COUNTRY

Romania is located in South-Eastern Europe. It shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the northeast, and Bulgaria to the south. Romania has a stretch of sea coast along the Black Sea. It is located roughly in the lower basin of the Danube and almost all of the Danube Delta is located within its territory.

Romania is a semi-presidential unitary state. As a nation-state, the country was formed by the merger of Moldavia and Walachia in 1859 and it gained recognition of its independence in 1878. Later, in 1918, they were joined by Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia. At the end of World War II, parts of its territory was occupied by USSR and Romania became a member of the Warsaw Pact. With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Romania started a series of political and economic reforms that allowed for Romania to join the European Union on January 1, 2007.

Romania has the 9th largest territory and the 7th largest population (with 22 million people) among the European Union member states. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the 6th largest city in the EU. In 2007, Sibiu, a large city in Transylvania, was chosen as European Capital of Culture. Romania also joined NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) on March 29, 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophone countries, and of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).

Romania

Map of the 8 development regions. - source

Area: 238,391 km2.

Capital city: Bucharest.

Nationality: Romanian(s).

Population: 21.6 million (December 2006).

Annual population growth rate: -0.3%.

Ethnic groups: Romanians 89%, Hungarians 7.1%, Germans 0.5%, Ukrainians, Serbs, Croats, Russians, Turks, and Roma 2.5%.

Religions: Orthodox 86.8%, Roman Catholic 5%, Reformed Protestant, Baptist, and Pentecostal 5%, Greek Catholic 1 to 3%, Muslim 0.2%, Jewish less than 0.1%.

Official language: Romanian.

Education: Years compulsory: 10. Attendance: 98%. Literacy: 98%.

Health: Infant mortality rate: 18.7/1000 (2001); 18.6/1000 (2002). Life expectancy: men 67.61 yrs., women 74.9 yrs.

Work force (June 2007): 9.4 million. Agriculture: 3.0 million, industry and construction: 2.8 million, services: 3.3 million, other: 0.3 million.

According to the 2002 census, Romania has a population of 21,698,181 and, as is the case with other countries in the region, is expected to slowly decline in the coming years as a result of below-replacement fertility rates. Romanians make up 89.5% of the population. The largest ethnic minorities are Hungarians, who make up 6.6% of the population and Roma or Gypsies, who make up 2.5% of the population. By the official census 535,250 Roma live in Romania.www.wikipedia.org - Romania

The overall population density conceals considerable regional variation. Population density is highest in the urban locations. The second highest density is in the lower plains (up to altitudes of some 700 ft). These are agricultural areas with traditionally high birth rate. The higher altitude areas of 700 to 2,000 feet have the lowest population density. The number of Romanians living abroad, including their descendants, is estimated at around 12 million.

Defence: 1.9% of GDP.

GDP (2007): $250 billion.

Annual GDP growth rate (2007): 6.1%.

GDP per capita (2007): $11,989.

Natural resources: Oil, timber, natural gas, coal, salt, iron ore.

Agriculture (2007): Percent of GDP: 8.0%. Products: corn, wheat, potatoes, oilseeds, vegetables, livestock, fish, and forestry.

Industry (2007): Percent of GDP: 23.9%. Types: machine building, mining, construction materials, metal production and processing, chemicals, food processing, textiles, clothing.

Services (2007): Percent of GDP: 61.1%.

Construction (2007): Percent of GDP: 7.0%.

Trade: Exports (2007): $32.3 billion. Types: textiles, chemicals, light manufactures, wood products, fuels, processed metals, machinery and equipment. Major markets: Italy, Germany, Turkey, France, Hungary, U.K., U.S. (2.6%). Imports (2007): $50.9 billion. Types: machinery and equipment, textiles, fuel, coking coal, iron ore, machinery and equipment, and mineral products. Major suppliers: Germany, Italy, Russia, France, Turkey, Austria, U.K., China, Hungary, U.S. (2.4%).

Exchange rate: 2.38 new Lei=U.S. $1 (end-October 2007).

With a GDP of around $250 billion and a GDP per capita (PPP) of $11,989 estimated for 2008, Romania is considered an upper-middle income economy and has been part of the European Union since January 1, 2007. After the Communist regime was overthrown in late 1989, the country experienced a decade of economic instability and decline, led in part by an obsolete industrial base and a lack of structural reform. From 2000 onwards, however, the Romanian economy was transformed into one of relative macroeconomic stability, characterized by high growth, low unemployment and declining inflation. In 2006, according to the Romanian Statistical Office, GDP growth in real terms was recorded at 7.7%, one of the highest rates in Europe. The growth decreased to 6.1% in 2007, and is expected to be around 5.7% in 2008. Unemployment in Romania was at 3.9% in September 2007 which is very low compared to other European countries such as Poland, France, Germany and Spain. Foreign debt is also comparatively low, at 20.3% of GDP. Exports have increased substantially in the past few years, with a 25% year-on-year rise in exports in the first quarter of 2006. Romania’s main exports are clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, cars, military equipment, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). Trade is mostly withy the other member states of the European Union, with Germany and Italy being the country’s single largest trading partners. The country, however, has a large trade deficit, which increased sharply during 2007 by 50%, to 15 billon Euros.

Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce - source

After a series of privatizations and other reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, government intervention in the Romanian economy is somewhat lower than in other European economies. In 2005, the government replaced Romania’s progressive tax system with a flat tax of 16% for both personal income and corporate profit, resulting in the country having the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union, a factor which has contributed to the growth of the private sector. The economy is predominantly based on services, which account for 55% of GDP, even though industry and agriculture also have significant contributions, making up 35% and 10% of GDP, respectively. Additionally, 32% of the Romanian population is employed in agriculture and primary production, one of the highest rates in Europe. Since 2000, Romania has attracted increasing amounts of foreign investment, becoming the single largest investment destination in South-eastern and Central Europe. Foreign direct investment was valued at €8.3 billion in 2006. According to a 2006 World Bank report, Romania currently ranks 49th out of 175 economies in the ease of doing business, scoring higher than other countries in the region such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. Additionally, the same study judged it to be the world’s second-fastest economic reformer in 2006. The average gross wage per month in Romania is 1411 lei as of September 2007, equating to €403.3 (US$597.3) based on international exchange rates, and $1001.1 based on purchasing power parity.

System of government: Republic.

Constitution: December 8, 1991, amended by referendum October 18-19, 2003.

Branches: Executive: president (head of state), prime minister (head of government), Council of Ministers. Legislative: bicameral Parliament. Constitutional Court, High Court of Cassation and Justice, and lower courts.

Subdivisions: 41 counties plus the city of Bucharest.

Political parties: Political parties represented in the Parliament are the Social Democratic Party (PSD); the National Liberal Party (PNL); the Democratic Party (PD); the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR); the Romanian Conservative Party (PC); the Greater Romania Party (PRM). Other political parties include National Democratic Christian Peasant Party (PNTCD), the Party of the Romanian National Unity (PUNR), as well as political organizations of minorities.


Head of State: Traian Băsescu (PDL) - President, Head of Government - Emil Boc (PDL) - Prime Minister, Governing parties: PDL, PSD, PC

Last national elections 2008

Last national elections 2008

http://www.parties-and-elections.de/romania.html

Last European Parliament election June 2009 See: • http://www.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/archive/elections2009/en/romania_en.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2009_(Romania)


The Constitution of Romania is based on the Constitution of France’s Fifth Republic and was approved in a national referendum on 8 December 1991. A plebiscite held in October 2003 approved 79 amendments to the Constitution, bringing it into conformity with the European Union legislation. Romania is governed on the basis of multi-party democratic system and of the segregation of the legal, executive and judicial powers. The Constitution states that Romania is a semi-presidential democratic republic where executive functions are shared between the president and the prime minister. The President is elected by popular vote for maximum two terms, and since the ammendments in 2003, the terms are five years. The President appoints the Prime Minister, who in turn appoints the Council of Ministers. While the president resides at Cotroceni Palace, the Prime Minister with the Romanian Government is based at Victoria Palace.

The Palace of the Parliament, the seat of Romania’s bicameral parliament (built in 1984) is the largest building in Europe and the world’s second largest administrative building behind the Pentagon and 10% larger by volume than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Palace of the Parliament

The Palace of the Parliament - source

The legislative branch of the government, collectively known as the Parliament, consists of two chambers – the Senate, which has 140 members, and the Chamber of Deputies, which has 346 members. The members of both chambers are elected every four years under a system of party-list proportional representation.

The justice system is independent of the other branches of government, and is made up of a hierarchical system of courts culminating in the High Court of Cassation and Justice, which is the supreme court of Romania. There are also courts of appeal, county courts and local courts. The Romanian judicial system is strongly influenced by the French model, considering that it is based on civil law and is inquisitorial in nature. The Constitutional Court is responsible for judging the compliance of laws and other state regulations to the Romanian Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the country. The constitution, which was introduced in 1991, can only be amended by a public referendum, the last one being in 2003. Since this amendment, the court’s decisions cannot be overruled by any majority of the parliament.

The country’s entry into the European Union in 2007 has been a significant influence on its domestic policy. As part of the process, Romania has instituted reforms including judicial reform, increased judicial cooperation with other member states, and measures to combat corruption. Nevertheless, in 2006 Brussels report, Romania and Bulgaria were described as the two most corrupt countries in the EU.

Romania is a secular state, thus having no national religion. The dominant religious body is the Romanian Orthodox Church, an autocephalous church within the Eastern Orthodox communion; its members make up 86.7% of the population according to the 2002 census. Other important Christian denominations include Roman Catholicism (4.7%), Protestantism (3.7%), Pentecostalism (1.5%) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church (0.9%). Romania also has a historically significant Muslim minority concentrated in Dobrogea, mostly of Turkish ethnicity and numbering 67,500 people. Based on the 2002 census data, there are also 6,179 Jews, 23,105 people who are of no religion and/or atheist, and 11,734 who refused to answer. On December 27, 2006, a new Law on Religion was approved under which religious denominations can only receive official registration if they have at least 20,000 members, or about 0.1 percent of Romania’s total population.

The legend of the legends – Welcome the Count Dracula

A man or a vampire? This is a question, right? Do you know who was he? Was he real?

Count Dracula, a fictional character in the Dracula novel, was inspired by one of the best-known figures of the Romanian history — Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) — who was a ruler of Walachia (1456-1462).

Are you interested more about the Dracula’s legend? Yes? Then don’t miss the time and click just right now on the following link. You will surely receive the complete package of information about this Romanian legend.

www.romaniatourism.com

Traditional arts of Romanian Culture

Have you ever heard about the Romanian traditional art? Things like traditional books, masks and traditional pottery, wooden carved objects, traditional dolls and at last some traditional textiles. This all you are able to buy in Romania.

Palace of Culture

Palace of Culture - source

Peasant Furniture

The characteristic of the peasant furniture is the simplicity of the shapes and the diversity of decorations.

www.folkromania.com - Peasant furniture

Traditional Textiles

Very decorative soft goods made from raw materials from the household. The biggest benefit was the fact of a decorative instrument for special opportunities.

www.folkromania.com - Traditional textiles

Traditional Masks

Masks were used in the fertility rituals, rain calling rituals, hunting rituals or in ritual dances. They represent characters from folk mythology.

www.folkromania.com - Traditional Mask

Traditional Pottery

Definitely one of the most beautiful pottery in the whole Europe. You will find a lot of styles of pottery in Romania, it’s the remainder after Roman settlement in antique times.

www.folkromania.com - Traditional potter

If you want to be in advance to know how this kinds of traditional art looks, just please try to visit the following link with more sizable area of information:

www.folkromania.com

Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, the Romanian education system has been in a continuous process of reformation that has been both praised and criticized. According to the Law on Education adopted in 1995, the Educational System is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Research. Each level has its own form of organization and is subject to different legislations. Kindergarten is optional between 3 and 6 years old. Schooling starts at age 7 (sometimes 6), and is compulsory until the 10th grade (which usually corresponds to the age of 17 or 16). Primary and secondary educations are divided in 12 or 13 grades. Higher education is aligned onto the European higher education area.

Aside from the official schooling system, and the recently-added private equivalents, there exists a semi-legal, informal, fully private tutoring system (medita?ii). Tutoring is mostly used during secondary as a preparation for the various examinations, which are notoriously difficult. Tutoring is wide-spread, and it can be considered a part of the Education System. It has subsisted and even prospered during the Communist regime.

The University of Bucharest Library

The University of Bucharest Library - source

In 2004, some 4.4 million of the population was enrolled in school. Out of these, 650,000 in kindergarten, 3.11 million (14% of population) in primary and secondary level, and 650,000 (3% of population) in tertiary level (universities). In the same year, the adult literacy rate was 97,3% (45th worldwide), while the combined gross enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schools was 75% (52nd worldwide). The results of the PISA assessment study in schools for the year 2000 placed Romania on the 34th rank out of 42 participant countries with a general weighted score of 432 representing 85% of the mean OECD score. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, in 2006 no Romanian university was included in the first 500 top universities world wide. Using similar methodology to these rankings, it was reported that the best placed Romanian university, Bucharest University, attained the half score of the last university in the world top 500.

Romanian high school curricula have recently been censored and restructured, owing to a growing trend of religious conservatism. In 2006, the theory of evolution, which has been taught since the country’s Communist era, has been dropped from the compulsory curriculum nationwide. Philosophical writers critical of religion, such as Voltaire and Camus have also been removed from the philosophy curriculum. Instead, students are taught 7-day Creationism in Orthodox religion classes, which under a new proposal would become compulsory.

How do the Romanians live? How do they behave? What do they like or dislike?

Generally Romanians are formal and reserved with a strong need for privacy. Most do not trust strangers readily. They are taking them as outsiders. But once you get their trust you are becoming insider. If you want to know more information about this topic go onto this sites. You will find there information about family, privacy, dining Etiquette, business etiquette and protocol (what you should know about Romanian before you start business there), and many others important things.

Business Etiquette and Negotiating

When you decide to do some business in Romania, you have to follow some of the rules, which are available in next link. The most important rules which shouldn´t be overlooked are:

  • Arrive on time and be prepared to wait.
  • Appointments are necessary and should be scheduled 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
  • Expect to spend time getting to know people before delving into the business purpose of your visit.
  • Romanians have a tendency to tell others what they think they want to hear.
  • It may take several visits to accomplish a simple task.
  • Romanians are concerned about being taken advantage of by foreigners.
  • Have one side of your business card translated into Romanian.

www.kwintessential.co.uk - Global etiquette

Cultural Values

Another link will meet you with orientation, history and ethnic relations, architecture, food and economy, social stratification, political life, nongovernmental organizations and other associations, socialization, medicine and healthcare and many many moore

www.everyculture.com

Foreign visitors consider Romanians among the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. Romanians are by nature fun loving, warm, hospitable, with an innate sense of humor. Click on this link if you want to know something about famous people, religions, language and public holidays.

www.romaniatourism.com

Bucharest is the capital and the largest city in Romania. At the census in 2002, its population was over 1.9 million. The metropolitan area of Bucharest has a population of about 2.2 million. There are several plans to increase further its metropolitan area to about 20 times the area of the city proper.

There are 5 more cities in Romania, with a population of around 300,000, that are also present in EU top 100 most populous cities. These are: Iaşi, Cluj-Napoca, Timişoara, Constanţa, and Craiova. The other cities with populations over 200,000 are Galaţi, Braşov, Ploieşti, Brăila and Oradea. Another 13 cities have populations over 100,000.

Danube delta

Danube delta - source

Until now, several of the largest cities have a metropolitan area: Constanţa (550,000 people), Braşov, Iaşi (both with around 400,000) and Oradea (260,000) and several others are planned: Timişoara (400,000), Cluj-Napoca (400,000), Brǎila-Galaţi (600,000), Craiova (370,000), Bacau and Ploieşti.

With a surface area of 238,391 km², Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe. A large part of Romania’s border with Serbia and Bulgaria is formed by the Danube. The Danube is joined by the Prut River, which forms the border with the Republic of Moldova. The Danube flows into the Black Sea within Romania’s territory forming the Danube Delta, the second largest and the best preserved delta in Europe, and a biosphere reserve and a biodiversity World Heritage Site. Other important rivers are the Siret, running north-south through Moldavia, the Olt, running from the oriental Carpathian Mountains to Oltenia, and the Mureş, running through Transylvania from East to West.

Romania’s terrain is distributed roughly equally between mountainous, hilly and lowland territories. The Carpathian Mountains dominate the center of Romania, with fourteen of its mountain ranges reaching above the altitude of 2,000 meters. The highest mountain in Romania is Moldoveanu Peak (2544 m). In south-central Romania, the Carpathians sweeten into hills, towards the Bărăgan Plains. Romania’s geographical diversity has led to an accompanying diversity of flora and fauna.

Environment

A high percentage of natural ecosystems (47% of the land area of the country) is covered with natural and semi-natural ecosystems. Since almost half of all forests in Romania (13% of the country) have been managed for watershed conservation rather than production, Romania has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe. The integrity of Romanian forest ecosystems is indicated by the presence of the full range of European forest fauna, including 60% and 40% of all European brown bears and wolves, respectively. There are also almost 400 unique species of mammals (of which Carpathian chamois are best known), birds, reptiles and amphibians in Romania.

There are almost 10,000 km² (almost 5% of the total area) of protected areas in Romania. Of these, Danube Delta Reserve Biosphere is the largest and least damaged wetland complex in Europe, covering a total area of 5800 km². The significance of the biodiversity of the Danube Delta has been internationally recognized. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve in September 1990, a Ramsar site in May 1991, and over 50% of its area was placed on the World Heritage List in December 1991. Within its boundaries is one of the most extensive reed bed systems in the world. There are two other biosphere reserves: Retezat National Park and Rodna National Park.

Retezat National Park

Retezat National Park - source

Tourism focuses on the country’s natural landscapes and its rich history and is a significant contributor to the Romania’s economy. In 2006, the domestic and international tourism generated about 4.8% of gross domestic product and 5.8% of the total jobs (about half a million jobs). Following commerce, tourism is the second largest component of the services sector. Tourism is one of the most dynamic and fastest developing sectors of the economy of Romania and characterized by a huge potential for development. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council Romania is the fourth fastest growing country in the world in terms of travel and tourism total demand with a yearly potential growth of 8% from 2007-2016. Number of tourists grew from 4.8 million in 2002 to 6.6 million in 2004. Similarly, the revenues grew from 400 million in 2002 to 607 in 2004. In 2006, Romania registered 20 million overnight stays by international tourists, an all-time record, but the number for 2007 is expected to increase even more. Tourism in Romania attracted €400 million in investments in 2005.

Rodna National Park

Rodna National Park. - source

Over the last years, Romania has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of the foreign visitors were from EU countries), thus attempting to compete with Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Spain. Romania destinations such as Mangalia, Saturn, Venus, Neptun, Olimp, Constanta and Mamaia (sometimes called the Romanian Riviera) are among the most popular attraction during summer. During winter the skiing resorts along the Valea Prahovei and Poiana Braşov are booming with visitors. Several cities in Transylvania (such as Sibiu, Braşov, Sighişoara, Cluj-Napoca and several others) have become important touristic attractions for foreign tourists - especially for their medieval atmosphere and castles. Rural tourism focused on folklore and traditions, has become a major issue for the authorities recently, and is targeted to promote such sites as Bran and its Dracula’s Castle, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, the Wooden churches of Maramureş, or the Merry Cemetery in Maramureş County. There are several major natural attractions in Romania - such as Danube Delta, Iron Gates (Danube Gorge), Scărişoara Cave and several other caves in the Apuseni Mountains - that have not received great attention from the authorities and whose potential has not been fully tapped.

Unique places

Berca Mud Volcanoes - a geological and botanical reservation located in the Berca commune in the Buzău County in Romania. Its most spectacular feature is the mud volcanoes, small volcano-shaped structures typically a few meters high caused by the eruption of mud and volcanic gases.

Berca Mud Volcanoes

Berca Mud Volcanoes - source

Scărişoara Cave - one of the biggest ice caves in the Romanian part of Carpathians, more specifically in the Apuseni Mountains.

Merry Cemetery - a cemetery in the village of Săpânţa, Maramureş county. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with native paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives. The Merry Cemetery became an open-air museum and a national tourist attraction.

Palace of the Parliament - the home of the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest.

Transfăgărăşan - Built as a strategic military route, it is the highest and most dramatic paved road in Romania. It runs North to South across the tallest sections of the Carpathian Mountains, between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Piteşti. (Burford, 2006)

The richness and variety of Romanias tourist attractions, natural but also cultural and historical ones, bring Romanian a leading position in Europe. Romanian’s location at a crossroads of many European roads facilitates access by all means of transport - by plane, car, train or ship.

Lot of travel information, reserve a hotel, rent a car rent a helicopter.

www.ici.ro

Trip around the country? … Impossible without a maps of Romania!

If you are interested in planning the whole trip across the country you will surely need sort of maps of the country. At the link below there is the source of geographical maps

www.rotravel.com

Sea resorts, castles, fortresses, rivers, towns, monasteries, spas – basically places to visit.

At the link below you will find a huge stuff of information which you might use when you decide to travel to Romania such as Black sea resorts, castles and fortresses, danube Delta , Medieval Towns, Painted Monasteries, Spas and The Countryside, architecture and many others

www.romaniatourism.com

www.turism.ro

Tourist info which should be in your diary

List of addresses of tourist information offices, where can you receive information in your mother language including the list of phone numbers.

www.turism.ro

www.romaniatourism.com

www.ici.ro

Activity and Sport

Are you interested in rafting, skiing, cycling, golf, fishing or other kinds of sports?

Romania has a lot to offer...

www.romaniatourism.com

Gallery of the Romania places

Here is the link of some sample images from Romanian places, objects which you surely have to know before you go to visit this country:

www.romaniatourism.com

The official language of Romania is Romanian, an Eastern Romance language related to Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan. Romanian is spoken as a first language by 91% of the population, with Hungarian and Rroma, being the most important minority languages, spoken by 6.7% and 1.1% of the population, respectively. Until the 1990s, there was also a substantial number of German-speaking Transylvanian Saxons, even though many have since emigrated to Germany, leaving only 45,000 native German speakers in Romania. In localities where a given ethnic minority makes up more than 20% of the population, that minority’s language can be used in the public administration and justice system, while native-language education and signage is also provided. English and French are the main foreign languages taught in schools. English is spoken by 5 million Romanians, French is spoken by 4-5 million, and German, Italian and Spanish are each spoken by 1-2 million people. Historically, French was the predominant foreign language spoken in Romania, even though English has since superseded it. Consequently, Romanian English-speakers tend to be younger than Romanian French-speakers. Romania is, however, a full member of La Francophonie, and hosted the Francophonie Summit in 2006. German has been taught predominantly in Transylvania, due to traditions tracing back to the Austro-Hungarian rule in this province.

A list of basic phrases for establishing contacts

www.wikitravel.org - Pronunciation Guide