lies in the Central-South-Eastern part of the European continent. Having a surface
of approximately 238,000 sq km and a population of 22.5 million inhabitants, it
is one of the medium-sized countries of Europe. Romania neighbours Moldavia, Ukraine,
Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and coasts the Black Sea.
Romania is a semi-presidential
republic, with a bicameral Parliament, seeking to join the European Union. The
main political parties, after the last elections (end of 2000), are as follows:
Partidul Social-Democrat (Social-Democratic Party, the governing party), Partidul
Romania Mare (Greater Romania Party), Partidul National Liberal (National Liberal
Party), Partidul Democrat (Democratic Party) and Uniunea Democrata a Maghiarilor
din Romania (Democratic Union of Hungarians from Romania).
position and the historical evolution of this territory imposed it as an archetype
of mixtures between cultures relatively differentiated: Western-European, East-European
and Balkan. This historical reality was materialised into a special type of general
behaviour that manifests itself through tolerance, hospitality and easiness of
communication for the people that live here.
The peculiarities of the physical
space come from the relatively circular disposition and from the roughly equal
proportion of each major form of relief: mountains, hills and plains cover each
1/3 of the surface. To these we can add the presence of the navigable Danube river,
which ensures the direct link with the Northern Sea through the Rhine-Danube canal.
The Danube Delta is one of the natural reserves under international protection
due to its unique flora and fauna, among the richest in Europe. One of Romania's
specifics consists in the fact that it is crossed by the 45 North Parallel and
the 25 East Meridian, thes being the mathematical co-ordinates marking the halfway
between the Equator and the North Pole and between the Atlantic Coast of the Iberian
Peninsula and the Eastern border of the continent, the Ural Mountains, respectively.
Romania is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
The Romanians have an old and rich history.
The ancient name of this territory is Dacia. It was inhabited by Getic and Dacian
populations. After the wars against Rome, between 101-102 and 105-106, Dacia became
a Roman province providing the basis for the formation of both the Romanian people
During the Middle Ages, the Romanians lived in three provinces,
namely Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. These got united during the 19th
and 20th c., forming modern Romania.
The population is formed in its biggest
proportion by Romanians, who represent 90% of the total number of inhabitants,
to which Hungarians (around 7%), Gypsies, Germans, Ukrainians, Turks, Tartars
etc. can be added.
Out of the total number of population, 55% live in towns
and the rest of 45% live in rural areas (with villages populated by up to 27,000
capital of the country is the city of Bucharest, which has a population of over
2 million inhabitants. Here it is concentrated approximately 15% of the national
industrial capacity, over 50% of the direct foreign investments, over 30% of the
higher education institutions and over 50% of the Romanian students. Other big
cities, having more than 300,000 inhabitants, are the regional centres Iasi, Cluj,
Timisoara, Craiova, Brasov and Constanta.
The economy of Romania was dominated
by the big industry, especially between 1979-1990, covering almost all the industrial
branches: from those linked to oil extraction, up to those representing fine mechanics.
After a period of profound restructuring, Romanian industry probates recovery,
especially in the high-tech domains (automatics, electronics and computer industry).
The beneficiary of the industrial restructuring has been the tertiary sector,
which has shown a spectacular evolution, mainly in the financing-banking, telecommunications
and trade domains.
Romania has economic and cultural relations with over 150
countries around the world.
The official language of the state is Romanian,
belonging to the Romance family of languages; within the local public administration,
where the percentage of inhabitants belonging to another ethnic populations is
over 20%, their language can also be used.
The national currency is the
leu (1 USD = 32,500 ROL in March, 2002).