Considerations upon international treaties which shaped the history of modern Romania (1918 - 2018)

AuthorProf PhD Cristian Jura
(1918 – 2018)
Prof PhD Cristian JURA
This research will provide a new perspective on the history of Romania, in general, and on
history of modern Romania (1918 – 2018), in particular, from the perspective of various and
numerous international treaties signed with or without the participation of Romania and which
influenced the destiny of our country. Certain internal legal documents important for the history of
Romania will be also introduced. The first document presented at the beginning of this research will
be the Decree no. 3631 regarding the validation of the Unification of Basarabia, Bukovina and
Transylvania with Romania, on 24th of December 1918. One of the last treaties will be The Treaty of
Accession 2005 which is an agreement between the member states of European Union and Bulgaria
and Romania, which entered into force on 1 January 2007. Between the two documents, almost 100
years of history are comprised.
The main method of research used in drafting this study is the content analysis – simple or
comparative, as the case may be – approached in a manner specific to the research in the field of
social-human sciences, respectively in the field of legal sciences and history. Therefore, this analysis is
mainly qualitative (broadly speaking) and less quantitative, a few statistic aspects being however
emphasized where they are naturally completing the analysis of some qualitative aspects. My
personal experience in the last 20 years in the field of public international law has played a very
important role in the paper herein.
This study is the first step of a larger scientific initiative of reevaluation,
rediscovery and recapitalization of the texts in the international treaties that have
radically shaped the fate of Romania. The study debuts with the introduction of
several elements regarding the law of international treaties, solely for the purpose
of evaluating the international treaties that have defined the history of Romania
from a new perspective. Their presentation and examination will be conducted
through instruments specific to the international law, as considering the fact that
we are dealing with international treaties that are landmarks in the history of
Law Review vol. VIII, issue 2, July-December 2018, pp. 256-276
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 257
This is an original approach to use concepts, definitions and principles not in
use until 1969. The Vienna Convention on the law of treaties was adopted on 23
May 1969, in order to evaluate the international conventions assumed before much
before 1969. Nevertheless, I believe it as a justified action so as to notice how the
Principalities were referred to and, later, Romania, by the great powers of that time
and how strong the Romanian people’s desire of unification was, in spite of the
challenges to be faced.
I truly belive that the few pages of the first part, ‚Several elements regarding
the international treaty’ are essential for the study herein and, later, for the
scientific initiative of reevaluation, rediscovery and recapitalizaiton of the texts in
the international treaties that have radically shaped the fate of Romania, since it is
the main tool used to look at the treaties aforementioned examined, it is the filter to
reveal the fate of Romania for a period longer than a century. In other words, the
part concerning the treaties needs to be read in a constant reporting to the actual
presentation of the treaties in a chronological order.
Article 34 in the Vienna Convention stipulates that ‚A treaty does not create either
obligations or rights for a Third State without its consent.’, yet the great powers have
concluded treaties throughout years in which they simply decided on certain areas,
regions or territories, with no restraints.
I. Several elements regarding the international treaty1
Treaty is an agreement concluded in writing among states and governed by
the international law, either recorded in a single or two instruments or in more
connected instruments and irrespective of its name, according to Art 2(1) in the
Vienna Convention on the law of treaties on 23 May 19692. The purpose of
concluding a treaty is to create legal effects (to create, amend or settle rights and
obligations in the relations among actors of international law).
It can be noticed that the Act no. 590/2003 concerning treaties3 was adopted in
Romania, an Act that repeals the Act no. 4/1991 regarding the conclusion and
ratification of treaties.
Substantive issues on which an international document is defined as a treaty
are as follows:
a) the parts of the treaties – need to be international law issues (more correctly,
the parties of the treaty must have the capacity to conclude treaties);
1This short presentation of the general theory of the international treaties is based on chapter 8
‚The law of treaties’ in the volume 14, lectures on Public International Law, A. Nstase, C. Jura, F.
Coman, CH Beck Publishing House, Bucharest, 2012
2Published in the Official Gazette 18 on 23 May 1969. The Vienna Convention on the law of
treaties became effective on 27 January 1980.
b) the will of the parties – needs to be freely expressed, with no vice of consent,
and the treaty object should be significant lawful and reasonable (possible);
c) the treaty should create legal effects (establishing certain mandatory conduct
norms of a general and permanent nature or creation, amendment or settlement of
certain rights or obligations among parties);
d) governance of the treaty by the international law norms.
The conclusion of the treaty represents the set of activities being conducted,
procedures that need to be complied with and rules to be followed so that the
treaty be created, become mandatory for the parties, become effective (to exist in
accordance with the international law).
The authorities capable to conclude treaties are stipulated by the Constitution
and the legislation of each state and in the articles of incorporation of the
international organizations, respectively. In general, the executive power
(president, government) has the competence to negotiate and sign and the
parliaments to express the consent to become a party in the treaty through
ratification or accession. In case of violation of an internal norm, the Vienna
Convention on the law of treaties stipulates two conditions for which this violation
be considered as a consent vice (therefore, a cause for treaty nullity):
the violation should be objectively evident;
the violation should concern a fundamental norm of the internal law.
Stages in concluding an international treaty are:
a) Negotiation. This takes place among the state representatives, specially
commissioned for this purpose, through either the positions held in the state or by
the mandate given by the full powers bestowed upon them.
According to Vienna Convention, the first category includes heads of states, of
governments and the ministries of foreign affairs. The ambassadors and the
permanent representatives are also empowered de jure to negotiate and adopt the
text of a treaty, yet they need full powers for signing.
The full powers are the document issued by the competent authority in a state,
by which one of more authorized people are appointed to represent the state for
negotiating, adopting or signing a treaty, to express the consent to become a party
to the treaty or to fulfill another act in regard to the treaty.
The submission and verification of the full powers take place mainly during
the international conferences. Nowadays, the full powers are primarily assigned
for signing.
In the bilateral agreement, the negotiations are concluded by agreeing upon
the text; in a multilateral agreement, by adoption (by consent or majority, usually
of 2/3 – Art 9 in the Vienna Convention).
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 259
Further on, Romania will be noticed of not having any role at all in many of
the treaties that dealt with changes in the state territory and, implicitly,
displacement of population.
b) The authentication of the text is done through the following:
- final signing = a solemn attestation of the fact that the negotiations are
completed and that the text is the final form of the treaty, not being able to be
unilaterally amended by either state (its signing incurs the obligation of the state to
refrain from any acts contrary to the purpose and object of the treaty until the
moment the state clearly expresses its intent of stopping of being a part);
- ad referendum signing = authentication of an interim nature, which depends
on the later confirmation from the state, when the representative is authorized to
negotiate but not to sign;
- initialling = the record of the initials of the negotiator’s name, with the same
effect as above;
- delayed signing.
c) The expression of the consent to become a party of the treaties is done as
- signing (when it expresses both authentication and also the consent);
- ratification (an internal parliament approval document, which involves the
prior existence of a representative’s signature);
- accession (internal document, usually of the parliament, through which the
signatory states can become party of the treaty, irrespective of their attendance or
non-attendance in the negotiations);
- approval (usually, a document of the government);
- acceptance (sometimes equivalent with the approval, other times with the
- the change in the instruments of ratification, approval (for bilateral
- submission of the instruments of ratification, accession, acceptance (for
multilateral agreements);
- notification of the ratification, approval, accession and acceptance.
Since Romania was not part in the negotiation of certain treaties directly
related to it, it is obvious that is has not expressed its consent to become a part of
that treaty.
The entrance into force of an international treaty takes place as in the treaty
stipulations; for instance:
on the exchange date of the ratification instruments (for bilateral
on the submission date of a certain number of ratification and approval
on the date of the most recent notice concerning the fulfillment of the legal
internal procedures of entrance into force (also in a bilateral agreement).
A grace period from the dates above is sometimes given for the entrance into
force of the treaty.
According to the 1969 Convention, the treaty is considered being entered into
force on the signing date or on another date agreed on through the consent of the
parties bound by that treaty, unless a entrance into force procedure or date is
Reservations to treaties represent: „A unilateral statement, irrespective of its
manner of drafting or naming, made by a state when a treaty is signed, ratified, accepted,
approved or accessed to, by which the legal effects of certain stipulations in the treaty are
aimed to be excluded or amended in their application to the respective state ” [Art. 2 d) in
the Vienna Convention] .
The reservations are used when a state that agrees with the most majority of
the treaty stipulations is not satisfied with one or more clauses and, therefore,
declines to be bound via those clauses. The reservations can be formulated solely
for the multilateral treaties.
The conditions under which reservations can be formulated have varied in
A. In the classical international law, the reservations were not admitted:
whether they were affecting the integrity of the substantive rules of the
• iff they were accepted by the other parties of the treaty.
In accordance with the Vienna Convention, the last rule applies to only the
treaties with a small number of states. For the general multilateral treaties , the
rightful state becomes party to the treaty versus all the state-parties that have not
rejected its reservations.
B. The conditions established as per the Vienna Convention:
a) Procedural condition:
to be expressed in writing and communicated to the contracting states and
other states that are entitled to become parties to the treaty;
• can be formulated on the date of signing, ratification, approval or acceptance
of accession. The reservations formulated upon signing need to be reconfirmed
during the expression of consent to be bound by the treaty;
• the issue of reservation acceptance or rejection.
Should a general multilateral treaty expressly allows the formulation of
reservations, the acceptance of such reservation by the other states is not needed,
unless the treaty stipulates the necessity of its acceptance.
The lack of formulating objections for a period of 12 months since the
notification about the reservation is equivalent with an acceptance.
The acceptance and rejection do not need a reconfirmation, but the withdrawal
of the objection has to be made in writing.
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 261
b) Substantive condition:
• not to be expressly forbidden by the treaty;
• not to make reference to certain stipulations, from which the treaty expressly
forbids making reservations;
• not to be compatible with the treaty object and purpose.
Following the formulation of reservations, more groups of legal relations can
be established between the rightful state and the other state-parties, depending on
the attitude of the latter:
a) between the rightful state and the state-parties that have accepted the
reservations. Such relations are governed by the treaty and the stipulations of the
articles upon which reservations have been made are applicable as having been
amended by the meaning of the reservations.
b) between the rightful state and the state-parties that have formulated
objections. The latter can:
accept that the rest of the treaty stipulations, non-affected by the
reservations, be applied between them and the rightful state;
to reject altogether the application of the treaty between them and the
rightful state.
Therefore, a ‚disruption’ of the legal status generated by the multilateral treaty
can occur.
During signing or consent expression, states can give statements to express a
political and legal position towards certain treaty stipulations or trigger a certain
The fulfillment of the obligations stipulated in the treaty involves taking the
necessary measures in the sense of their application by the administrative or legal
authorities. The issue is whether the treaties directly generate effects in the internal
law or certain documents are required to have them introduced in the internal law.
To this purpose, there are various solutions that depend on the constitutional
provisions of each country: promulgation, followed by the publication or issuance
of special laws to declare the treaty as an internal law, etc.
Pursuant to Art 11 in the Constitution of Romania, the Romanian state
undertakes in good faith to fulfill its obligations deriving from the treaties it is a
party to. The treaties ratified by the Parliament belong to the internal law.
The states cannot invoke the internal legislation to justify the non-execution of
a treaty
(Art. 27 in the Vienna Convention), irrespective of the manners of introduction
into the internal legal order.
As a rule, the treaties generate effects only to the parties (the principle of the
relative effect).
The Art. 34 in the Vienna Convention stipulates that ‚ A treaty does not create
either obligations or rights for a Third State without its consent’.
The phrase ‚effects towards third parties” represents only rights and duties
that can be derived from a certain treaty, towards third parties (and not
advantages, disadvantages, interests, etc.).
The relativity of the effects of the treaty is expressed by the „pacta sunt
servanda” principle. The principle of sovereign equality underlies the relative
The conditions through which the states can acquire rights on the grounds of
certain treaties they are not parties thereof (Art 36 in the Vienna Convention):
a) if the parties to the treaty intend to accord a right to the third state of to a
group of states to which it belongs, or to all states;
b) if the third state assents thereto.
The par (2) in Art. 36, „the consent shall be presumed so long as the contrary is
not indicated”, which can be tacit.
The condition through which obligations can derive for the states from
treaties they are not parties thereto (Art. 35 in the Vienna Convention):
the parties to the treaty intend the provision to be the means of establishing
such an obligation from a provision of a treaty;
• the third state expressly accepts that obligation in writing.
The fulfillment of such conditions is actually leading to a collateral agreement
between the state-parties and the third state.
The doctrine also states that certain treaties, which generate objective legal
status (opposable erga omnes rights and duties) make an exception from the
relative status:
• through which territorial status is established;
• through which neutrality status is determined;
through which a certain status for international communication channels is
the multilateral treaties that help with establishing an international
The nullity grounds of a treaty are:
a) when the treaty contravenes to a norm of „jus cogens”, in effect at the
moment of its conclusion or to a norm of „ius cogens”, occured during its
application (Art. 53 and 64 in the Vienna Convention);
b) when consent vices intervene:
the violation of the internal law dispositions regarding the competence of
concluding treaties ; this violation needs to be manifest and concern a rule of
fundamental importance of the internal law;
error: to be of fact and not of law, has affected the essential basis of the
consent, the state invoking it has contributed by its own conduct to the error (Art.
48 in the Vienna Convention);
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 263
• fraud (Art. 49);
the fraudulent conduct of another state that was part in the negotiation
usually leads to making an error;
corruption of a representative of a state (Art. 50), when it is usually obvious
and able to generate a considerable influence upon the representative’s will;
coercion exerted upon the representative (Art. 51) – it is about threats
directing against the freedom, physical and mental intergrity of the
representative’s person, career, family, etc.;
• coercion of a state (Art. 52) – by the threat of using force.
Two types of nullity can be defined:
a) relative nullity (that can be invoked only by the state whose consent has
been vitiated and can be covered by its through confirmation – Art. 45): the
violation of the stipulations in the internal law, error, fraud, representative’s
b) absolute nullity (can be invoked by any state in the treaty, not only by the
vitiatied state or ex officio by an international court): the coerction against the
representative or the state, violation of the „jus cogens” norm.
Termination grounds of an international treaty:
a) By reason of the stipulations included in the treaty:
• validity;
• resolutive condition;
tacit reconduction (when validity ends, the treaty is extended for new
periods identical to the initial one or usually shorter, unless either of the parties
manifests intent to terminate it);
denunciation (for multilateral treaties – retract); the most majority of the
treaties stipulate the possibility of denunciation.
b) By the consent of all the state-parties;
c) Denunciation, when the treaty does not stipulate this possibility:
• as a rule, the conventional practice reckons that a right of denunciation does
not exist, under such conditions;
• as an exception, denunciation takes place when:
- The intent of the parties to admit the possibility of denunciation or retract
can be determined;
- the right of denunciation can be derived from the nature of the treaty.
d) The breach of the treaty by one of the parties – needs to be a material breach
[Art. 60 par (3)];
e) The conclusion of a treaty with the same subject-matter between parties
(Art. 59) – conditions:
to appear from the later treaty or be thus established that the subject-matter
should be governed by that treaty;
the provisions of the later treaty are incompatible with those of the earlier
f) The total and permanent disappearance of the subject-matter in a treaty or of
one of the parties leads to the nullity of the treaty;
g) The fundamental change of the circumstances (rebus sic stantibus) – when
one of the parties considers that the new circumstances are able to lead to the
termination of the treaty. That party needs to prove:
that the changed circumstances have accounted for the essential ground of
the parties’s consent to be bound through the treaty;
• that the change has radically modified the nature of the duties.
Exceptions: the treaties establishing lines of demarcation and if the material
change is the result of the breach by the invoking part of either a duty in the treaty
or an international duty.
h) Breaking the diplomatic and consular relations – it is about treaties whose
execution involves the existence of the diplomatic and consular relations;
i) The war – practice has confirmed:
• the bilateral economic and financial treaties terminate;
the multilateral treaties are suspended among the belligerents and remain
effective among non-belligerents and between belligerents and non-belligerents;
• the treaties considering the lines of demarcation and war procedures remain
II. International treaties that have defined the history of Romania around
the Great Union on 1 December 1918
On 7/19 August 1858, the Paris Peace Convention was concluded among the
Great Power regarding the Romanian Principalities. Art. 1 in this Convention
stipulates that, ”The Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, hereinafter known as the
United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, remain under the suzerainty of HM
Sultan3. In other words, prior to gaining independence, the Principalities were
under the suzerainty of the Sultan following a decision taken by the Great Powers,
namely Austria, France, England, Prussia, Russia and Sardinia and, of course,
Turkey. When reported to this Convention, to the principles and norms of the
treaties aforementioned, violation of numerous stipulations is visible.
It is important to mention the change made by the Constitution in 18664, which
stipulates in Article 1 that the name of the state is Romania, more exactly: ”The
Kingdom of Romania with its counties on the right side of the Danube constitutes a single
indivisible state5. The amendments aiming the Article 1 replace the term of
3See the text of Convention in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României.Acte şi
documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 250
4The Constitution was decreed, promulgated and published in the Official Gazette on 1 July
5In C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina
Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 383
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 265
Romanian United Principalities with Romania and validates the change in the
form of government, where the title of Ruler turns to King. The Principality of
Romania thus becomes Kingdom. The name of the state is Romania between 1866
and 1947.
”The Independence War of Romania” is the name used in the Romanian
historiography for the participation of Romania to the Russian-Turkey war
between 1877 and 1878. On 14/29 April 1977, the Assembly of Deputies adopted
the Motion regarding the opening of hostility acts of Turkey against Romania and
on 15/30 April 1877, the Romanian Senate adopted a Motion concerning the state
of war between Turkey and Romania6. These Motions represent the entrance of
Romania into the war front. Following this war, Romania gained its independence
from the Ottoman Empire.
The imminence of having another war started between the Russians and the
Ottomans made the Romanian government negotiate with the representatives of
the Russian Empire in September 1876 about the requirements to be fulfilled
during the transit of the Imperial Army on the Romanian territory on their way to
the Danube.
On 4/16 April 1877, Romania and the Russian Empire signed a convention
in Bucharest that allowed the Russian troops to cross the Romanian land on their
way to the Balkans, on condition that they comply with the territorial intergrity of
Romania. The Convention was signed by the Russian consul Dimitri Stuart (with
the approval of Tzar Alexander II) and by the Prime Minister at that time, Mihail
On 9/21 May 1877, the independence of Romania was proclaimed. The next
day, 10/22 May, the document turned into an act, following its signing by Prince
Carol I.
The peace treaty between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire was
signed in San Stefano on 3 March 1878. In the wake of thie treaty, the Principality
of Bulgaria was created and the independence of Montenegro, Serbia, Romania
was acknowledged. Romania as commanded to surrender the three counties in the
south of Moldavia (Cahul, Ismail, Bolgrad), but received (according to Article 19)
as a compensation the territory in the northern Dobruja, bordered by Rasova in the
north and by Mangalia in the south.
The Great Powers (Great Britain, France, German Empire) were not content
with the San Stefano Treaty, by which the Tsarist Empire had extended its
influence in the Balkans and Caucasus and asked for a revision, which will be
granted during the Berlin Congress in the Berlin Treaty (1878).
6See the texts of Motions in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi
documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 413, texts taken from George D.
Nicolescu, Parliament of Romania, 1866 – 1901, Bucharest, 1902
The Independence of Romania was acknowledged by the Great Powers on
13 July 1878, in the Berlin Treaty (13 July 1878). The Berlin Treaty was the
international treaty that ended the Russian-Turkish was in 1877-1878. It was meant
to revise the San Stefano peace stipulations and, thus, reduce the influence gained
by the Russian Empire in the Balkans. This treaty signed at the Berlin Conference
helped with the de jure acknowledgment of the independence of Romania, Serbia
and Montenegro.
During the Berlin Peace Conference in 1878, it was decided for Russia to
acknowledge the independence of Romania, to surrender the territories of Dobruja
and the Danube Delta, including Constanta Port and the small Snake Island. In
exchange, Russia was taking possession of the counties in the south of Basarabia
(Cahul, Ismail, Bolgrad), which had joined Moldavia after the Crimea War thanks
to the stipulations in the Paris Treaty in 18567.
The independence of Romania was to be officially acknowledged by each
European power after fulfilling the conditions stated by the Congress. Russia,
Austro-Hungary and Turkey will accept the independence of Romania after the
Berlin Congress and Italy in 1879; the other European powers will take longer,
until 1880.
It is worthwhile mentioning that Romania was admitted to join the European
Commission of the Danube only after the Berlin Treaty. Without any further
details about the legal status of the Danube, we only remind that the prior
regulations did not grant the Romanian Principalities any role in the Danube
navigation system, despite being a sovereign state. According to the Peace Treaty
concluded in Paris after the Crimea war, on 30 March 1856, the Art 16 stipulates
that ‚a commission, where France, Austria, England, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia and Turkey
will be represented each by a delegate will be in charge of pointing out at and executing the
necessary works...”8. At first, the Principality of Moldavia only had an advisory role.
As shown above, the Kingdom of Romania became a member with full powers of
the Commission9, after the Independence War.
In 1913, King Carol I entered Romania into the second Balkan war, which
ended with the defeat of Bulgaria. The Bucharest Treaty in 1913 validates the
status of Kingdom of Romania as a Balkan power and also brings a new province
to the country, South Dobruja, known as Cadrilater, with the counties of Durostor
and Caliacra.
On 21 July/3 August 1914, the Kingdom of Romania declares its neutrality,
following the Crown Council in Sinaia, summoned by King Carol I.
7See the articles regarding Romania in the Berlin Treaty in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea
constituional a României. Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998,
pag. 426
8See the articles on Romania in the Peace Treaty concluded after the Crimea War, 30 March 1856,
in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex
Publishing House, 1998, pag. 196
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 267
On 4/17 August 1916, Romania signed the Alliance Treaty9 with the Russian
Empire, France, Great Britain and Italy. In accordance with the treaty, Romania
gains rights upon all the territories in Austro-Hungarian Empire inhabited by
Romanians, as seen in Article 4. Transylvania, Banat, Bukovina, Crisana and
Maramures (Partium) were to become part of Romania after the First World War,
should Romania enters the war. The planned line of demarcation was tracing a
frontier of 20-40 km farther west compared to the current border between Hungary
and Romania, reaching Tisza river in the south, thus including the whole Banat.
Romania keeps its commitments assumed in the Alliance Treaty in 1916 and
communicate the Imperial and Royal Government of Austro-Hungary a War
Declaration, starting on 14/27 August 1916, starting at 9 o’clock in the evening, a
time starting the state of war of Romania with Austro-Hungarian Empire10.
After the war declaration, Romania went through dramatic moments and so
the battle for defending Bucharest against the German-Austro-Hungarian offensive
was lost on 23 November/6 December 1916 and the capital was occupied. The
capital of Romania is temporarily moved to Iasi and the authorities and army
withdrew in Moldavia.
On 26 November/9 December 1917, the Truce of Focsani between Romania
and the Central Powers was signed.
On 27 March 1918, Basarabia proclaims its union with the Kingdom of
Romania, after three months of independence from Russia. 11
On 7 May 1918, the Treaty of Bucharest was signed, also known as the Buftea-
Bucharest Peace. It was a peace treaty signed by Romania on 7 May 1918 with the
German Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire during the First World War. This
act replaces the truce signed in Focsani on 26 November/9 December 1917. The
preliminary peace treaty was signed on 20 February/5 March in Buftea, hence its
name of Buftea- Bucharest Peace.
The preliminaries of the peace treaty were signed on 20 February/5 March
1918 in Buftea by the representative of Romania, Constantin Argetoianu and the
counterparts from Germany, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey. These
preliminaries signed in Buftea were changed into the final peace treaty signed on
24 April/7 May 1918, in Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest. The peace treaty was the
tool by which harsh conditions were accepted, namely:
9See the text of the Alliance Treaty in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi
documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 443
10See the text of the War Declaration on 14 August 1916 in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea
constituional a României. Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998,
pag. 445
11See the Decree concerning the union of Basarabia with Romania on 27 March 1918 in C.
Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex
Publishing House, 1998, pag. 467
- Romania needs to retrocede South Dobruja (known as "Cadrilater") and to
surrender a part of the North Dobruja (in the south of Rasova-Agigea line) to
Bulgaria, which had already annexed "Cadrilater" in December 1916; the rest of
Dobruja remained in the nominal property of Romania and was under the control
of Germany and Bulgaria until a final later treaty;
- Romania was to surrender to Austro-Hungary the control over the passes in
the Carpathian mountains;
- Romania was leasing all the petroleum explorations to Germany for 90 years,
through two petroleum companies; the dockyards were going under the power of
- the right of Germany and Austro-Hungary to control the navigation on the
Danube, etc.
The treaty was ratified by the Parliament of Romania (on 15/28 June 1918 by
the Chamber of Deputies and on 21 June/4 July by the Senate) but it was never
promulgated by the King of Romania, Ferdinand I. Its dispositions were effective
for six months and when the Central Powers indicated a state of distress in October
1918, the agreements were annuled by Marghiloman government and Romania
resumed its hostilities against these countries with support from the French army
led by General Henri Mathias Berthelot. This action led to the Great Union in
December 1918 where all the territories with a majority of Romanian inhabitants
joined the land of Romania.
Romania declares war again to the Central Powers through the King
Ferdinand’s Proclamation to the solders, where he calls them back in combat so as
to have the century-old dream come true: the Union of all Romanians on 28
October/10 November 191812.
On 13 November 1918, the Armistice to the Balkan Front is signed between
the French General Franchet d'Esperey, the head of the oriental army of the
Entente powers and the Hungarian government. Military actions of a small
magnitude continue in the south of Hungary for several days. The armistice sets
the lines of demarcation between Hungary, Serbia and Romania, while Banat goes
under Serbian governance, despite the Bucharest Convention in 1916. Crisana and
Maramures, including Satu Mare, Oradea, Beius and Arad and the center of
Transylvania as far as Mures river, are left under Hungarian administration.
Hungary is compelled by the Entente Powers to allow the Romanian army enter
the Transylvanian territories to the east of the line of demarcation along the Mures
12See the text of Proclamation in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi
documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 499
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 269
III. The international treaties that have shaped the history of the modern
Romania (1918 – 2018)
It is evident that the crucial event that impacted the history of Romania and
represents the landmark in the shaping of Romania is the Declaration of Alba
Iulia on 1 December 1918, when the union of Transylvania and Romania was
accomplished. By means of the Decree for the Union of Transylvania and of the
other territories in Hungary being inhabited by Romanias with the Kingdom of
Romania13, under number 3631, King Ferdinand I also signs for the promulgation
and validation of the Union of Basaraba, Bukovina and Transylvania with
Romania. The Decree was published in the Official Gazette no. 212 on 13 December
The end of the First World War is defined by a series of general peace treaties:
1. Peace Treaty with Germany, signed in Versailles, on 28 June 1919;
2. Peace Treaty with Austria, signed at Saint Germain-en-Laye on 10
September 1919;
3. Peace Treaty with Bulgaria, signed at Neullly-sur-Seine, on 27 November
4. Peace Treaty with Hungary, signed at Trianon, on 4 June 1920;
5. Peace Treaty signed with Turkey at Sevres, on 10 August 1920;
6. Peace Treaty with Turky, signed at Lausanne, on 24 July 1923;
7. Pari Treaty, regarding the union of Basarabia, concluded between Romania
and Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan, on 28 October 1920; etc
Three of the above carry a significant importance for Romania: Peace Treaty
signed with Austria at Saint Germain-en-Laye on 10 September 1919 that
acknowledged the union of Bukovina with Romania14;Peace Treaty with Bulgaria,
signed at Neullly-sur-Seine, on 27 November 1919 that acknowledged the
Romania-Bulgaria frontier in 191415 and the Peace Treaty with Hungary, signed at
Trianon, on 4 June 1920 that acknowledged the union of Transylvania, Banat,
Crisana and Maramures with Romania16.
Between 15 and 28 June 1919, the Pact of the League of Nations was adopted
during the Versailles Peace Conference. Romania was a founding member of the
League of Nations. The Senate voted the Pact on 14 August 1920 and the Assemby
of Deputies did the same on 25 August 1920. The law for ratification was
promulgated by means of Decree no. 3611 bis on 30 August 1920, published in the
13See the text of Decree in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi documente
1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 506
14The treaty was ratified by means of Act on 26 September 1920
15The treaty was ratified by means of Act on 20 September 1920
16The treaty was ratified by means of Act on 21 September 1920
Official Gazette no. 134 on 19 September 1920. It became effective on 14 September
1920 when the Romanian Government submitted the ratification instruments in
Another important moment is 9 December 1919 when the Treaty between the
Allied and Associated Powers is concluded (the United States of America, the
British Empire, France, Italy and Japan) on the one hand and Romania, on the
other, regarding the national minorities. The Treaty was published in the Official
Gazette no. 140 on 26 September 1920. The treaty was ratified by the Senate on 30
July 1920 and by the Chamber of Deputies on 13 August 192017.
After the First World War, Romania remained active and ratified the Briand-
Kellogg Pact or Paris Pact regarding the elimination of was as an instrument of
national policy adopted on 27 August 1928 and coming into force on 25 July 1929.
The depositary is the Government of the United States of America, while Romania
ratified the Treaty and its Annexes by means of Decree no. 333 on 6 February 1929,
published in the Official Gazette no. 30 on 7 February 192918.
After a relatively short period of time, a new war was looming on the horizon.
On 23 August 1939, the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the
Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, whose secret protocol was stipulating the division of
Poland and Romania between the two powers. In Romania, USSR was claiming the
North Bukovina and Basarabia.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Romania was officially a neutral
In June 1940, as a consequence of Ultimatum Notes given by the Soviet
Union19, Romania had to evacuate and surrender, without any fight, Basarabia and
North Bukovina. Besides these territories, Hertsa zone was also annexed, despite of
being part of neither Bukovina nor Basarabia, nor claimed by the USSR.
On 29 August 1940, a tragic episode for Romania took place. The ministers of
foreign affairs of Romania and Hungary were summoned to Vienna on the same
day, where German minister of foreign affairs Ribbentrop compelled compliance
from the parties with the unconditioned preacceptance of the German-Italian
arbitrage, which will become the second arbitrage (Diktat) in Vienna. In the
morning of 30 August 1940, the Crown Council convened by King Carol II
admitted the arbitrage with a majority of votes (19 for, 10 against, 1 abstain), in
exchange of having Germany and Italy guarantee the new lines of demarcation.
17For further details regarding the protection system of people in the national minorities
established after WWI, see Cristian Jura, Drepturile omului. Drepturile minoritilor naionale, CH
Beck Publishing House, Bucharest, 2016
18See the text of the treaty in A. Nstase, Documente fundamentale ale dreptului internaional şi
ale relaiilor internaionale, vol 1b, Autonomous Administration, Official Gazette, Bucharest, 1997
19See the text of the Ultimatum Notes in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte
şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 644
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 271
The ministers of foreign affairs from Germany, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and from
Italy, Galeazzo Ciano, communicated in separate notifications their decisions to the
delegates from Romania and Hungary in Belvedere Palace in Vienna on 30 August
The text of the arbitrage in Vienna (30 August 1940)20 is quoted below:
‘The frontier traced on the attached map shall be the final and definitive frontier
between Roumania and Hungary. The precise delimitation of the frontier shall be carried
out on the spot by a joint Roumanian-Hungarian Commission.’
The Roumanian territory which is to be ceded to Hungary shall be evacuated by the
Roumanian troops within a period of fourteen days and handed over to Hungary in good
order. The precise stages of the evacuation and occupation and the manner in which they
shall proceed shall be determined forthwith by a Roumanian-Hungarian Commission. The
Roumanian and Hungarian Governments shall see to it that the evacuation and occupation
take place in a peaceable and orderly manner.
All Roumanian subjects who are to-day domiciled in the territory to be ceded to
Hungary shall immediately acquire Hungarian citizenship. They are entitled within a
period of six months to opt for Roumanian citizenship. Persons availing themselves of this
right of option must leave Hungarian territory within a further period of one year and will
be accepted by Roumania. They may take their movable property with them. They may
furthermore liquidate their immovable property and take the proceeds with them. If it does
not prove possible to liquidate the property they shall be compensated by Hungary.
Hungary will deal with all matters appertaining to the transfer of optants in a generous
and conciliatory manner.
Roumanian subjects of Hungarian race who are domiciled in territory which was ceded
to Roumania by Hungary in 1919 and which now remains Roumanian have the right to
opt for Hungarian nationality within six months. The principles laid down in paragraph 3
shall be applicable to persons who make use of this right of option.
The Hungarian Government formally undertakes that persons who have acquired
Hungarian nationality as a result of this arbitral award but who are of Roumanian race
shall be treated in exactly the same manner as other Hungarian subjects. The Roumanian
Government gives the same under taking in respect of Roumanian subjects of Hungarian
race who remain in Roumanian territory.
The settlement of other questions arising out of the change of sovereignty shall be
achieved by direct negotiations between the Roumanian and Hungarian Governments.
In the event of any difficulties or doubts arising out of the putting into effect of this
arbitral award the Roumanian and Hungarian Governments shall enter into direct
negotiations. Should they fail to reach agreement in regard to any question, it shall be
referred to the Reich Government and the Italian Government for a final decision.’
20Text available at
riaa/cases/vol_XXVIII/407-412.pdf (English version)
The second meeting of the Crown Council during the night of 30-31 August
approved the Diktat.
On 7 September 1940, the Craiova Treaty is signed between Romania and
Bulgaria. In accordance with its stipulations, Romania ceded the southern part of
Dobruja (Cadrilater) and agreed on having a certain population exchange. This
territory has already been surrended by Bulgaria to Romania, following the
Bucharest Peace in 1913.
On 22 June 1941, Ion Antonescu issued the Order to the Romanian Army to
cross the Prut River and free Basarabia from the Russian occupation21. The Order
is published in the Official Gazette no. 145 on 22 June 1941.
King Mihai radio broadcast the "Proclamation to the nation", by which he
announced the return to a democratic regime, ending of the war with the United
Nations and turning weapons against Germany on 23 August 194422.
On 12 September 1944, Romania signed the Armistice with the United
Nations, thus assuming the obligation to contribute to the anti-Hitler combat
effort23. The 260 days of participation to the anti-Hitler war ended on 12 May 1945.
In this context, on 12 April 1944, the Soviet Government sent to the Romanian
Government a Note with the armistice conditions between the two countries.
On 13 September 1944, a new Armistice Agreement was concluded between
Romania and the Allied Powers: „The Armistice Agreement between the
Romanian Government and the Governments of the United Nations, about the
free pass of the Soviet troops on the Romanian territory and making available
all the Romanian constructions and installations for a limited period of time to
the (Soviet) Supreme Allied Commander”, signed in Moscow, on 12 September
The end of the WWII was marked by the United Nations Conference in San
Francisco when the Charter of United Nations24 was adopted on 26 June 1945,
effective on 24 October 1945. By means of the General Assembly Resolution no.
995 (X) on 14 December 1945, Romania was admitted as a member in the United
Nations Organization.
On 10 February 1947, the „Peace Treaty between Romania and the Associated
and Allied Powers”, was concluded and signed in Paris. The Paris Peace
Conference (29 July - 15 October 1946) was followed by the Peace Treaties signed
on 10 February 1947, between the Allied and the Axis states, after the WWII.
21See the text of the Order in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi
documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 672
22See the text of King Mihai’s Proclamation to the nation in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea
constituional a României.Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998,
pag. 638
23See the text of Armistice agreement in C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte
şi documente 1741 – 1991, Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1998, pag. 692
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 273
Separate treaties were signed between the Allies and each of the countries that had
been siding with the Axis. Despite the fact that Romania and Hungary had been in
an armed conflict, no peace treaty was signed between the two countries and the
end of the state of war was mentioned in the treaties signed with the allies.
Thanks to its military contribution on the side of Allies after 23 August 1944,
Romania was returned to North Transylvania transferred by Hitler to Hungary in
the Vienna Diktat, but it was losing Basarabia, North Bukovina and Hertsa zone in
favor of the Soviet Union and South Dobruja (Cadrilater) in favor of Bulgaria.
At the end of the war, Romania concluded a series of extremely burdensome
- „Convention on making available to the Soviet Army in Romania the
barracks, accommodation, warehouses, aerodromes, training fields and
communication means, between the Government of the Romanian Popular
Republic and the Government of the United Soviet Socialist Republics”, signed
in Bucharest on 26 December 1948
- „Convention on the tax-exempt import of the goods for the troops of the
Soviet Army in Romania, between the Government of the Romanian Popular
Republic and the Government of the United Soviet Socialist Republics”, signed
in Bucharest on 26 December 1948
- „.Temporary Convention on the rail transportation for the needs of the
units of the Soviet Army in Romania, between the Government of the Romanian
Popular Republic and the Government of the United Soviet Socialist Republics
”, signed in Bucharest on 26 December 1948
- „Agreement between the Government of the Romanian Popular Republic
and the Government of the United Soviet Socialist Republics concerning the
legal status of the Soviet troops temporarily stationed on the territory of the
Romanian Popular Republic ”, signed in Bucharest on 15 April 1957
- „Agreement between the Minister of Armed Forces of the Romanian
Popular Republic and the Minister of Defense of the United Soviet Socialist
Republics concerning the withdrawal manner of the Soviet troops from
Romania into the Soviet Union ”, signed in Moscow on 24 May 1958
An important moment is the signing of the Final Act of Helsinki during the
Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe on 1 August 197524.
After 1989, Romania has joined the large family of the democracies and also a
number of international organizations and signed and ratified the most majority of
international agreements for the human rights.
24The text in the Romanian language was published in the Official Gazette of the Socialist
Republic of Romania no. 92 on 13 August 1975
The Charter in Paris for a new Europe, adopted during the high level Meeting
of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Paris (19 – 21
November 1990). The text was published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 181
on 9 September 1991.
Romania was admitted as a member of the European Council on 7 October
1993 as the 32nd member state. Romania accedeed via Act no. 64 on 4 October 1993
published in the Official Gazette no. 238 on 4 October 1993. The Articles of
Incorporation of the European Council was signed on 5 May 1949 by 10 founding
states and became effective on 30 August 1949.
Another important step taken by Romania on its way to complying with the
human rights is signing the Convention for protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms on 7 October 1993 and its ratification by means of the Act
no. 30 on 18 May 1994, published in the Official Gazette no. 135 on 31 May 1994.
The Convention for protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms
(CEDO) was adopted in Rome, on 4 November 1950.
On 30 October 2001, the „Agreement between Romania and the United States
of America regarding the activities of United States forces located on the
territory of Romania” was signed in Washington, also known as SOFA
Supplemental, which is an addition to the NATO SOFA agreement, in the USA –
Romania bilateral relation.
Another essential step in the modernization of Romania is the moment when
the Parliament of Romania adopted the Law of Romania’s accession to NATO
during the solemn meeting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, on 26
February 2004. On 1 March 2004, the Act no. 22/2004 of Romania’s accession to
NATO was ratified and published in the Official Gazette no. 185 on 3 March 2004.
On 6 December 2006, the „ Agreement between Romania and the United
States of America regarding the activities of United States forces located on the
territory of Romania””- the Agreement of access, signed in Bucharest, which
stipulates the access of the United States forces to the facilities and areas being
agreed, in full compliance with the Romanian legislation, for training, transit,
support and related activities, refueling of aircraft, temporary maintenance of
vehicles, vessels and aircraft, prepositioning of defense equipment, supplies and
material, accommodation of personnel, communications, etc., comes to consolidate
the path chosen by Romania.
On 25 April 2005, during an official ceremony at Neumunster Abbey in
Luxembourg, Traian Basescu, Romanian president at that time, signed the Treaty
of Accession to the European Union. The full name of this treaty is Treaty
between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Kingdom of Denmark, the
Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, the Hellenic Republic, the
Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Republic
of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy
Considerations upon International treaties which shaped… 275
of Luxembourg, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of
the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese
Republic, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland,
the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Republic of Bulgaria and
the Republic of Romania to the European Union. The Accession Treaty was ratified
by the Romanian Parliament by means of Act no. 157 on 24 May 2005, published in
the Official Gazette no. 465 on 1 June 2005. In practice, Romania has become a
European Union Member State since 1 January 2007.
IV. Conclusions
It is rather difficult to cover more than 100 years of history in a short study that
is not supposed to exceed 20 pages. But what I have attempted to do, hopefully
successful, was to include that century in several international treaties that have
radically shaped the history of modern Romania and becoming of Romania
between the Paris Peace Conference in 1858 when the United Principalities of
Moldavia and Wallachia remained under the ‚suzerainty of HM Sultan’ until 1
January 2007 when Romania joined the community of the European Union
Member States. It is worth mentioning for the reader that my background is not
historian but legal expert and this is one of the reasons why I have chosen to
conduct this interdisciplinary study and introduce the history of Romania through
the lenses of the international treaties.
The path for Romania has been long and challenging, a time marked by
territorial loss, land gains, significant contributions to the war efforts and also by
burdensome compensations paid to other countries.
But all this period is defined by a common element, fundamental for the
existence of Romania. To be more exact, it is the constant desire to become a single
state, common and indivisible, a country of all Romanians. The price that we have
paid for this objective was high, a price not only measured in money but also in
blood. Against all the past and present vicissitudes, the longing of the Romanian
nation for Union has finally come true.
V. Arimia, I. Ardeleanu, C. Botoran, Cartea neamului. Marea Unire din 1918,
Editura Globus, Bucureşti, 1993
C. Ionescu, Dezvoltarea constituional a României. Acte şi documente 1741 – 1991,
Editura Lumina Lex, 1998
C. Hamangiu, Codul general al României. Legi uzuale, vol. I – XXIX
Cristian Jura, Drepturile omului. Drepturile minoritilor naionale, Editura CH
Beck, Bucureşti, 2016
A. Nstase, Documente fundamentale ale dreptului internaional şi ale relaiilor
internaionale, vol 1 a şi 1b, Regia Autonom Monitorul Oficial, Bucureşti, 1997
A. Nstase, C. Jura, F. Coman,14 prelegeri de Drept Internaional Public, Editura
CH Beck, Bucureşti, 2012
George D. Nicolescu, Parlamentul României, 1866 – 1901, Bucureşti, 1902
Ştefan Pascu, Liviu Maior, Culegere de texte pentru istoria României, Editura
Didactic şi Pedagogic, 1977, Bucureşti
Ion Scurtu, Culegere de documente şi materiale privind istoria României, 1938 –
1940, Bucureşti, 1974
Ghenadie Petrescu, Dimitrie A. Sturdza, Dimitrie C. Strurdza, Acte şi documente
relative la istoria renaşterii României, vol. II, Carol Gobl, Bucureşti, 1889
AD Sturdza, C. Golescu – Vartic, Acte şi documente relative la istoria renaşterii
României, vol. I, Bucureşti, 1889