InfoBusiness Romania - online guide
Profile of Romania
Romania is in the Southeast of Central Europe, North of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Black Sea's Western coast and above the lower tributary of the Danube river. Neighboring countries include Ukraine (North), the Republic of Moldova (Northeast), Bulgaria (South), Yugoslavia (Southwest) and Hungary (Northwest).
The Romanian territory covers a surface area of 238,391 square kilometers or approximately 91,843 square miles, benefiting from a varied topography, consisting of plains, forested hills and plateaus, the Danube Delta and the Carpathian mountains.
The Romanian climate is transition temperate-continental, and the average temperature ranges from the North to the South, between 8 and 11 degrees Celsius. The level of rainfall does not exceed 700 mm.
POPULATION AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
The Romanian population numbers approximately 22.5 million inhabitants, 89.4 percent of which are Romanians. The main minorities are Magyars, Germans and Gypsies. Most of the population lives in the urban areas (54.6 percent), and the gender distribution of the Romanian inhabitants are approximately equal: women represent 51.1 percent of the population, while men represent 48.9 percent.
As for religious affiliation, most Romanians are Orthodox Christian (approximately 89 percent) and the other representative religions are Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Reformed and Muslim.
The official language of Romania is the Romanian language.
Romania, as a national state, came into being on Jan. 24, 1862, through the uniting of two ancient Romanian provinces, namely Tara Romaneasca (the Romanian Country) and Moldova (the regions South and East of the current territory) under the leadership of ruler (prince) Alexandru Ioan Cuza.
On May 10, 1866, after Cuza's abdication, Carol de Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, related to the Prussian royal family and supported by Napoleon the Third and Bismark, was proclaimed the ruling prince of Romania under the name of Carol the First.
Romania entered a flourishing period during the reign of Carol the First and his successors from the family of Hohenzollern, and significant economic progress occurred during this time. In addition, the Romanian arts developed and significant contributions made to the creation of a national patrimony.
In 1881, after asserting its independence and escaping Ottoman domination, Romania was proclaimed a kingdom, and Carol the First was crowned king of Romania.
Romania played a significant part in World War I, which it entered in 1916 along with the Allies, after two years of neutrality. Victorious with the Allies, on Dec. 1, 1918, Romania achieved the Great Union, by annexing the third important large Romanian province, Transylvania, West Northwest of the current territory. December 1 still marks the national day of Romania.
Romania also took part in World War II, initially siding under Marshal Antonescu with the Axis powers.
On Aug. 23, 1944, Romania changed sides, bringing its entire economic and military resources to bear with the Allies against the Axis powers until the end of the war.
The monarchy of Hohenzollern ruled Romania until it was ousted from power by a communist regime in 1945. The Soviet occupation of Romania following World War II resulted in the establishment of a communist regime in 1948, followed by a brutal imposition of dictatorial rule and eradication of democratic principles.
The eradication of the communist regime was finally achieved with the December 1989 revolution which led to the execution of the hated dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and the reestablishment of democracy, a pluralist political system, a return to a free market economy and the reintegration of the country into the European economic, political and cultural sphere.
POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION
According to the Constitution approved by way of a national referendum on October 2003, the governmental form of Romania is a republic and the citizens elect a president by direct vote. The president's term is five years and limited to a maximum of two terms, which may be successive.
The Parliament of Romania, as an authority of supreme representation and legislation, is bicameral, comprising the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Neither of these legislative bodies is subordinated to the other in the course of the legislative process.
The government exercises general management of public administration in Romania. The president designates the prime minister after consulting with the political party that prevailed in the general elections, and the prime minister, together with the proposed governmental team, are subject to validation by the Parliament.
The general election of November 2000 resulted in a victory for the center-leftist parties (PDSR or Social Democratic Party of Romania) and extreme leftist (PRM or Romania Mare Party), which totaled almost 75 percent of the votes, while the remaining 25 percent of the votes was divided between the center and center-right parties (PD or Democratic Party; PNL or National Liberal Party; UDMR or The Magyar Democratic Union of Romania.
The representation of the parties in the Parliament is varying with the percentages of votes and the number of mandates obtained in each of the two chambers.
The current president of Romania is Ion Iliescu who is in his second term. The prime minister is Adrian Nastase, the leader of the current governing party (PSD, the former PDSR).
The administrative-territorial units, in which the Romanian territory is divided, are communes, cities and counties. There are 41 counties or judete, each of which includes several cities and communes.
The capital city of Romania is Bucharest, which is also considered a separate county Mayors and local councils, appointed by the citizens in direct elections, manage the communes and the cities. In each county and in the Bucharest municipality, the government appoints one prefect for purposes of coordinating public services locally, secured by ministries and other central bodies.
The economy of Romania is a market economy, promoting freedom of trade, protection against unfair competition, stimulation of domestic and foreign investments and protection of private property.
The transition at the beginning of 1990, from a centralized, state-controlled economy to an unguided free market economy, resulted in significant economic and social difficulties. During this transition to capitalism, Romania has displayed symptoms of considerable economic recession.
Thus, devaluation of the national currency, an increase in the unemployment rate, a decrease of internal production in conjunction with an increase in foreign imports, the accumulation of external debt and the inconsistency of the policies for economic recovery are all issues that Romania has been forced to face in its economic restructuring by means of implementing the principles of a free market economy.
Given continued difficulties inherent with this transition, over the last three years Romania has embarked on steps for economic improvement, resulting in better coordination of general economic policy and acceleration of reform in the economic sector steps that have been welcomed abroad by both international bodies and private investors.
An essential role has been and continues to be played by the National Bank of Romania, which consistently monitors the implementation of an effective monetary policy to secure stability for the national currency and to safeguard and ensure the flow of money through the economy markets.
Increasing the trend in the Romanian economy has been focused on stricter monetary control, especially because business executives recognize the need for monetary stability to encourage the development of the private sector, including through governmental programs creating a legal and economical environment that promotes private business and economic productivity.
Romania is a signatory to, or adheres to, important international or regional treaties to secure a healthy business environment based on fair competition among the market participants and the coordination of intercountry economic policies with the aim of synchronizing measures taken to increase the quality of products and services launched on the market. Romania is a party to numerous bilateral treaties regarding investments and it is also signatory to an impressive number of double taxation treaties.
The integration of the Romanian economy into Europe is one of the major objectives of Romania.
Recently, the influence of this priority on the organization and implementation of the national economic strategy have become increasingly visible. This has resulted in Romania being accepted as a participant in the negotiations for eventual entry into the European Union.