Klaus Iohannis’ Presidential Term: Between High Hopes and Disillusionment

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Ovidiu OlteanFaculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj

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The 2014 presidential elections in Romania and the victory of the former mayor of Sibiu, Klaus Iohannis, nurtured many expectations and high hopes. His election marks a rupture with the old political elite and was expected to bring a more western and balanced approach in the head institution of the state. But after almost a year and a half from the start of his presidential term his performance looks rather ambiguous and inconsistent. The president’s selective use of presidential power and his discrete communication style have often put him in a hesitant and defensive position. In this context it is highly unlikely that Klaus Iohannis will pursue important changes and improvements during his term in the domain of minority politics, or extend ethnic minorities collective rights and provisions. Even though Klaus Iohannis belongs to Romania’s ethnic German minority, his presidential agenda makes few references to the empowerment of ethnic minorities. His ‘small steps’ approach might bring surprising results, but so far the first one year and a half of the presidential term has been marked by a rather unconvincing performance.

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