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February 3, 2023

Diplomatic blunder: German Foreign Minister receives in Bucharest “Romania-Germany: 135 years of diplomatic relations” booklet with the map of… France

*MAE expresses its regret for the mistake, Steinmeier says incident will not affect bilateral relations


Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Bucharest on Monday to meet with President Klaus Iohannis, PM Victor Ponta and Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu.

During the meeting the German official had at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), the Romanian officials made a big blunder. Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu offered his German counterpart a booklet on the occasion of celebrating 135 years of bilateral relations between Romania and Germany.

The only problem is that, instead of the map of Germany, the booklet showed the map of France, with the German flag across it.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry has realised an error had been made. It will be mended in the shortest time possible by the national news agency Agerpres who released the print version of the brochure.

According to MAE, the institution has directly communicated to the German counterpart its deepest regret for the unpleasant situation.

‘In the context of the anniversary this year of 135 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Germany, Agerpres has published a brochure with images and archive articles of the national news agency on the Romanian-German bilateral relations. By a regrettable technical error, only the cover of the booklet printed in one copy made available to MAW this morning showed the contour of the maps of Romania and France, with the latter being covered by the flag of Germany. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has identified the error which will be corrected in the shortest time possible by Agerpres in the print version’, MAE informs through a press release.

‘During the presence of the two officials in Sibiu, in the second part of the visit of the German foreign minister, the Romanian foreign minister directly expressed to his counterpart the deepest regret for the situation. The German foreign minister told his counterpart that, in his opinion, the situation was not of a nature to affect the bilateral relations in any way, and that the mistake had not even been noticed before the Romanian foreign minister raised it. He thanked the Romanian party again for the very positive atmosphere of the visit and for the substance of the talks’, MAE notes in its press release.


Agerpres clarifications regarding “135 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Germany” brochure


“The Romanian National News Agency Agerpres has created until this moment a series of four special brochures, on the occasion of the celebration of 135 years of bilateral diplomatic relations between Romania and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, France and Germany. The brochures were created using the photographic archive of Agerpres as a basis, capturing unique moments in the bilateral relations of the aforementioned countries, within official visits, working visits and informal meetings.

The brochure created on the occasion of celebrating 135 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Germany was printed in a single copy by Agerpres, the copy presented by Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu to his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

We mention that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received, for information purposes, the correct version of the brochure in electronic format. The misprint was a technical error on the  part  of  Agerpres that we assume and for which we apologize both to the Romanian Foreign Ministry, as well as to the German Foreign Ministry,” reads an Agerpres release.


Hurezeanu: Blunder cannot be forgotten, do you think Aurescu can have a good night sleep?


The blunder during the visit of the German foreign minister to Bucharest cannot be forgotten – says journalist Emil Hurezeanu. He spoke on Digi24 about the brochure offered by FM Bogdan Aurescu to German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, containing the map of France instead of Germany’s. ‘Do you believe Steinmeier cannot tell the difference between the contour of his country and France’s hexagon? Do you think Mr. Aurescu can have a good night sleep tonight – he too is in Sibiu – knowing that tomorrow he will have to decisively ask the prime minister to justifiably dismiss the director general of Agerpres for the blunder?

Gross mistakes of this kind are not digested, they are eliminated as they are swallowed. Someone once said: It’s worse than a crime, it’s an error, it’s a blunder, it translates as needed. This type of blunder can be forgiven also because France is one of Germany’s partners and the map contours may look similar’, the journalist Emil Hurezeanu said on Digi24 TV.



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