Foreign policy formulation, according to the Constitution, is the responsibility of the GNA, and its implementation is within the purview of the Council of Ministers. In reality the highest echelons of the PCR--in 1989 the Ceausescu circle, the Permanent Bureau, and the Polexco--formulated foreign policy. Party decisions were channeled through the Central Committee's Directorate for International Affairs to the GNA, which approved them automatically and without amendment. The State Council had the executive function of ratifying international treaties and establishing diplomatic relations with other states. As the head of state, the president of the republic represented Romania in international relations.
The Council of Ministers coordinated and implemented foreign policy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Economic Cooperation. Because decision-making powers resided in the party leadership, however, the ministries functioned almost exclusively as administrative agencies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was responsible for implementing party directives in diplomatic, educational, cultural, and scientific relations with other states and with international organizations. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Economic Cooperation functioned as the central organ for the country's international trade and economic activities.
In 1989 the organizational structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remained essentially the same as that established by the Constitution of 1965. The ministry had five geographical and eight functional directorates. Geographical directorates were set up for the socialist countries; Western Europe; Africa; Asia, Middle East, and Oceania; and the Americas. There were functional directorates for consular affairs; culture and press; diplomatic courier and cable service; finance and accounting; foreign economic relations and international organizations; organization, control, and personnel training; protocol; and supply and administration.
In 1989 the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Economic Cooperation consisted of nine geographical directorates and twelve functional directorates, two of which were merged in a separate department. The geographical directorates included Africa, Asia and Oceania, Latin America, Middle East, North America, members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon), non-Comecon socialist countries, Soviet Union, and Western Europe. The functional directorates were economic, administrative, and secretariat; export-import I (authorizing exports and imports and monitoring the production of export commodities by the heavy equipment, machine-building, electrical engineering, metallurgical, extractive, and electric energy industries); export-import II (authorizing exports and imports and monitoring the production of export commodities by the chemical and petrochemical, woodprocessing , agriculture, food-processing, and light industries); finance and accounting; foreign contracts, agreements, and legal matters; foreign trade and international economic cooperation plan; hard currency; organization and control; personnel, education, and remuneration; and prices and effectiveness of foreign trade operations. In addition, there was the international economic cooperation department consisting of two directorates--export of complex installations, international bids, and technical assistance; and joint companies and coordination of international economic cooperation activity. Over the years the ministry was subjected to several reorganizations and restructurings.
In 1989 Romania maintained diplomatic relations with 125 countries (118 at the ambassadorial level) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Although most governments maintained embassies in Bucharest, some Western countries maintained only symbolic representation or conducted business from a neighboring country because of the shortage of food and the inadequate heating during the winter. Romania also had trade relations with certain states with which it had not established formal diplomatic ties.
In 1989 Romania continued to be a member of the UN and a number of UN specialized agencies. It was also a member, albeit an often reluctant one, of the Warsaw Treaty Organization, more commonly known as the Warsaw Pact, and Comecon.
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