Romania Increases 2022 Defense Budget By 32%

Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis passed the State Budget for 2022 on 28 December, a week after the Parliament gave its approval. Military Expenditure in Romania increased to $5.5 billion in 2020 from $4.6 in 2019

The budget includes RON25.9 billion (USD6 billion) for defence, a 14% nominal increase on 2021 that equates to a real-term rise of 11.2%. The budget maintains defence spending as a percentage of GDP at just over NATO’s 2% benchmark, a figure that Romania has been reaching since 2017. To achieve this, defence had a real-term yearly growth rate of 8% between 2017 and 2022, making the 2022 budget 55% higher than in 2016.

Procurement has also been pushed upwards, both in real terms and as a percentage of the total budget. Capital expenditure tripled between 2015 and 2017, reaching RON6.5 billion that year. It has since increased to RON8.6 billion in 2022 and official projections suggest it will reach RON14 billion by 2025. As a percentage of the budget, this is a move from 15% in 2015 to 32% in 2022 and is projected to reach 41% in 2025, exceeding the 20% NATO target.

This sets a new milestone in Romania’s NATO membership and reconfirms Romania’s unwavering commitment to transatlantic security. In a statement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: „In a world with complex threats and in continuous evolution, bigger budgets for defense are needed, as well as a fair split of tasks […] Romania offers both, being an example to be followed by the other Allies.”

The Ambassador of Romania to the United States, George Cristian Maior stated that “the adoption of the annual budget makes Romania the sixth NATO member to meet the 2% GDP defense spending commitment.” This adds to an already robust record of Romanian contributions to peace and security operations globally – Romania today has the fourth largest NATO contingent in Afghanistan and has supported international missions in Iraq, the Balkans and other UN engagements with a total of more than 30,000 personnel over the past 15 years.

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