President of Romania Klaus Iohannis received on Saturday the Honor Medal, the highest distinction of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR), occasion on which the head of state stated that both the German minority and the Forum represents a bridge between Romania and countries like Germany and Austria."I believe that it's worth, in this festive moment, to emphasize the role as a bridge played by the German minority and the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania, a bridge, obviously, between Romania and Germany, a bridge between Romania and Austria, a bridge between the different communities in Romania and, if I were to evaluate the different values of the role as a bridge, I believe the latter is the most important. The fact that the members of the German community, the members of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania, have always been actively involved for the better understanding within the communities of our country, between the communities in our country. I believe this is worth emphasizing and applauding," said President Klaus Iohannis, during the ceremony that took place at the FDGR headquarters in Sibiu.
Klaus Iohannis, a former leader of the FDGR, showed that all he did in politics comes mostly from the work undertaken in this Forum.
"It is for me, truly, a moment of great emotion to receive the highest distinction of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania, an organization that I had the honor and, I admit, the pleasure of running for a few years. I started my political career in the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania and I must say that what I did in politics, the things I believe in in politics, in Romanian politics, but also in European politics, come, mostly, from my work in and for the German Forum, but, also, certainly from the school years," said Klaus Iohannis.
FDGR MP Ovidiu Gant mentioned, in his Laudatio, the moment in 1990 when Iohannis chose to become a member of the FDGR, a commitment that changed his life.
Klaus Iohannis was elected in 2000 mayor of the city of Sibiu, a first mandate that was stated by the FDGR to be "difficult" because the majority of the councilmen did not support him, which made him conclude a collaboration protocol with the PSD. The most important moment in the three mandates Klaus Iohannis had as mayor of Sibiu was in 2007 when Sibiu became the first city in Romania to be a European Cultural Capital.
Also attending the ceremony were National Liberal Party (PNL) chair Ludovic Orban and First Deputy Chair Raluca Turcan who is also the leader of the Sibiu county branch of the PNL. Since 2013, Iohannis became a member and deputy chair of the PNL, and since 2014 he took over the leadership of the party, later that year winning the presidential elections. According to the FDGR Laudatio, Iohannis became President of Romania in 2014, in a period in which the German community shrank to less than 10 percent of its previous size.
The FDGR also claims that one more step is necessary for political change in Romania, namely the re-election of Klaus Iohannis as President of Romania.