CAC 40 companies (37 out of 40) are present in Romania.

Our economic relationship is also centred on high-value added industrial cooperation, particularly in the automobile sector (Renault-Dacia represents 8% of Romania’s exports and employs more than 18,000 people), aeronautics (Airbus Helicopters site in the Brașov aeronautical cluster), energy (Engie Romania is the country’s leading gas distributor and supplier) and telecommunications (Orange is the leader on the Romanian mobile telephony market, with more than 10.9 million customers). France is also a leader in retail, with Carrefour, Auchan, Leroy Merlin and Cora, while the industrial companies Saint-Gobain, Michelin and Air Liquide have several production sites.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France and Romania have long-standing cultural ties. The use of French developed among Romanian elites from the 18th century, and France has since welcomed numerous Romanian intellectuals and artists, particularly in the 20th century including Cioran, Brâncuși, Eliade, Ionesco, Anna de Noailles, Enescu and Cosma.

Romania, where a significant share of the population speak French, has been a member of the International Organisation of La Francophonie since 1993. The teaching of French, the second most-taught language after English, is supported by a network of 23 bilingual secondary schools (18 of which hold the FrancEducation label, with planned extension to 30), in addition to the Lycée Anna de Noailles French school in Bucharest (inaugurated in 2013; some 1,150 pupils), a French international school, 115 university courses in French (106 in 2018) including 58 bachelor’s degrees, 45 master’s degrees and 8 doctoral programmes, and a Franco-Romanian law college with 300 students each year.
France hosts some 4,300 Romanian students (third-largest destination country), while some 2,000 French students study in Romania (excluding Erasmus+ exchanges), some 90% of which in healthcare courses (mostly in the medical schools in Cluj-Napoca and Iaşi). They represent the third-largest contingents of foreign students (7.5%), behind Moldovans (29.7%) and Israelis (9%).

Cultural cooperation is a field where French excellence is highly visible. Success in this area was showcased by the 2019 France-Romania Season. The main focuses of our cultural cooperation and relations are promotion of the French languages (three quarters of pupils learn French as first or second foreign language), student mobility, and promotion of our culture through the cultural and creative industries, with a focus on books, cinema, music, design and video games. There is also cooperation on governance and the rule of law.
France is Romania’s leading European scientific partner. The “Brâncuși” Hubert Curien partnership (PHC) finances some twenty joint research projects every year.

Other cooperation

France undertakes cooperation on governance in fields including administrative reform (several partnerships between the French National Institute of Public Service – INSP – and Romanian training institutes), anti-corruption, justice (digitization, access to law), social policy (children’s rights), healthcare, education (vocational training), urban planning and rural development. Activities in this framework draw on strong decentralized cooperation. With more than 211 cooperation partnerships, including 85 decentralized cooperation projects, 126 twinning programmes and 4 partnerships in other external action programmes, Romania is a key partner for France’s local government bodies.

Updated: October 2023