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Klaus Iohannis

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Klaus Iohannis

Klaus Iohannis
5th President of Romania
Assumed office
21 December 2014
(1 year, 5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days)
Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Gabriel Oprea (Acting)
Victor Ponta
Preceded by Traian Băsescu
Mayor of Sibiu
In office
30 June 2000 – 2 December 2014
Preceded by Dan Condurat
Succeeded by Astrid Fodor (Acting)
Leader of the National Liberal Party
In office
28 June 2014 – 18 December 2014
Preceded by Crin Antonescu
Succeeded by Alina Gorghiu
Vasile Blaga
Leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
In office
Preceded by Wolfgang Wittstock
Succeeded by Paul-Jürgen Porr
Personal details
Born Klaus Werner Johannis
(1959-06-13) 13 June 1959
Sibiu, Romania
Political party Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (1990–2013)
National Liberal Party (2013–2014)
Independent (2014–present)[1]
Spouse(s) Carmen Lăzurcă (1989–present)
Alma mater Babeș-Bolyai University
Religion Lutheranism
Website Official website

Klaus Werner Iohannis (Romanian: , German: ; also spelled Johannis; born 13 June 1959) is the current President of Romania. He became leader of the National Liberal Party in 2014, after having served as leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania from 2002 to 2013. Iohannis was a physics teacher and a school inspector before entering full-time politics.

Iohannis was first elected mayor of the city of Sibiu in 2000, representing the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. Although the German population of the once predominantly German-speaking city of Sibiu has declined to a tiny minority, Iohannis won a surprise victory and was re-elected by landslides in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Iohannis is credited with turning his city into one of Romania's most popular tourist destinations, and the city was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2007. In February 2013, Iohannis became a member of the National Liberal Party, accepting an invitation from Liberal leader Crin Antonescu, and was immediately elected the party's First Vice President, becoming the party's President the following year.

In October 2009, four of the five political groups in the Parliament, excluding the Democrat Liberal Party of then-President Traian Băsescu, proposed him as a candidate for the office of Prime Minister of Romania; however, Băsescu refused to nominate him despite the Parliament's adoption of a declaration supporting his candidacy.[2] He was again the candidate for Prime Minister of the National Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party in the elections in the same year.[3]

Iohannis is the first Romanian president to come from an ethnic minority.[4] He is a Transylvanian Saxon, part of Romania's German minority which settled in Transylvania in the 12th century. Thus, he is the fourth president of German origin from Eastern Europe in the post-communist period, after Rudolf Schuster (Slovakia) and Ferenc Mádl and Pál Schmitt (Hungary).[5]


  • Personal and professional life 1
  • Anonymous 2
    • Mayoibiu 2.1
    • Candidacy for the Prime Minister of Romania 2.2
    • In the National Liberal Party 2.3
    • Candidacy for the President of Romania 2.4
    • President of Romania 2.5
    • International trips as President 2.6
  • Honours 3
  • Books 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Personal and professional life

Born in a house in the historic centre of Sibiu to a Transylvanian Saxon family, Klaus Iohannis is the eldest child of Susanne and Gustav Heinz Johannis. He has a younger sister, Krista Johannis (born 1963).[6] His father worked as a technician at an enterprise, while his mother was a nurse.[7] Both his parents as well as his sister emigrated from their native Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt) to Würzburg in Germany in 1992, acquiring citizenship there under the right of return granted by German nationality law,[8][9] as most other Transylvanian Saxons after the fall of the Iron Curtain. However, he chose to live and work in Romania.[10] As of 2014, his parents, sister and a niece live in Würzburg.[11] Iohannis has stated that his family settled in Transylvania in present-day Romania 850 years ago.[12] After graduating from the Faculty of Physics of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca in 1983, Iohannis worked as a high school physics teacher at various schools and colleges in Sibiu, including, from 1989 to 1997, the Samuel von Brukenthal Gymnasium in Sibiu, the oldest German-speaking school in Romania. From 1997 to 1999, he was Deputy General School Inspector of Sibiu County, and from 1999 until his election as mayor in 2000, he was the General School Inspector, head of public schools in the county.

Iohannis is fluent in

Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Condurat
Mayor of Sibiu
Succeeded by
Astrid Fodor
Preceded by
Traian Băsescu
President of Romania
Party political offices
Preceded by
Wolfgang Wittstock
Leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
Succeeded by
Paul-Jürgen Porr
Preceded by
Ludovic Orban
Deputy Leader of the National Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Crin Antonescu
Leader of the National Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Alina Gorghiu
  • Official website
  • Klaus Iohannis Facebook official Page

External links

  1. ^ Andi Manciu (18 December 2014). "Iohannis: Mi-am anunțat demisia din PNL. Mulțumesc pentru că am avut onoarea să fiu președintele PNL". (in Romanian). 
  2. ^ "Romanian opposition demands new PM".  
  3. ^ "National minorities in Romania’s Parliament support Mircea Geoana’s candidacy for runoff presidential election - FINANCIARUL - ultimele stiri din Finante, Banci, Economie, Imobiliare si IT". November 30, 2009. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ Valentina Pop (17 November 2014). "Romanians elect first ethnic German president". EUobserver. 
  5. ^ MacShane, Denis (18 November 2014). "Romania: The German Factor and a Continental Pattern". The Globalist. 
  6. ^ Ramona Găină (September 24, 2014). "Klaus Iohannis. Secretele neamțului care vrea să fie președintele României" [EXCLUSIVE Klaus Johannis. Secrets German who wants to be president of Romania]. Adevărul (in Română). Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Raluca Pantazi (18 November 2014). "Klaus Iohannis - un portret inedit. De la CV, la cât poartă la pantofi". (in Romanian). 
  8. ^ Die Lokomotive von Hermannstadt, interview with Gustav Heinz Johannis, in: Monatsgruß (monthly magazine of the Evangelical-Lutheran dean of Würzburg), October 2007, p. 5.
  9. ^ a b Kulish, Nicholas (December 5, 2009). "Grim Romanians Brighten Over a German Connection".  
  10. ^ "Klaus Iohannis explică DE CE NU a emigrat în Germania" (in Română). November 19, 2014. Archived from the original on December 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Rumänische Präsidentschaftswahl: Freude bei den Eltern des Siegers in Würzburg - Unterfranken - Nachrichten". Bayerischer Rundfunk. November 17, 2014. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Rădăcinile străine ale candidaţilor la Preşedinţie" [Foreign roots of presidential candidates]. Adevărul (in Română). August 6, 2014. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Romanian presidential candidate Klaus Iohannis - a pragmatic go-getter".  
  14. ^ "Klaus Iohannis". Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Carmen Johannis, sfetnicul din umbra". (in Română). October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Klaus Johannis spune că a votat pentru normalitate". REALITATEA.NET. November 24, 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Rumniens President: Klaus Johannis gewinnt Wahl, Ponta gratuliert" [Romanian President Klaus Johannis wins election, Ponta congratulates] (in Deutsch). Hamburg, Germany: Siegel Online. November 17, 2014. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Romanian prez proposes unity govt".  
  19. ^ (Romanian) Sibiu City Council composition at Sibiu's Local Administration's webpage. Retrieved October 16, 2009
  20. ^ "Sibiu – Hermannstadt: European Capital of Culture 2007". Archived from the original on October 8, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  21. ^ """Klaus Johannis, nominalizat la secțiunea "Personalitatea anului pentru o Românie europeană. Amos News (in Romanian). 7 November 2005. 
  22. ^ "Democratic Liberals submit their own nomination for prime minister. Other parties keep supporting their own nomination". Hot News. October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  23. ^ Mircea Geoană; Crin Antonescu; Bela Marko; Varujan Pambuccian; Daniela Popa (October 14, 2009). "Open letter to Traian Băsescu" (PDF) (in Română). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Băsescu spune ca n-are nimic cu Iohannis dar România are nevoie de un premier cu experiență în economie" [Băsescu Says He Has Nothing against Iohannis but that Romania Needs a Prime Minister with Economic Experience] (in Română). Ziarul Financiar. October 14, 2009. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  25. ^ "PNL, PSD si UDMR l-au "desemnat" pe Johannis premier, desi neamtul nu e pe gustul lui Basescu" (in Română). Ziarul Financiar. October 15, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2009. 
  26. ^ a b "Romanian President names prime minister designate, opposition seething". The Sofia Echo. October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  27. ^ "Geoana-Basescu cam put an end on Wednesday to political crisis". October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Johannis ready to head national union gov’t". October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Geoană și Antonescu își dispută "agentul electoral" Johannis".  
  30. ^ "UDMR nu participa la intalnirea de duminica seara cu Klaus Johannis". Hot News. October 18, 2009. Archived from the original on October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Johannis, "validat premier" în parlament". Evenimentul Zilei. October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Parlamentarii au adoptat declarația de susținere a lui Klaus Iohannis la funcția de premier".  
  33. ^ "Portalul national de Administratie Publica" (in Română). Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  34. ^ """Tăriceanu: "Îl văd pe Iohannis fie premier, fie preşedinte (in Română). Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  35. ^ Irina Popescu (August 11, 2014). "Romania's Christian Liberal Alliance chooses its presidential candidate". Romania-Insider. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Klaus Iohannis wins Romanian presidential election".  
  37. ^ "A commonsense victory: A surprise winner may mark a welcome shift to pragmatic policies".  
  38. ^ "Klaus Iohannis, despre unirea României cu Republica Moldova și relațiile cu Rusia". Digi24 (in Romanian). 7 November 2014. 
  39. ^ "Iohannis, despre Republica Moldova: Unirea este ceva ce doar Bucureştiul poate oferi şi doar Chişinăul poate accepta". Radio France Internationale (in Romanian). 7 October 2014. 
  40. ^ Sorina Ionașc (18 November 2014). "Legea amnistiei şi graţierii a fost RESPINSĂ DEFINITIV". Gândul (in Romanian). 
  41. ^ Adelina Dragomir (18 November 2014). """Camera Deputaţilor A RESPINS proiectul legii amnistiei şi graţierii. Scutaru, către parlamentarii PSD: "A trebuit să pierdeţi alegerile prezidenţiale pentru a aduce proiectul pe ordinea de zi. (in Romanian). 
  42. ^ "Iohannis îi cere din nou demisia lui Ponta: Votul din Parlament, iresponsabilitate și sfidare". (in Romanian). 9 June 2015. 
  43. ^ Mihalache, Mădălina (21 June 2015). "Cum arată „România lucrului bine făcut“ după primele şase luni ale lui Klaus Iohannis la Cotroceni". Adevărul (in Romanian). 
  44. ^ "Klaus Iohannis anunta ca nu este de acord cu modificarea Codului Penal. DNA: O serie de inculpati ar fi achitati". Stirile Pro TV (in Romanian). 26 May 2015. 
  45. ^ Postelnicu, Valentina (13 January 2015). "Preşedintele şi partidele au semnat Acordul privind pragul minimal de 2% din PIB pentru Apărare. Iohannis: Astăzi arătăm militarilor români că îi respectăm şi că dorim să le îmbunătăţim condiţiile". Mediafax (in Romanian). 
  46. ^ "Consultari la Palatul Cotroceni. Klaus Iohannis a anuntat promulgarea a doua noi legi pana la jumatatea lunii mai". Stirile Pro TV (in Romanian). 20 April 2015. 
  47. ^ Mitu, Andra (8 June 2015). "Klaus Iohannis, consultări cu partidele politice pe tema Strategiei Naționale de Apărare". România Liberă (in Romanian). 
  48. ^ R., I. (10 February 2015). """Klaus Iohannis face o vizita oficiala in Franta: "Vom discuta despre relatiile romano-franceze, dar si despre combaterea terorismului si Ucraina. (in Romanian). 
  49. ^ Neagu, Alina (25 February 2015). "Klaus Iohannis s-a intalnit la Chisinau cu liderii partidelor proeuropene din Republica Moldova". (in Romanian). 
  50. ^ """Presedintele Romaniei s-a intalnit cu cancelarul german. Iohannis: "Contam pe Germania pentru Schengen"; Merkel: "Nu promit. Stirile Pro TV (in Romanian). 26 February 2015. 
  51. ^ "Klaus Iohannis, vizita oficiala in Polonia. Ce a discutat cu presedintele Komorowski despre Ucraina, NATO si R. Moldova". Stirile Pro TV (in Romanian). 12 March 2015. 
  52. ^ Vintilă, Carmen (17 May 2015). "FILMUL celor TREI ZILE petrecute de Klaus Iohannis în Italia. Ce a FĂCUT președintele la Milano și la Roma". Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). 
  53. ^ "Klaus Iohannis participa la Summitul Parteneriatului Estic de la Riga. Declaratia de pe Otopeni a presedintelui". Stirile Pro TV (in Romanian). 21 May 2015. 
  54. ^ "Klaus Iohannis face o vizită de două zile în Croaţia". Digi24 (in Romanian). 15 June 2015. 
  55. ^ "Klaus Iohannis, primit cu onoruri in Spania. Regele Felipe al VI-lea: Romaniei i se cuvine intrarea in Schengen". Stirile Pro TV (in Romanian). 13 July 2015. 
  56. ^ Font, Consuelo (13 July 2015). "Los Reyes almuerzan con Iohannis y su esposa Carmen, una pareja ideal". El Mundo (in Spanish). 
  57. ^ Klaus Johannis a fost decorat cu Ordinul Național Steaua României
  58. ^ a b c d "CV Klaus Iohannis" (PDF). Klaus Iohannis Președinte (in Română). 
  59. ^ a b c "Klaus Iohannis, ales președinte al PNL". Agerpres (in Română). June 28, 2014. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. 
  60. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in Deutsch). November 2012. p. 1922. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 22, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  61. ^ "Distincții primite" (in Română). Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  62. ^ Anca Simionescu (24 November 2014). "Cartea lui Klaus Iohannis, bestseller absolut în istoria Gaudeamus". Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). 
  63. ^ Filimon, Paul (6 April 2015). Primul pas", a doua carte scrisă de preşedintele Iohannis. Când se lansează""". România Liberă (in Romanian). 


  • 2014 – Step by step (Romanian: Pas cu pas, German: Schritt für Schritt), autobiographical volume and bestseller in the history of Gaudeamus International Book and Education Fair[62]
  • 2015 – First step (Romanian: Primul pas, German: Erster Schritt), a continuation of the volume "Step by step" of 2014[63]



Date Country City Reason
10 February 2015  France Paris Talks with President François Hollande on French–Romanian relations, combating terrorism and Ukraine[48]
25 February 2015  Moldova Chișinău Talks with pro-European parties on bilateral relations and the process of European integration of Moldova[49]
26 February 2015  Germany Berlin Talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the situation in Ukraine, investments, European projects and strengthening the rule of law[50]
12 March 2015  Poland Warsaw Talks with President Bronisław Komorowski on Ukraine, NATO and Moldova[51]
14–17 May 2015  Italy Milan, Rome Meeting with Romanian community in Milan and Pope Francis[52]
21 May 2015  Latvia Riga Eastern Partnership Summit[53]
15–16 June 2015  Croatia Zagreb Meeting with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and President of the Sabor Josip Leko[54]
12–13 July 2015  Spain Madrid Meeting with King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Romanian community representatives[55][56]

International trips as President

[47] law package and the national defense strategy.Big Brother but also on rejection of Justice requests for approval of arrest or prosecution of MPs. The topics of other meetings between the president and parties aimed the [46] The collaboration with socialist Prime Minister

A heavily disputed draft law proposed by Nicolae Paun ,leader of the Party of the Roma , regarding the amnesty of some misdemeanors and the pardoning of certain penalties was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies at the initiative of Klaus Iohannis and the party he led,[40] after PNL asked the Judiciary Committee 17 times to reject the draft law.[41]

Klaus Iohannis at the EPP Summit in Brussels, 19 March 2015

On 16 November 2014 Klaus Iohannis was elected the fifth President of Romania, winning against the Social-Democratic candidate Victor Ponta. Iohannis won the elections with 54.43% of the votes. He took office on 21 December, when Traian Băsescu's term ended. His presidential campaign focused on fighting corruption and on improving the justice system.[36] Iohannis is also a supporter of a strongly pro-Western foreign policy.[37] Regarding the unification of the Republic of Moldova with Romania, much discussed in the electoral campaign, Iohannis stated that "is something that only Bucharest can offer and only Chișinău can accept", and this "special relationship must be cultivated and enhanced especially by us [Romanian state]".[38][39]

Presidential styles of
Klaus Iohannis
Reference style Președintele (President)
Spoken style Președintele (President)
Alternative style Domnia Sa/Excelența Sa (His Excellency)

President of Romania

At the second round on 16 November he was elected President of Romania with 54.43% of the votes.

PNL and PDL started in the summer of 2014 procedures to strengthen the political right. The two parties will eventually merge under the name PNL, but went for elections in an alliance: the Christian Liberal Alliance (Romanian: Alianța Creștin-Liberală). On 11 August the alliance chose Iohannis as its candidate for the presidential election in November[35] and so he was registered as an official presidential candidate. He received 30.37% of the votes in the first round.

In 2009, Iohannis had stated that he might possibly run for the office of President of Romania, although not in 2009.[33] Former Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu had said on 27 October 2009 and again on 23 April 2010 that he would like to see Iohannis become President of Romania.[34]

Klaus Iohannis and his counter candidate Victor Ponta at a TV debate on Realitatea TV, 11 November 2014

Candidacy for the President of Romania

On February 20, 2013, Klaus Iohannis joined the PNL, announcing this during a press conference with Crin Antonescu. At a PNL extraordinary congress, he was elected First Vice President of the Party. In the meeting of 28 June 2014, he was elected President of the PNL with 95% of the votes.

In the National Liberal Party

[32][31] On 21 October the Parliament adopted with 252 votes for (of PSD, PNL, UDMR and minorities groups) and 2 against a declaration requesting the President to nominate Iohannis as Prime Minister.[30] Geoană and PSD leadership has held a second meeting with Iohannis in Bucharest in the evening of 18 October. UDMR, which the previous day announced it would also attend, declared in the morning that all their leaders are not in the city. PNL was present at the meeting by lower level representatives, after Antonescu announced in the morning he is on campaign in Cluj-Napoca.[29] Three days later, on 18 October, Geoană suggested Antonescu was trying to use Iohannis as an "electoral agent" for Antonescu's bid for president. In response, Antonescu told the press that Iohannis "is not the type of person that would let himself being used".[28] After the nomination of Croitoru, Antonescu, a candidate in the presidential election, stated that he would nominate Iohannis as Prime Minister if elected President.[26], the leader of the National Liberals, vowed his party would derail other nominations but Iohannis'.Crin Antonescu [27][26] On 14 October 2009 the leaders of the opposition

Candidacy for the Prime Minister of Romania

[21] On 7 November 2005 Iohannis was nominated as the "Personality of the Year for a European Romania" (

Iohannis established contacts with foreign officials and investors. Sibiu was declared the European Capital of Culture of 2007, along with Luxembourg (the bearer of the distinction in 1995). Luxembourg chose to share this honourable status with Sibiu due to the fact that many of the Transylvanian Saxons emigrated in the 12th century to Transylvania from the area where Luxembourg is today.[20] Sibiu, or Hermannstadt in German, was built by the Transylvanian Saxons, was for many centuries the cultural centre of that group, and was a predominantly German-speaking city until the mid 20th century. Many Germans left the city after World War II, and especially in 1990, within months of the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Throughout his tenure as mayor, he has worked to restore the town's infrastructure and to tighten the city administration. Iohannis is also widely credited with turning the city into one of Romania's most popular tourist destinations thanks to the extensive renovation of the old downtown.[18] During his first term, Iohannis worked with a city council that had a social democrat majority. Since 2004, during his second and third terms, his own party, FDGR, had the majority. Since 2008, FDGR has 14 out of 23 councilors, PDL has 4, PSD has 3, and PNL has 2.[19]

In 2000, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania in Sibiu decided to back him as a candidate for mayor. Despite the fact that Sibiu's German minority had shrunken to a mere 1.6%, Iohannis was elected with 69.18% of the votes and has won three re-elections in a row, getting some of the largest electoral scores in the country: 88.7% of the vote in 2004, and 87.4% in 2008. He is the first ethnic German mayor of a Romanian city since Albert Dörr, who served from 1940 to 1945. The small German minority is popular in Romania, where they are often viewed as hard-working, precise and uncompromising. Many Romanians also remember that the country experienced some of its best moments under German kings over a century ago.[9]

Iohannis as Mayor of Sibiu, May 2005


He joined the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR) in 1990, and served as a member of its board of education in Transylvania from 1997, and a member of the local party board in Sibiu from 1998. In 2001, he was elected President of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania.


Iohannis is a member of the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania, the German-speaking Lutheran church in Transylvania.[17]

They have no children. [16][15]

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