Ilknur Baltaci. Bucharest, Romania, Old City Center

Romania and the Visa Waiver Program: Better Trade, Better Business, More Economic Opportunities

Consul General of Romain; Torino, Italy
3 minutes

The bilateral relations between two great democracies, the United States and Romania, have been expanding continuously for the last 30 years. The process of building such a privileged relationship between two nations, that have always shared the values of the western democracy model, began in the 19th century, but the nations found quite a solid institutional base in an agreement signed in 1997, that started their Strategic Partnership.

Since 1997, Romania’s pathway through the difficult and interesting transition, from a decadent communist society to a fully adapted integration into the western democratic world, has been strongly centered on the principles stated by the Strategic Partnership with the U.S.

In fact, for the last thirty years, all Romanian governments, irrespective of their political doctrine, have constantly stated that Romanian foreign policy follows its goals by building around three main pillars, which provide direction, sense and determination to its entire internal and foreign, public and private sector action: Romania – as a member state of the European Union, Romania – as a member state of NATO and the continuous consolidation of all dimensions of the Strategic Partnership with the U.S.

The commitment and determination of the Romanian people, well represented by all Romanian governments, to bring a consistently superior level of cooperation to the U.S., have brought the two nations to the maximum level we enjoy today.

Romania in the European Union and Romania in NATO currently provide the best conditions that could be offered as a strong Strategic Partner of the U.S., versus the tormented and more difficult countries of Eastern Europe. The energy security strategy of the western democratic world and the conflict started by the illegal Russian aggression and invasion of Ukraine probably make Romania the most important European Union and NATO state in the region, not only for Europe, but also for the U.S. and the partners in what we call the Global South.

Romania is now both a strong economic actor and a powerful, constant and reliable strategic partner in Eastern Europe that can provide security and stability, projecting democracy and freedom to the entire region, together with the U.S.

The complex and beneficial bilateral relationship between Romania and the U.S. only lacks one element to bring it fully to its model of bilateral perfection: complete freedom of movement for people and investment capital between the two countries. U.S. citizens can already freely travel to and live in Romania. That gives all U.S. citizens and companies the peace of mind that is so essential for building business plans and for running their trade and business in Romania.

Despite the best cooperation ever between Romania and the U.S., Romanian citizens still need an entry visa for short stays in the U.S. That is a fact that keeps U.S. investments by Romanian companies at a low level, far from their exceedingly powerful potential.

Bringing Romania into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program has certainly become a key element for increasing trade and economic exchange between Romania and the U.S. to its real potential, giving both countries the opportunity to develop and consolidate the economic dimension of the Strategic Partnership as an important source of prosperity.


That certainly is an achievable goal within the next year that will also include other significant challenges for Romania, the U.S., the European Union and NATO. We need to act together to combine all assets and resources in order manage everything yet to come for our nations.


For steps Romanians should take now, please see Dana R. Bucin’s article “American and Romanian Partners: The Visa Waiver Program.”

Romania and the Visa Waiver Program: Better Trade, Better Business, More Economic Opportunities