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Flag of Romania
Coat of arms of Romania
flag coat of arms
Official language Romanian
Capital Bucharest
Form of government republic
Government system Semi-presidential system
Head of state President
Klaus Johannis
Head of government Prime Minister
Ludovic Orban
surface 238,391 km²
population 20,121,641 (October 20, 2011)
Population density 84.4 inhabitants per km²
Population development   −0.32% (2016) per year
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 239.6 billion ( 49th )
  • $ 516.4 billion ( 41st )
  • 12,270 USD ( 62. )
  • 26,448 USD ( 59. )
Human Development Index   0.811 ( 52nd ) (2018)
currency Leu (RON)
independence May 9, 1877 (from the Ottoman Empire )
National anthem Deșteaptă-te, române!
National holiday December 1
Time zone UTC + 2 EET
UTC + 3 EESZ (March to October)
License Plate RO
ISO 3166 RO , ROU, 642
Internet TLD .ro
Telephone code +40
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Romania ( Romanian România ; [romɨˈnia] ? / I ) is a semi-presidential republic in the border area between Central and Southeastern Europe . The country lies on the Black Sea and extends in a westerly direction over the Carpathian Arch to the Pannonian Plain . Romania borders on five countries: Bulgaria to the south, Serbia and Hungary to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the north and east . Audio file / audio sample

The modern Romanian state was created in 1859 through the union of the principalities of Moldova and Wallachia . After 1945 Romania was part of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War . It was the only Warsaw Pact country to have uninterrupted diplomatic relations with Israel. Since 1989 Romania has moved closer politically to the Western European states and became a member of NATO (2004) and the European Union (2007).

With 238,391 km² Romania has the eighth largest area and with around 19.9 million inhabitants the sixth largest population of all member states of the European Union . The Romanian capital Bucharest is the seventh largest city ​​in the European Union with 1.83 million inhabitants (as of 2019) , just after Hamburg (1.85 million). Other major cities are Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg), Timișoara (Timisoara), Iași (Jassy), Constanța (Constana), Craiova and Brașov (Kronstadt).


The Romanian term România (Romania) comes from român ( Romanian ), which in turn is a derivative of the Latin romanus (Roman, Roman).

In the 16th century, Italian travelers reported that residents of what is now Romania called themselves Romans . In a letter from the merchant Neacșu from 1521, the principality of Wallachia is referred to as "Romanian land" (Romanian: Țara românească ). The modern equivalent of România has been in use since the early 19th century.

Historical documents show the spelling rumân and român to denote the Romanians, which were originally used synonymously . In the 17th century the predominant form of speaking rumân took on the meaning of serfs , while român retained its meaning as a term for the Romanians.

After serfdom was abolished in the middle of the 18th century, the form rumân was gradually lost from the language, but in German it is still the root of Romania today .



Romania lies in the transition zone between Central , Southern and Eastern Europe .

Historical regions of Romania

The state border is 3,150 km long. Of this, 1817 km are accounted for by rivers, especially the Danube , which demarcates Romania from Bulgaria to the south and from Serbia to the southwest . The Romanian coastline on the Black Sea is 225 km long. The border between Romania and Ukraine in the north and east is interrupted by the Republic of Moldova . Another external border exists in the west with Hungary .

Romania's landscape is taken up by about one third each of mountains , highlands and plains . The formative mountain range of the country are the Carpathian Mountains , which separate the three historical regions of Moldova, Transylvania and Wallachia from one another. The geographical center of Romania is the Transylvanian Highlands, which are enclosed in the west by the Apuseni Mountains and otherwise by the Carpathian Arch . The Eastern Carpathians form the border with the Moldavian highlands, which are located in north-eastern Romania.

The Southern Carpathians , the Getic Sub- Carpathians and the Getic Plateau, in turn, separate Transylvania from the Wallachian Plain . This region can be divided into Little Wallachia (Oltenia) in the west and Great Wallachia (Muntenia), which includes the central and eastern parts. Wallachia is delimited to the west by the Banat Mountains . Together with the Apuseni Mountains and Poiana-Ruscă Mountains, this forms the so-called Romanian Western Carpathians . These demarcate the central regions of Romania from the Pannonian Plain . The historical regions of Banat (southwest), Kreischgebiet (west) and Maramureș (northwest) are located here. Bukovina is located in northern Romania . In the east of the country, the Dobruja borders the Black Sea.


Geological map of Romania

Almost the entire southern half of the Carpathian Mountains is on Romanian territory. The mountains were formed during the Alpidian orogeny in the Triassic and belong to a mountain system that stretches from the Alps to the Himalayas .

Ten peaks of the Carpathian Mountains reach heights of over 2500 m. The highest point of the Southern Carpathians and the whole of Romania is the Moldoveanu with 2544 m. The Eastern Carpathians at Pietros reach 2303 m, the Romanian Western Carpathians at the Curcubăta Mare summit 1848 m. The Southern Carpathians are the most massive, while the Eastern and Western Carpathians are criss-crossed by valleys and passes. Parts of the Eastern Carpathians are volcanic , the rest of the Romanian Carpathians consists of slate and limestone .

The Transylvanian highlands are between 300 m and 700 m high, the Moldavian highlands 300 m and 500 m high. The small Dobruja highland reaches 467 m at its highest point. The Pannonian and Wallachian Plains (Campia Romana) remain below the limit of 200 m.


The Iron Gate is a breakthrough valley of the Danube on the Serbian-Romanian border.

The most important river in Romania is the Danube ( Romanian Dunărea ), which flows more than a thousand kilometers through or along Romania. It represents one of the most important transport routes in the country. The Danube forms the largest part of the Romanian southern border between the Romanian part of the Banat and Serbia or Wallachia and Bulgaria. In the great Danube Delta , the river flows into the Black Sea .

The other important rivers in Romania belong directly or indirectly to the catchment area of the Danube and drain the Eastern Carpathians. The Tisza partially delimits Romania to the north to the Ukraine, the Prut the Romanian region of Moldova to the northeast to the Republic of Moldova. The Sereth flows through Moldau, the Olt through Wallachia, the Mureș (tributary of the Tisza) through Transylvania.

Romania's lakes make up 1.1% of the country's area. There are over 3400 lakes in total. The largest are the lagoons Razim with 41,500 ha and Sinoie with 17,100 ha.


Romania belongs to the moderate climatic zone in the area of ​​the west wind zone . Due to the natural barrier of the Carpathians, however, the individual parts of the country differ from one another in terms of climate. Transylvania (west of the Carpathian Arc) is still characterized by the maritime climate of the Atlantic winds. However, the Carpathian Mountains prevent these air masses from reaching the east and south of the country. In the Vltava (east of the Carpathian Mountains) there is a continental climate . This region is exposed to cold air currents from Ukraine. In Wallachia (south of the Carpathian Mountains) there are Mediterranean influences; this is even more true of the Dobruja .

Average annual temperatures within Romania vary between 11 ° C in the south and 8 ° C in the north. The coldest month is usually January and the warmest month July. In winter, the average temperatures are 0 ° C on the Black Sea coast and −15 ° C in the high mountains. In summer, the average temperatures in the lower regions of the country rise to more than 25 ° C. The lowest temperature ever recorded was found at -38.5 ° C on January 25, 1942 in Bod , the highest with 44.5 ° C on August 10, 1951 near Brăila .

Precipitation tends to be strongest in northwest Romania and weakest in southeast. The highest annual precipitation rates occur at 1000 mm in the high mountains, the lowest at 300–400 mm on the Black Sea coast. This comes to 2286 hours of sunshine a year compared to only 1500 in the mountainous regions of Romania.


Romania is 27% covered by forest. The forest zone ends at 1800 meters, above which there are mountain pastures . Spruce , fir , pine , yew and larch grow within the coniferous forest zone (1400–1800 m) . In the beech forest (400–1400 m) beeches dominate , but hornbeams , elms , ash trees and birches also occur. The lowest forest zone is the oak forest (150–400 m), where not only oaks but also maples , plane trees , willows , poplars and linden trees can be found.

In the Bărăgan (part of the Wallachian Plain) and in the Dobruja there are steppe landscapes , of which, however, large parts are used for agriculture. Otherwise roses , prunus and hawthorns can be found here in addition to isolated deciduous trees . In the Danube Delta there is a swampy landscape, which is characterized by reeds , cattails , water hemlock and water lilies .

Romania's fauna includes 3600 species, some of which are genera that are widespread in Europe, but some of them only occur here. In the Carpathian Mountains, these include the chamois , bearded vulture , brown bear (around 6600 specimens), wolf (around 3100), lynx (around 1500) and the otter . In addition, in the higher forest regions of Romania there are animals that are more common in the rest of Europe, such as golden eagles , black vultures , red deer and red fox , in lower-lying deciduous forests badgers , deer and wild boar . In 2012 the bison was reintroduced after it was exterminated in Romania around 1800. The around 50 animals (as of 2017) now live there in complete freedom and slowly reproduce.

Small populations of the great bustard can be found in the Wallachian Plain . The Danube Delta is home to numerous species of fish , amphibians and migratory birds . This includes the great white pelican, which is only found here in Europe . The purple heron and the sturgeon, known for its caviar, also live here .

The Danube Delta is a habitat for many animal and plant species.

The common dolphin is at home in the Black Sea (Dobruja) .

natural reserve

As a member of the EU, Romania is also obliged to implement the NATURA 2000 network of protected areas . Numerous national parks already existed or were set up after the country joined the EU .

In Romania there are currently 148 bird protection areas and 383 FFH areas , which are classified as special protection areas according to NATURA 2000 . This corresponds to 23.4% of the Romanian land area. In comparison, Germany reported 22.6% (as of 12/2013) of its area according to this criterion.

The Danube Delta is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the largest reed area in the world. Romania has more biogeographical regions than any other EU country, but the landscapes are increasingly influenced by booming and modernized agriculture and urban growth.

The national budget in the biodiversity protection sector is very small and there is often a lack of awareness of the meaning and purpose of EU nature conservation directives . In October 2007 the government in Bucharest received a written warning from the European Commission that the country had not complied with its laws on the conservation of biodiversity. Specifically, it was about certain protection zones for migratory birds.

Adoptable dogs are a problem as they also attack humans when they are hungry. In Bucharest alone, their number is estimated at 60,000.

Illegal logging, which is not followed by reforestation, is increasingly threatening the forest. The reasons are the international demand for cheap wood, large foreign wood processing companies, especially from Austria, which determine the timber industry and a pyramid-shaped system in which everyone involved, from foresters to processors and politicians, benefit from the illegal income. NGOs like Plantam Fapte Bune are trying to counteract this development.



Fertility rate by region (2014)
  • 1.9 - 2.1
  • 1.7 - 1.9
  • 1.5 - 1.7
  • 1.4 - 1.5
  • 1.3 - 1.4
  • <1.3
  • After the Second World War , Romania's population increased steadily and finally exceeded the limit of 23 million inhabitants. However, since the revolution of 1989 this number has fallen slightly as a result of a birth deficit. According to the results of a population and housing census in 2016, Romania had 19.87 million people, so the population has fallen by 8.3% since it was recorded in 2002 (−1,809,333 people). For every 1,000 Romanians there are 11.8 deaths per year, but only 9.4 births, which means a population growth rate of −0.27%. The Romanian fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman is thus well below the net reproduction rate . This also has an impact on the Romanian age structure, according to which - typical for Europe - only 15% of the population are younger than 15 years old. Another 16.1% of the population are older than 65 years, 1.3% older than 85, although these values ​​will increase in the medium term in view of the increasing life expectancy (75 years). The fact that Romania has been a country of emigration since 1945 due to its economic problems has also contributed to the decrease in population , even if this development has weakened due to the strengthening of the economy since 2002.

    In 2011, around 727,500 people who had lived abroad for more than a year were registered. 46.2% of them were between 20 and 34 years old; about 24.8% between 35 and 44 years. The majority of these people are after Italy (46.9%), Spain (23.5%), Great Britain (5.5%), Germany (4.5%), France (3.2%) and Greece ( 2.2%) have moved for more than a year. Around 31.2% are from the Moldova region - the Bacău , Galați , Iași , Neamț districts - and the Suceava district in the south of Bucovina; few of the people living abroad (2.8%) come from the Călărași , Covasna districts , Giurgiu , Harghita and Ilfov .

    Romania has a population density of 84.4 inhabitants per km², which is slightly below average by EU standards . In relation to the individual parts of the country, the population is distributed relatively unevenly. The Banat is the least densely populated with 56 inhabitants per km². Dobruja (57.6), southern Transylvania (68.9), Little Wallachia (71.8) and northern Transylvania (72.4) are also below the Romanian average. The Vltava (90.5) is relatively densely populated, the Great Wallachia including the capital region (combined 103.2) is particularly strong.

    Measured against the European average, the urban proportion of the Romanian population is balanced at 54% in relation to the rural population . However, the average age in rural areas is significantly higher due to the emigration of young Romanians to the cities. After 1990, residents increasingly settled in urban areas. In response to this development, several metropolitan regions have been established since 2005 . In connection with Romania's accession to the EU in 2007, the migration processes in, from and to Romania have intensified considerably.

    Ethnicities and languages

    The historical settlement areas of the German minority in Romania around 1918
    Ethnic groups according to the 2011 census

    The Romanians were registered in 2011 with 88.9% as the clearly largest population group in the country. There are also numerous ethnic groups , some of which make up the regional majority. This is especially true for Hungarians with 6.5% (around 1.2 million people). Their main settlement areas are in southeastern Transylvania, the Szeklerland , as well as in the border area with Hungary. The relationship between Romanians and Hungarians is historically burdened, as both have laid claim to the common settlement areas. Since the revolution of 1989, however, the relationship between Romanians and Hungarians has relaxed. The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania , an ethnic gathering party, has since been part of the national government coalition several times.

    The third largest population group in Romania today is the Roma with 3.3% (around 621,000 people), who are scattered across the whole country without a regional focus. They are often worse off socially and economically than the other groups.

    The high proportion of German speakers up until the middle of the 20th century has fallen to 0.2% (as of 2011). These are mainly Transylvanian Saxons , who, however, are not Saxons in the current sense, but immigrated in the Middle Ages mainly from the Moselle Franconian-Lorraine region, and Danube Swabians (Banat and northwest near Satu Mare ). Over 200,000 people were ransomed by the West German government between 1968 and 1989 and naturalized in the Federal Republic of Germany. However, the average age of those who remained in Romania is relatively high, so that the total number of Romanian Germans will continue to decrease from below 50,000 people. There are also numerous other minorities: Ukrainians (0.3%) in Bukovina and Maramureș; Russian Lipovans (0.2%), Turks (0.2%) and Tatars (0.1%) in Dobruja; Serbs (0.1%), Slovaks (0.1%) and Czechs (below 0.1%) in the Banat. In parliamentary elections, one seat in the Chamber of Deputies is assigned for a total of 18 minorities, regardless of the votes cast .

    The distribution of languages ​​largely corresponds to the individual nationalities. According to the constitution, Romanian’s official language is Romanian (limba română) , one of the Eastern Romance languages ​​spoken by 91% of the country’s population. Hungarian also plays an important role regionally with 6.7%. In the regions in which one of the minority languages ​​is spoken by more than 20% of the population, this official second language is used in administration, courts and schools. The most commonly learned foreign languages ​​in Romania are English and French , in Transylvania and in the Banat also German .


    As a secular country, Romania has no state religion. 86.7% of the population profess the Romanian Orthodox Church . This is an autocephalous church within Eastern European Orthodoxy . The ethnic and linguistic division of Romania continues in terms of church membership, as Hungarians prefer to belong to other denominations than the Romanian Orthodox Church.

    Protestants make up 6.7% of the population. Almost half of them belong to the Reformed Church , the rest are Pentecostals , Baptists , Seventh-day Adventists , Unitarians ( Unitarian Church in Transylvania ), Lutherans ( Evangelical Lutheran Church in Romania and Evangelical Church A. B. in Romania ) or Evangelicals . Hungarians and Germans in Transylvania are mainly represented in the traditional Protestant churches, while the Romanians (unless they are of the Orthodox faith) belong to newer Protestant free churches. A total of 5.6% of the population are Catholics , of which just under one percent belongs to the Romanian Greek Catholic Church united with Rome . The majority of the Catholics in Romania are ethnic Hungarians. The Tschangos living in Moldova are Catholic, as are the majority of the Danube Swabians.

    Muslims in Romania make up 0.3% of the population, with the majority being Turks and Tatars in the Dobruja. Of the originally numerous Jews in Romania before 1945 , only a small minority (less than 0.1%) remains. Despite the long communist rule, the number of people with no religious affiliation is only 0.2%.

    According to a representative survey by the Eurobarometer , in 2005 90% of the people in Romania believed in God , 8% believed in another spiritual force . Only 1% of the respondents believed neither in a God nor in any other spiritual force, 1% of the respondents were undecided. Romania was thus one of the most religious states in the European Union.



    Ethnogenesis of the Romanians

    According to Herodotus, the area of ​​present-day Romania was established at least since the 5th century BC Settled by the Thracian peoples of the Geten and Dacians . In the following centuries there were regular military conflicts between the Geto-Dacians on the one hand and the respective peoples south of the Danube ( Odrysen , Macedonians , Romans ). The Dacian Empire reached its greatest extent under King Burebista (60-44 BC) through the union of several tribes. After his death, the tribal union disintegrated again.

    Under King Decebal , the Dacian tribes were reunited. This fell in 85 AD in the Roman province of Moesia . Only between 101 and 106 he was defeated by Emperor Trajan in two campaigns north of the Danube. Decebal's rulership was incorporated into the Roman Empire as the province of Dacia with the capital Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa , and its population was Romanized. The province roughly included today's Transylvania , the Banat and Oltenia . Because of its gold deposits, Dacia was of interest to the Romans, but militarily the province was exposed to strong pressure from the neighboring peoples from the beginning. Therefore it was given up again under Emperor Aurelian until 275 and parts of its population settled south of the Danube.

    During the Great Migration , the area of ​​what is now Romania was successively roamed by Goths , Huns , Gepids , Slavs , Avars and Bulgarians . The fate of the Romanized population in the former province of Dacia and the related origin of the Romanian people is controversial among modern historians: The Dako-Roman continuity theory says that even after the province was abandoned, a Dacian-Roman population remained north of the Danube permanently, from which today's Romanians emerged between the 6th and 10th centuries. On the other hand, there is the migration thesis, according to which the ethnogenesis of the Romanians took place south of the Danube and this population group only immigrated from Bulgaria to Transylvania after the Hungarian invasion (9th century). The two theses do not answer the question to what extent this population has resisted the assimilation pressure in the Bulgarian Empire .

    middle Ages

    Territorial expansion of Bulgaria under Khan Krum (803-814)

    From the middle of the 6th century, large parts of today's Romania belonged to the Bulgarian Empire. The Christianization of the local population and the introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet , which was used in Romania until 1862, also took place during this period.

    In Transylvania, political units formed by Romanians existed in the 12th and 13th centuries, but they were dependent on the Hungarian Árpáden Empire. Beyond the Carpathians, the Romanian nobleman Basarab I established the Principality of Wallachia in the early 14th century . Basarab was initially only a Hungarian vassal, but in 1330 he became virtually independent of Hungary after his victory over the king. In a similar way, the principality of Moldova was created when the noble Bogdan I militarily asserted his independence against Hungary in 1365. The two Romanian principalities also distinguished themselves from Catholic Hungary by setting up two Orthodox metropolises in Argeș (1359) and Suceava (1401). Transylvania, as a principality within Hungary, also gained a certain degree of autonomy. Here, however, power came from the Hungarians and the immigrant Transylvanian Saxons , while the Orthodox Romanian population had been legally worse off since 1366 - and increasingly since 1437.

    Since the late 14th century, Wallachia's foreign policy was shaped by its proximity to the expanding Ottoman Empire . Important princes of this time were Mircea cel Bătrân (Mircea the Old, 1386-1418) and Vlad III. Drăculea (1456–1462, 1476), who were able to post some military successes against the Turks. Moldova had to defend itself against both the influence of Hungary and Poland during this period . Under the prince Ștefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great, 1457–1504), Moldova also took part successfully in the defensive struggle against the Turks. Towards the end of the 15th century, the two Romanian principalities became tributaries to the Ottoman Empire, even if they retained their political and religious autonomy.

    Early modern age

    The three principalities were divided by the Carpathian Mountains: Moldova (red), Wallachia (blue), Transylvania (yellow)

    In the middle of the 16th century the Kingdom of Hungary disappeared as an independent political power. This led to the Principality of Transylvania becoming effectively independent.

    For Moldavia and Wallachia, the decline of Hungary meant that they were politically more exposed to the pressure of the Ottoman Empire and that they eventually became its vassals. An attempt at an anti-Turkish policy was undertaken by Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave, 1593–1601), who in 1600 led the three principalities inhabited by Romanians from May to September. This concentration of power only lasted four months, however, as it was rejected by both neighboring states and internal elites.

    With the Dobruja , the Budschak (1538) and the Banat (1551) , the Ottoman Empire secured further territories partially populated by Romanians. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Habsburg monarchy opposed the Turkish claim to rule. The situation of the Romanian principalities worsened as the Habsburgs brought Transylvania (1711), the Banat (1718), Oltenia (1718–1739) and Bukovina (1775) under their control.

    After the fall of Poland, the Russian Empire , which established itself in Bessarabia in 1812 , was the third major foreign power to exert influence over the Romanian principalities. The domestic politics of Moldova and Wallachia were also affected by the foreign policy situation, since the Ottoman Empire appointed Phanariots of Greek origin as princes.


    Carol I - first Romanian king from 1881 to 1914

    The representatives of the revolution of 1848 called for a unification of the principalities of Romania, for which an opportunity arose in foreign policy after the weakening of Russia as a result of the Crimean War . In 1859 Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859–1866) was elected prince of both Wallachia and Moldova. On December 24, 1861, he created a real union through the proclamation of the Principality of Romania (the so-called " Old Reich ") with the capital Bucharest . Due to internal political conflicts, Cuza was forced to abdicate in 1866 with the approval of the great powers by the nobles and replaced by the German Prince Carol I (Karl I, 1866–1914) from the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty . In the Russo-Ottoman War 1877–1878 , the Romanians supported Russia, whereupon their independence was confirmed at the Berlin Congress . In addition, Romania received the Dobruja against the cession of southern Bessarabia to Russia. On March 26, 1881, the new Kingdom of Romania was proclaimed.

    In 1907 there was a peasant uprising . In 1913 Romania fought against Bulgaria in the Second Balkan War and secured southern Dobruja in the Treaty of Bucharest . When the First World War broke out in 1914, Carol I wanted to take sides in favor of the Central Powers , but did not prevail domestically. Romania joined the Entente in the summer of 1916 under his nephew and successor Ferdinand I (1914–1927) . In the new theater of war that had opened up , the Romanians initially conquered parts of Transylvania, but were soon pushed back. By December 1916, the Central Powers conquered and occupied Wallachia in a counteroffensive, after which Ferdinand I and the government had to flee to Moldova.

    After the end of the First World War, on December 1, 1918 (national holiday), the predominantly Romanian-populated territories of Russia and Austria-Hungary joined Romania. This led to the Hungarian-Romanian War in 1919 , which ended with the occupation of Budapest by the Romanians. Romania's new borders were recognized in the peace treaties of Versailles in 1919 and Trianon in 1920: Transylvania, the eastern Kreischgebiet , southern Maramures , Bukovina and two thirds of the Banat received from the defunct Austria-Hungary ; from Bolshevik Russia additionally Bessarabia.

    Greater Romania

    After the First World War, the area and population of the new “Greater Romania” doubled, transforming it from a relatively unified nation state to a multi-ethnic state. About a quarter of Romanian citizens belonged to one of the national minorities such as Hungarians, Germans, Ukrainians or Bulgarians. Like other European states, Romania was also marked by political instability in the interwar period. In 1927 Crown Prince Carol was forced to abdicate and his underage son Mihai I (Michael I, 1927–1930 and 1940–1947) became king.

    In 1929, women's suffrage was introduced in local elections, but the right to vote was made dependent on the level of education of women, social status and special merit towards society. The 1938 Constitution put men and women on an equal footing in terms of voting rights, and the 1939 Electoral Act stipulated that women and men who could read and write were allowed to vote at the age of 30.

    Michael I's father ascended the throne in 1930 as Carol II (Karl II., 1930–1940). In 1938 he set up a royal dictatorship on the grounds of preventing the fascist Iron Guard from participating in the government.

    In terms of foreign policy, Romania turned to National Socialist Germany in the 1930s . After the outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent territorial reorganization of Europe (see also Hitler-Stalin Pact , Vienna Arbitration ), Romania lost large areas of its national territory: In the summer of 1940, Northern Bukovina, the Herza region and Bessarabia fell to the Soviet Union ; to Bulgaria, South Dobruja; to Hungary, northern Transylvania ( Second Vienna Award ). Carol II went into exile after these losses.

    General Ion Antonescu built a fascist military dictatorship and joined the Axis powers . During the Second World War, Romania took part in the initially successful German campaign against the Soviet Union in 1941 , making the areas lost a year earlier Romanian again. Domestically, Jews and Roma were persecuted and murdered by the Antonescu regime. The successful offensive of the Soviet Union in August 1944 led to the overthrow of Antonescu and the change of front in Romania . After the end of the Second World War, it received northern Transylvania back from Hungary, but Bessarabia, the Herza region and northern Bukovina came under Soviet rule again. The main part of this area today forms the independent Republic of Moldova , the rest is part of Ukraine .

    Romania lost around 378,000 soldiers and civilians in World War II. The Romanian government was actively involved in the murder of around 270,000 Romanian Jews as part of the Nazi genocide.

    People's Republic

    Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (1961)

    After the Second World War, Romania came under Soviet influence. The elites of the old system and political opponents have been expropriated, kidnapped or murdered.

    In 1946 the education census was abolished and universal suffrage was established for both sexes.

    In 1947 all bourgeois parties were banned and King Mihai I was deposed. The Social Democrats were forcibly united with the previously insignificant Partidul Comunist din România (PCR), from which the Partidul Muncitoresc Român (PMR, German  Romanian Workers' Party ) emerged from March 1948 . This proclaimed the People's Republic of Romania , in which Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej was the dominant man. A final territorial cession was made in 1948 when Snake Island was handed over to the Soviet Union.

    The state and economy of Romania were systematically reshaped according to communist ideas: In 1948 industry was nationalized, and from 1950 also agriculture. In the mid-1950s, the economic supply situation in Romania improved, which stabilized the domestic political situation. In order to weaken the ethnic contrast with the Hungarians within Romania, the autonomous Szeklerland was established in their main settlement area in 1952 . In terms of foreign policy, Gheorghiu-Dej sought cautious independence from the Soviet Union, but Romania joined the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in 1949 and the Warsaw Pact in 1955 .

    Socialist republic

    Nicolae Ceaușescu - Romanian autocrat from 1965 to 1989
    Coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Romania (until 1989)

    During a period of political thaw in Romania , the Socialist Republic of Romania was proclaimed on August 21, 1965 under the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party , now called Partidul Comunist Român (PCR) . The leading man in the country was Nicolae Ceaușescu , who had taken over the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party after the death of Gheorghiu-Dej. Ceaușescu emancipated himself and in May 1967 accused the Soviet Union of wanting to infiltrate the Romanian Communist Party. In March 1968 he withdrew his negotiating delegation from the Budapest consultative meeting of the communist parties because the Syrian communist leader Khalid Bakdash had called Romania's head of mission a "chauvinist". Although Ceaușescu's foreign policy irritated its Soviet neighbors, the Soviets did not find a domestic political pretext for intervention as in Czechoslovakia in Romania. The dictatorship of the Communist Party, its "leading role", was more unchallenged than in most other Eastern Bloc countries. Furthermore, Ceaușescu demonstratively emphasized Romania's national independence from the Soviet Union and undertook several radical cuts in the economy and society: laws to promote the number of children and a ban on abortion were intended to increase Romania's population. By means of foreign loans and the resettlement of parts of the rural population in the cities, the agrarian country should be more industrialized.

    However, after some promising beginnings, these measures did not lead to the desired success, but rather to a supply crisis since the late 1970s. The collapse of the national economy and Romania's poor credit rating eventually forced the regime to export basic supplies, which were now becoming increasingly rare in the country itself. Nevertheless, Ceaușescu initially retained his power through the Securitate secret police and a very pronounced personality cult . After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the turning point in 1989 in the GDR and the other states of the Eastern Bloc , the Romanian Revolution took place . Protesters called for the end of the violent Ceaușescu regime. The Securitate then used firearms, while parts of the regular army refused to support the regime and offered resistance, which led to street fighting with more than 1,000 deaths. After the army leadership had allied themselves with the demonstrators, Ceaușescu was brought to a military court on December 25, 1989 and, after a brief show trial, shot and killed together with his wife . Even after the escape from Ceaușescu it came from 22. – 31. December 1989 still to 900 deaths. "The public prosecutor's office accuses Iliescu, who took over the political leadership of Romania at the head of the National Rescue Front (FNR) in December 1989, of being responsible for the many deaths." A trial from the end of November 2019 in court should clarify this question.

    Romania since 1990

    In the post-communist period Romania was only able to recover slowly from the consequences of decades of dictatorship and mismanagement. The dominant party in the years after the revolution was the social democratic PSD (Partidul Social Democrat) under the new president Ion Iliescu . The PSD was largely recruited from the old communist elite. Nevertheless, from then on Romania followed a democratic and market economy course. In terms of foreign policy, it was oriented towards the west.

    In 1996 Emil Constantinescu became the new president, and his party, the Christian Democratic PNȚ-CD , became the strongest force in parliament. However, it failed in the 2000 elections because of the five percent hurdle, which enabled the PSD to return to government. Iliescu became President again, Adrian Năstase the new Prime Minister. Romania joined NATO in 2004 .

    In the 2004 presidential elections, Traian Băsescu , who was based on a center-right coalition, prevailed. In 2007 Romania became part of the European Union . In the same year there was a power struggle between Băsescu and Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu of the national liberal PNL . Băsescu was temporarily suspended by parliament, but returned to office after a referendum that was positive for him .

    The parliamentary elections in Romania in 2008 were for the first time decoupled from the presidential elections. The PSD and the newly founded PD-L emerged victorious, after which they formed a government under Emil Boc .

    State crises since 2011

    Tough austerity measures led to protests and ultimately to a vote of no confidence in parliament. The Boc II cabinet resigned. Former Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi claimed that manipulation of individual MPs had caused some to join the opposition alliance. In early February 2012, President Traian Băsescu appointed Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu as Prime Minister and entrusted him with forming a government.

    After less than three months in office, Ungureanu's government failed due to a successful vote of no confidence in parliament, which was tabled by the Partidul Social Democrat (PSD) and Partidul National Liberal (PNL) parties .

    In February 2011, the Romanian Social Democratic Party, the National Liberal Party under Crin Antonescu , and the Conservative Party under Daniel Constantin formed the Uniunea Social Liberală (USL, German  Social Liberal Union ) coalition . Victor Ponta , head of the USL, was commissioned by President Traian Băsescu to form a cabinet on April 27, 2012. Băsescu described the appointment of Ponta as the normal course of political life in a democratic state and expressed his confidence in overcoming the political crisis. For the time being, Ponta was to run the business of government until the parliamentary elections in late autumn.

    At the end of June 2012, impeachment proceedings were initiated against Romanian President Traian Băsescu, in which he was accused of massive constitutional violations. The vote in parliament led to the president's suspension. The official business was led by the national liberal Senate President Crin Antonescu. At the EU summit on June 28 and 29, 2012, Ponta took part as representative of Romania, contrary to a decision by the Constitutional Court that had granted President Băsescu the right to represent Romania at the summit as before, ruling that Traian Băsescu had his Powers not exceeded. A referendum on impeachment at the end of July missed the necessary turnout, so Băsescu was able to return to office.

    In the 2014 presidential elections , Klaus Johannis , the mayor of Sibiu , was elected Băsescu's successor. He prevailed in a runoff election against Prime Minister Ponta.

    Demonstration in Bucharest on January 22, 2017

    In 2017 there were weeks of protests in Romania against the Sorin Grindeanu government formed after the 2016 parliamentary elections . They are the largest mass protest in Romanian history . The protests focused on changes to the penal code and a legislative initiative to pardon hundreds of public officials accused of abuse of office. After the ordinances were published on January 31st, anti-government demonstrations took place in many cities across the country for 15 consecutive days. The provisional high points were the protests of February 1, with around 450,000 participants nationwide, and the February 5 protests, with around 500,000 participants in Bucharest alone. The Senate voted unanimously against the regulation on February 14. The Romanian parliament also rejected the decree on February 21.

    In June 2018, the government tried to restrict the independence of the judiciary and the secret services on the pretext of fighting a "shadow state", put forward by Liviu Dragnea . The criminal code was massively changed in the urgent procedure. Victims should only be allowed to testify in the presence of the perpetrators and deadlines were shortened to such an extent that investigations by the judiciary had little chance of success.


    Political system

    The Parliament Palace in Bucharest

    Romania is a representative democracy with a semi-presidential system of government . The head of state is the president (președinte) , the head of government is the prime minister (prim-ministru) . The legislative power rests with a bicameral parliament .

    The president is directly elected by the people. If no candidate receives an absolute majority in the first round, a runoff election is held. The president's term of office is five years, with the possibility of one re-election. As head of state, the president appoints the prime minister and is commander in chief of the armed forces. The incumbent President of Romania is Klaus Johannis (result of the presidential election in Romania on November 2 and 16, 2014).

    Distribution of seats in the
    Chamber of Deputies 2016
    A total of 329 seats

    Parliament is responsible for national legislation. It consists of two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies with currently 329 members of parliament (Camera Deputaților) and the Senate (Senatul) with 136 senators. The members are elected in a mixed system of representation and representation. A legislative period lasts four years. Parties only move into parliament if they exceed the threshold clause of five percent of all votes cast. A total of eighteen seats are reserved for MPs from minority parties.

    After the December 2016 elections , the PSD and ALDE formed the Grindeanu government .

    In the 2019 Democracy Index, Romania was ranked 63rd out of 167 countries, making the country an “incomplete democracy”.

    After the Corruption Perception Index (Corruption Perceptions Index) of Transparency International was Romania in 2016 by 176 countries, along with Jordan and Hungary in 57th place, with 48 out of a maximum 100 points. So the country is not considered very corrupt.

    Foreign and Security Policy

    Romanian soldiers in Afghanistan (2003)

    Romania is integrated into the major European and transatlantic confederations. It joined the European Union on January 1, 2007, subject to conditions . However, the EU requires Romania to fight corruption, establish an independent judiciary and create functioning authorities. In the course of NATO's eastward expansion , Romania became a member of NATO on March 29, 2004 and has since been integrated into the transatlantic security structure. In 2004 and 2005 Romania was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council , and it chaired the UN Security Council in July 2004 and October 2005.

    The Armata Română (Romanian Army) are the armed forces of Romania. It is composed of 75,000 professional soldiers and 15,000 civilian employees. The defense budget accounts for roughly two percent of the gross domestic product . Romania participated in the NATO missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina ( SFOR ) and Kosovo ( KFOR ). The Army also supports the United States military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq . However, the Romanian government has announced that it will withdraw its troops from Iraq.

    The USA comes first for Romania, especially in terms of security policy. In 1997, the two countries concluded a "Strategic Partnership", which was updated in 2011. Against the background of developments in Ukraine and the Black Sea region, Romania's security cooperation with the USA has become even more important.

    "The US State Department has given the green light for the sale of air defense systems ( Patriot missiles, note) to Romania."


    Health policy

    The health system was controlled by the state until 1996. After that, compulsory health insurance was introduced, which covers a large part of medical services and medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases. The current contribution rate of around twelve percent is financed equally by employers and employees. Children and young people, the disabled, veterans and the unemployed are exempt from contributions. The 42 regional health insurances conclude contracts with the service providers (hospitals, ambulances, health centers). Private supplementary insurance has existed since 2004. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, “out-of-pocket payments” account for 30 percent of total health expenditure. The share of health expenditure in the gross domestic product is below 4 percent (Germany: 10.7 percent). The expenditure for health per inhabitant is around 120 euros annually (Germany: 2900 euros). In 2007, around 4,000, one in ten medical professionals, emigrated mainly because of the low pay.

    Human rights

    In the course of the accession negotiations to the European Union, the European Commission found in 2005 that Romania had made progress in protecting human rights. However, the way in which the Romanian state and the Romanian population deal with minorities is still partly problematic. So there is still discrimination and attacks against members of the Roma ethnic group . The situation in institutions for mentally ill people is also still unsatisfactory. Amnesty International notes that deaths in mental hospitals have not been investigated effectively or impartially. According to Amnesty International, people with a sexual identity deviating from heterosexual orientation continue to suffer from discrimination and intolerance.

    Administrative division


    Timiș Caraș-Severin Mehedinți Hunedoara Alba Sibiu Brașov Covasna Vrancea Galați Gorj Vâlcea Argeș Dâmbovița Prahova Buzău Brăila Tulcea Dolj Olt Teleorman Giurgiu Bukarest Ilfov Ialomița Călărași Constanța Arad Bihor Cluj Sălaj Satu Mare Maramureș Bistrița-Năsăud Mureș Harghita Suceava Botoșani Neamț Iași Bacău Vaslui Serbien Bulgarien Ungarn Ukraine Moldau
    The circles of Romania

    The historical regions have no administrative importance in Romania. The state is divided into 41 districts (“județ”, plural: “județe”) and the capital Bucharest . This centralized administrative structure was modeled on the French departments in the 19th century. In the first years of communist rule this order was changed, but Romania returned to the original system in 1968. Notwithstanding this, in 1981 the Ialomița and Ilfov districts were reorganized into the Călărași , Giurgiu , Ialomița and Ilfov districts. Until 1997 Ilfov was not an independent circle, but dependent on Bucharest.

    On average, the Romanian districts (including the capital) have slightly more than 500,000 inhabitants on 5676 km². Compared to federal administrative structures in Germany or the USA , where individual administrative units are more than ten times larger than others at the same level, the numbers in Romania differ only slightly from one another. Apart from the capital region, the population in the districts ranges from around 222,000 ( Covasna ) to 829,000 ( Prahova ). The largest district in terms of area is Timiș with 8697 km², the smallest Ilfov with 1593 km². The latter surrounds Bucharest and is significantly smaller than the other administrative units. The second smallest district, Giurgiu, extends over 3526 km².

    There are also eight planning regions in Romania . These were created in 1998 in preparation for EU accession . They have no real powers and are therefore no legal administrative units. The planning regions are, however, important for the allocation of EU funding and for statistical surveys.

    In 2013 a comprehensive process of decentralization and regionalization was started in Romania with the aim of modernizing the public administration system. In November 2013, the Romanian government submitted the decentralization law to the Romanian Parliament. This submitted the draft law to the Constitutional Court, which declared it unconstitutional.

    Cities with over 200,000 inhabitants as of October 2011
    rank Romanian
    1. Bucureşti Bucharest 1,883,425
    2. Cluj-Napoca Cluj-Napoca 0.324,576
    3. Timișoara Timisoara 0.319.279
    4th Iași Iassy 0.290,422
    5. Constanța Constana 0.283,872
    6th Craiova Krajowa 0.269.506
    7th Brașov Kronstadt 0.253.200
    8th. Galați Galatz 0.249,432
    9. Ploieşti - 0.209.945


    The by far the largest city of Romania is the country's capital, Bucharest, home to more than 1.9 million inhabitants, making her the whole sixth largest city in the European Union does. It is also the center of Great Wallachia ( Muntenia ).

    Several cities have a population of around 300,000, most of which are the historical centers of the Romanian regions:

    • Timișoara in the Banat was the starting point of the 1989 revolution.
    • Iași is the most important city on the Vltava.
    • Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania has a trilingual university (Romanian, Hungarian, German).
    • Constanța in Dobruja is the main EU port on the Black Sea.
    • Craiova is the center of Little Wallachia (Oltenia).
    • The important inland port Galați lies at the confluence of the Danube and Sereth.
    • Brașov was one of the historical centers of the Transylvanian Saxons.

    In total, 20 cities in Romania have more than 100,000 inhabitants, and a further 21 cities have more than 50,000 inhabitants.


    Romania's infrastructure has certain problems. Romania is crossed by the pan-European transport corridors No. 4 and No. 9 and bordered by No. 7 (Danube waterway) in its south. Investments in rail transport and the condition of roads are urgently needed.

    Although Romania has been a member of the EU since January 1, 2007 and therefore money can be requested from the EU to improve and expand the infrastructure, this is only happening very hesitantly. The possible framework is far from being exhausted. The cause is the inefficient administration, which does not advance the infrastructure projects in a reasonable time.

    Air traffic

    There are two airports near Bucharest, one each at Arad , Baia Mare , Craiova , Sibiu , Târgu Mureş , Constanța , Cluj-Napoca , Timişoara , Oradea , Bacău , Suceava and Iaşi . Domestic airlines are TAROM , Carpatair and the low-cost airline Blue Air .

    Road traffic

    In 2013, the entire road network covered around 84,185 km, of which 49,873 km were paved. The motorway network in Romania is under construction - a total length of 2710 km is planned, of which 749 km are completed and 223 km are under construction.

    The A 1 is particularly important for the connection of Romania to the Central European motorway network , with a length of 585 km it will connect Bucharest via Piteşti , Râmnicu Vâlcea , Sibiu (Hermannstadt), Deva , Timişoara and Arad with Szeged in Hungary. 404 km have been completed (as of October 2017), with two gaps remaining. 55 km between Deva and Făget are under construction, while the 126 km long section between Piteşti and Sibiu is only in the planning stage and completion is not yet in sight.

    In contrast, the 202 km long A 2 Autostrada Soarelui (the sun highway) from Bucharest via Feteşti and Cernavodă to Constanța on the Black Sea was completely completed in 2012.

    The A 3 Autostrada Transilvaniei is currently being expanded - it will connect Bucharest via Ploieşti , Braşov (Kronstadt) and Cluj-Napoca (Klausenburg) to Oradea (Greater Oradea ) and the border with Hungary. Of a total of 588 km, 110 km are in operation and a further 98 km are under construction. The 70 km long A 10 Autostrada Sebeş - Turda, which will connect the A 1 from Sibiu (Hermannstadt) via Alba Iulia to the A 3 near Cluj-Napoca, is also under construction.

    For further planning see: List of motorways in Romania

    To be able to use the motorways and national roads in Romania, a vignette (rovinietă) must be purchased.

    In addition to the relatively well-developed motorways (speed limit: 130 km / h) and larger national roads, the other roads, especially in border and / or rural regions, are in some cases still very ailing and hardly comparable with Western European conditions, although many roads have been expanded or developed since 2007. have been renovated. An extreme example is the Prislop Pass on the border with Ukraine.

    The main roads usually lead directly through towns in which there are often speed bumps in front of schools and zebra crossings . Newly paved roads are often very wavy due to the heat of the summer, which leads to rocking.

    The current speed limits are often ignored by the local population, and there are also dangers from slow and unlit horse-drawn vehicles, which are numerous on the roads in rural areas. Accordingly, Romania has the second highest number of road deaths relative to the total population of all EU countries after Latvia (as of 2014).

    A maximum average speed of 50 to 60 km / h is possible on the main connection between Hungary and Bulgaria ( European roads E 68, E 70, E 81 Szeged (Hungary) - Arad - Deva - Sibiu - Bucharest - Russe (Bulgaria)). The European route E 70 / E 79 ( Calafat - Craiova - Drobeta Turnu Severin - Timișoara - Arad), which could serve as an alternative to the busy route through the Carpathian Mountains, is currently (October 2009) being expanded along the entire route. The numerous construction sites are secured with traffic lights, passable in one lane, so the average speed drops to around 30 to 40 km / h.

    The Romanian gas station and workshop network is well developed and vulcanization services are widespread. The pumps on European roads are usually open around the clock. There are also numerous rest stops and mini-markets that are always open.


    Large parts of the route network and the rolling stock of the Romanian State Railways (CFR) are in great need of modernization, although there have been selective improvements in recent years. Modern Desiro trains ( CFR class 96 ) under the name “Săgeata Albastră” (“Blue Arrow”) have been used in long-distance transport since the beginning of 2003 .


    The largest provider in the fixed line telephone area with three million fixed line connections is Romtelecom , the privatized successor of the Romanian Post. There are more mobile connections than landlines in Romania. Cellular network operators are:

    • Orange Romania , with around 10 million customers in 2012.
    • Vodafone Romania , with around 8.3 million customers in 2011.
    • Telekom Romania (until September 2014 Cosmote Romania ), with around 6.4 million customers in 2012.

    In 2011, according to Eurostat, 47 percent of households in Romania had Internet access and around 31 percent of households had broadband Internet access, which was the lowest value in all 27 EU countries. In 2012, the number of households with internet access rose to 54 percent; in 2016 it was 72 percent.


    In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Romania was ranked 46th out of 180 countries. There are repeated threats of violence against media representatives.

    In the television sector, the private channel Pro TV has long been the market leader, ahead of the private channel Antena 1 and the public television TVR 1 . In the radio sector, the public service Radio Romania offers numerous national and regional programs.

    The leading national daily newspapers are mostly owned by wealthy Romanian entrepreneurs who previously held high political offices. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Swiss Ringier publishing house and the German WAZ group were involved in many newspaper and magazine publishers.

    Title head of the German-language daily newspaper from Bucharest

    The most important German-language publications are the daily Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Romania (ADZ) in Bucharest and the weekly Hermannstädter Zeitung (HZ) in Hermannstadt . The German-language press in what is now Romania has existed for several centuries. As early as 1778, the first magazine for Transylvania was launched in Hermannstadt, which was founded by the Germans .

    Several local studios from Radio Romania and Televiziunea Română (TVR) produce German-language radio and TV programs. These include, for example, Radio Neumarkt , the German service of Radio Romania International or the television program “Deutsch um 1” on TVR 1.


    Romania's mineral resources include natural gas , coal (especially lignite), salt, gold and petroleum . 41% of the land is used by arable land, 29% by forest, 21% by pasture and 3% by permanent crops. Romania generated a gross domestic product (GDP) of around 239.8 billion US dollars in 2018 , which corresponds to a GDP per capita of 12,285 US $. When compared with the EU's GDP , expressed in purchasing power standards , Romania achieved an index of 64 in 2018 (EU-28 = 100). In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Romania was ranked 52nd out of 140 countries (as of 2018). In 2017, the country was ranked 39th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .

    Despite the positive overall economic development between 2001 and 2008 ( GDP growth averaging 6%), the Romanian economy needs further reforms. In the crisis year 2009, the country's economic output fell by a substantial 6.6%. In the following year, 2010, the economy contracted by a further 1.1%, but recovered in 2011 (+ 2.2%). In the following years Romania was again one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. In 2016 the gross domestic product rose by 4.8%. In 2017, economic output rose by 7%, making Romania the second fastest growing economy within the EU and even one of the fastest growing countries in the world. In the following year growth fell to 4.1%. For 2019, the EBRD expects a further decrease to 3.2%.

    According to estimates, the share of the service sector in GDP in 2011 was 50%, the share of the industrial sector was 37.8% and the agricultural sector was 12.3% of the GDP. In 2004 record growth of 22.6% was recorded in the agricultural sector. The annual rate of inflation in Romania has decreased since the first wave of EU enlargement in 2004 from 9.6% to 8.6% in 2005 and to 6.1% in 2010.

    Although the economy continued to grow in 2005 and the export volume also increased, Romania recorded an increase in the foreign trade deficit of 3 billion euros compared to the previous year, which can be explained by the disproportionately higher demand for imported goods in relation to production output Ease of lending became possible. The resulting current account deficit amounted to around 9% of the gross domestic product.

    In July 2011 Romania launched the TARGET2 payment system for euro transfers. A flat tax of 16 percent has been in force since 2005 .

    As a result of the financial crisis , Romania also ran into financial difficulties at the end of 2008. In mid-March 2009, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to provide aid of almost 13 billion euros in a two-year stand-by loan for Romania, supplemented by 5 billion euros from the European Commission's emergency fund and an additional 2 billion euros from other international organizations .

    Key figures

    Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real Eurostat
    year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
    Change in% yoy 8.1 6.9 8.5 −7.1 −0.8 1.1 0.6 3.5 3.1 3.9 4.8 7.1 4.4 4.1
    Development of GDP (nominal), Eurostat
    absolute (in billion euros) per inhabitant (in thousands of euros)
    year 2015 2016 2017 year 2015 2016 2017
    GDP in billions of euros < 160.0 170.9 187.9 GDP per inhabitant (in € thousand) 8.1 8.7 9.6
    Foreign Trade Development (GTAI)
    in billion US dollars and its percentage change from the previous year
    2015 2016 2017
    $ Billion % yoy $ Billion % yoy $ Billion % year-on-year
    import 69.9 −10.3 74.6 +6.8 85.3 +14.4
    export 60.6 −13.3 63.6 +4.9 70.6 +11.1
    balance −9.3 −11.4 −14.7
    Romania's main trading partner (2016), source: GTAI
    Export (in percent) to Import (in percent) of
    GermanyGermany Germany 21.5 GermanyGermany Germany 20.6
    ItalyItaly Italy 11.6 ItalyItaly Italy 10.3
    FranceFrance France 7.2 HungaryHungary Hungary 7.4
    HungaryHungary Hungary 5.2 FranceFrance France 5.6
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 4.3 PolandPoland Poland 5.2
    BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 3.2 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 5.1
    TurkeyTurkey Turkey 3.2 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 4.1
    United NationsU.N. other countries 43.8 United NationsU.N. other countries 41.7

    Privatization and employment

    The privatization of state-owned enterprises will continue. In July 2004 the Austrian energy supplier OMV acquired the majority of shares in the Romanian oil and natural gas group PETROM (60,000 employees). At the end of 2005, the Austrian Erste Bank was awarded a 61.88% stake in the largest Romanian bank, Banca Comercială Română (BCR). The purchase price of EUR 3.75 billion was by far the largest direct investment in Romania to date. According to figures from the Chamber of Commerce, around 30 percent of all foreign investments in Romania have so far been made by Austrian companies.

    The unemployment rate was 4.5% in June 2018, well below the EU average. In 2017, youth unemployment was 18.4%. In 2014, 28.3% of the total workforce worked in agriculture, 28.9% in industry and 42.8% in the service sector. The total number of employees is estimated at 8.95 million for 2017; 43.1% of them are women.

    From January 2020, the state will prescribe a statutory minimum wage of between 2230 and 2350 lei per month , depending on qualifications . At the beginning of April, 42% of the registered employment contracts were employed with the statutory minimum wage. However, many Romanians are still looking for work abroad, preferably in the Mediterranean countries of Italy and Spain. A fifth of the Romanian population is among the working poor .


    Industry contributes almost 35 percent of the gross domestic product and employs around 20 percent of the workforce. Electronics such as computers, telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics and semiconductors are primarily manufactured in Romania; in addition, vehicles such as the DACIA Automobile Dacia brand , ships such as the helicopter carrier Karel Doorman built by the Damen Shipyards Group in Galați , with 204 m the largest ship of the Royal Dutch Navy , various aircraft and helicopters at Întreprinderea Aeronautică Română (IAR), modern tanks such as the TR-85 M1, products of the chemical industry, steel , medicines due to a strong pharmaceutical industry and products of light industry such as textiles, shoes or food. A quarter of Romanian exports are textile products.


    With almost twelve million animals, Romania is the third largest sheep and goat producer in the European Union (EU) after Great Britain and Spain . Romania has been the largest corn producer in the EU since 2018 .


    In 2015 tourism generated 1,542 million euros. The number of guests in 2016 was 10.9 million.

    The start of construction for the first of two major tourist projects was planned for autumn 2004. After a fossil discovery, a dinosaur park is being built in Hunedoara County . The start of construction on the second major project - the Dracula Park theme park near Sighișoara (Schäßburg) - has so far been prevented by a citizens' initiative and is now to be built near Bucharest.

    On July 1, 2005, the currency was changed. The rate on July 19, 2017 was 4.567 lei = 1 euro. New bank notes and coins were put into circulation, the old means of payment lost their validity (2007).

    In Romania, a vignette has been required for cars and trucks on all roads since January 2005. The vignettes (Rovinietă) are available at the border crossings and most OMV, Rompetrol and Petrom petrol stations. When leaving the country, checks are often carried out at the border to ensure that the Rovinietă and the corresponding proof of purchase are available and valid. Since 2008, the price of the vignette is no longer based on the exhaust gas classification (Euronorm), but is charged at a flat rate. The vignette has not yet been punched or stamped, so it is essential to keep the receipt.

    State budget

    The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 62.1 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 56.8 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 2.8% of GDP . The national debt in 2016 was $ 73.3 billion, or 39.2% of GDP. The state 's government bonds are rated BBB− by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (as of November 2018). The country is thus considered to be a debtor of average quality.

    In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:

    Corruption as a structural phenomenon

    Protest in Bucharest on January 15, 2012, “Stop corupției!” ( German:  stop corruption! )

    Corruption on many levels is part of everyday life in Romania. Corruption and abuse of office are considered a serious problem in the country. The culture of corruption is deeply rooted in the moral, conceptual and practical attitudes of a significant part of the Romanian population and in many cases is still adopted as a normal problem-solving strategy.

    The reasons for this are the widespread poverty of the population and the underpayment of the public servants: especially from Orthodox priests, officials, hospital employees and teachers, amounts of money are demanded as additional income. The legal situation is still unstable; MEPs point out that EU agencies have forced them to adopt anti-corruption laws and are subsequently preventing their implementation. The self-enrichment mentality of the political and economic elites also plays a major role.

    According to surveys, 96 percent of Romanians believe that corruption is one of the most serious problems in the country. A third of the respondents were able to give examples of paying their own bribes in the past 12 months. The Romanian language has 30 idioms for describing bribes. The originally Slavic and Turkish terms bacșiș , ciubuc , șperț , șpagă and mită already appeared in the oldest Romanian texts .

    In 2017, Romania ranked 59th in the global corruption perception index of Transparency International , on par with Greece, behind Italy (54th place) but ahead of Bulgaria (71st place). Although there is domestic political will and foreign political pressure - especially from the European Union - for reforms, the security authorities and the judiciary are structural reasons for the phenomenon and are often overwhelmed with their tasks or are themselves part of the problem.


    Sibiu (Hermannstadt) : Brukenthal-Palais , on the left the “Blue Town House” , on the right the town hall
    Timișoara (Timisoara) : Piața Unirii with the Roman Catholic cathedral and the Trinity Column

    Romanian culture is characterized by a diversity that is unique in Europe, both in its various historical manifestations and in its current structure. The originality of Romanian culture, both in its traditional and in its modern forms, is related to its ability to absorb the most diverse influences and combine them in a creative synthesis. The border location of the country between the Occident and the Orient , the numerous ethnic and religious minorities and the pronounced geographical differences between the various cultural landscapes have played an important role in this regard. Romania shares the traditional culture ( Romanian culture ) with that of the Republic of Moldova . In 2007, Sibiu (Sibiu) European Capital of Culture . The civil society foundation has so far been poorly developed.


    The main cultural attractions of Romania include those cultural monuments that were added to the UNESCO list after the fall of 1989: the Moldavian monasteries with exterior paintings; Horezu Monastery ; the fortified churches in Transylvania ; the old town of Sighișoara ; the Dacian fortress in the mountains of Orășties; the wooden churches in Maramureș . The Black Church (Brașov) is the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe and at the same time the most important Gothic church building in Southeast Europe.

    The Parliament Palace in Bucharest is the largest building in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The building - the seat of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies since 1997 - is the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Stylistically, the Parliament Palace is counted as neoclassicism . The National Museum of Modern Art is housed at the rear of the building.

    The following buildings are noteworthy regarding modern architecture in Romania:

    • the Bucharest State Circus (Circus Globus)
    • the International Fair (Complexul Expozițional Romexpo)
    • Sala Palatului (with more than 4000 seats one of the largest show, theater and congress halls in the world)
    • the futuristic National Theater Bucharest "Ion Luca Caragiale" ; with 7 halls, including the large hall (Sala Mare) with 900 seats


    In Romania, various musical traditions have developed into an extraordinarily rich stylistic diversity over the centuries. In addition to the actual Romanian elements, there were Greek, Slavic, Hungarian, Turkish, Macedonian and others.

    Traditionally frequently used instruments are the cymbal, violin, accordion, bass violin and clarinet, technical virtuosity, even in everyday performances, are not uncommon.

    Among the most famous artists outside of Romania are the pan flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir and the Roma band Fanfare Ciocărlia .

    There are 28 professional classical music orchestras in 18 cities in Romania:

    • 18 philharmonic orchestras
    • 9 opera orchestras
    • 1 operetta orchestra


    After 1989, the film industry developed spectacularly, which was reflected in numerous international awards for Romanian productions (including 2004 Golden Bear for short film for Cristi Puiu ; 2005 Caméra d'or Cannes for Corneliu Porumboiu; 2007 Golden Palm in Cannes for Cristian Mungiu ; 2010 Silver Leopard / Premio speciale della giuria, Locarno for Marian Crişan; 2012 Prize for the best screenplay / Prix du scénario and Best Actress for the two leading actresses in the film Behind the Hills by Cristian Mungiu, Cannes; 2013 Golden Bear for Călin Peter Netzer ) . The film critics therefore speak of a “Romanian wave” in the international film industry.


    In Germany, Romanian German literature is more widely recognized than the works written by Romanians in Romanian. Romania was the guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2003 and the Paris Book Fair 2013. One of the most important Romanian writers of the present is Mircea Cărtărescu . He received u. a. the International Literature Prize - House of World Cultures 2012. In Romania, stadiums sometimes fill up when reading literature.

    The internationally best known Romanian playwrights are the two Romanian-French authors Eugène Ionesco and Matei Vișniec . In the 20th century a. a. the co-founder of Dadaism Tristan Tzara and Mircea Dinescu .

    Science and Research

    The Romanian research system inherited major structural problems from the socialist era, which were only slowly and inadequately addressed over the past two decades. Among the state research institutions, the Institute for Atomic Physics (Institutul de Fizică Atomică Măgurele) is particularly well-known, which is involved in the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) project of the European Union, within the framework of which the most powerful laser in the world is to be built by 2015 . In addition to the state-funded research institutes, independent institutions slowly developed. The former Minister of Education and Foreign Affairs Andrei Pleșu received the New Europe Prize for Higher Education and Research in 1993, which enabled him to work in Bucharest with the support of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and five other research institutes (Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar, The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala) to found the well-known New Europe College. In the field of philosophy, the Romanian Society for Phenomenology (Societatea Română de Fenomenologie) is present at the international level. The private institute MB Telecom received the Grand Prix at the International Fair for Inventions in Geneva in 2009 and 2013 (as the first participant in the history of this fair to receive the highest award twice). The IAR 111 project (a supersonic aircraft), a collaboration with Arca Space Corporation , which will one day transport space tourists or rockets into space, is extraordinary .

    public holidays

    Official holidays in Romania are:

    January 1st and 2nd New Year
    January 24th Unification of the Romanian Principalities 1859
    Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday Date of the Eastern Church
    1st of May Labor Day
    June 1st Children's day
    Whit Sunday and Whit Monday Pentecost (date of the Eastern Church)
    15th of August Assumption Day
    30th of November Day of St. Andrew
    December 1 National holiday
    December 25th and 26th Christmas


    Organized football in Romania has been played in Divizia A (since 2006: League 1 ), the highest national division , since 1909 . In the same year, the Romanian football association Federația Română de Fotbal was founded. Since the communist era, national football has been dominated by Steaua Bucharest / FCSB Bucharest and Dinamo Bucharest , who have won 25 and 18 championship titles respectively, and the 14-time cup winner Rapid Bucharest . The biggest international success of a Romanian team to date was achieved by Steaua Bucharest with the 1986 European Cup . In February 1987, Steaua Bucharest also won the European Supercup in the Louis II Stadium in Monaco after a 1-0 Gheorghe Hagi goal against Dynamo Kiev . The Romanian league is currently (2014/15) in 16th place in the UEFA five-year ranking .

    The Romanian national soccer team has so far participated in seven soccer world championships and four soccer championships . The best placement was reaching the quarter-finals at the 1994 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship . The best-known Romanian player of this era was Gheorghe Hagi , who was named the best national player of the last 50 years by the Romanian association on the occasion of the UEFA anniversary . The most successful Liga 1 player of all time is Marius Lăcătuș , who was 10-time champion and 7-time cup winner with Steaua Bucharest.

    On May 9, 2012, the UEFA Europa League final took place in Bucharest for the first time in Romania's sporting history . For this purpose, the host country has invested 234 million euros in the construction of a new stadium, the Arena Națională .

    Romania has been participating in the Olympic Games since 1900 . In the all-time medal table , it is one of the 20 most successful nations with 86 gold medals, most of which were won at summer games . The Romanian team was most successful at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles , in which they participated as the only team from the Eastern Bloc and won gold 20 times. The only medal at the Winter Games was bronze in the two-man bobsleigh at the 1968 Games in Grenoble .

    Romanian gymnasts have achieved great successes:

    The Romanian National Rugby Union team is one of the strongest in Europe outside the Six Nations and has participated in every World Cup so far.

    In the early 1970s, Ilie Năstase was a successful tennis player who won two Grand Slam titles and topped the world rankings . The Romanian team reached the Davis Cup finals three times between 1969 and 1972 . The Romanian Open has been held in Bucharest since 1993 . A WTA tournament for women will also take place from summer 2014 under the patronage of Ion Tiriac and Ilie Nastase. The best-known tennis players who made it into the top 100 after 1989 include: Andrei Pavel , Horia Tecău (2010, 2011 and 2012 Wimbledon finalist in doubles; 2012 won the Australian Open title in mixed and match) the Cincinnati Masters in doubles), Victor Hănescu , Adrian Ungur ; for the women: Irina-Camelia Begu , Alexandra Cadanțu , Sorana Cîrstea , Monica Niculescu , Simona Halep , with Halep being number 2 in the WTA rankings (since August 11, 2014) and as the upcoming tennis star after the Roland Garros final 2014 applies.

    In the 1960s and 1970s Romania had great successes in indoor handball , the national team became world champions four times : 1961 , 1964 , 1970 and 1974 . After that, it was no longer possible to build on these successes. At the club level, the Steaua Bucharest men's team won the national championship cup in 1968 and 1977. In 2006 they triumphed in the Challenge Cup. In 2016 the women of CSM Bucharest won the EHF Champions League .

    Fencing has a long tradition in Romania, which is characterized by its wide spread. 48 clubs have joined the Romanian Fencing Federation and with 46 gold, 62 silver and 83 bronze medals the Romanian fencers have proven their skills on the international stage at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships.

    Romania finished second in men's volleyball championship in 1966. Romania finished third in the World Cup two more times. In 1963 at the second European Championship, which took place in Romania, the title was won in the men's competition. As early as 1955 at the first European Championship in Romania, the tournament could be concluded as a finalist. Likewise in 1959 in Czechoslovakia. As a third place in the European Championship, they completed the European Championship twice before winning the Olympic bronze medal in Moscow in 1980. Rapid Bucharest won the men's championship club competition in 1961, 1963 and 1965. Dinamo Bucharest also won the title three times: 1966, 1967 and 1981. The finals of the most important European men's volleyball competition for clubs in 1966 and 1967 were won by Dinamo and Rapid, respectively make up yourself.

    Further information

    Portal: Romania  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Romania


    • Ronald Bachmann: Romania. A Country Study . Washington 1991.
    • Kai Brodersen : Dacia Felix. Ancient Romania in the focus of cultures. wbg Philipp von Zabern, Darmstadt 2020. ISBN 978-3-8053-5059-4 .
    • Ion Bulei: Brief History of Romania . Bucharest 1998. ISBN 973-96876-2-8 .
    • Lucian Boia : Romania. Borderland of Europe . London: Reaction Books, 2001.
    • Tom Gallagher: Modern Romania. The End of Communism, the Failure of Democratic Reform, and the Theft of a Nation . [Paperback], University Press, New York 2008, ISBN 0-8147-3201-1 .
    • Wilfried Heller : Interior views from post-socialist Romania. Socio-economic transformation, migration and development prospects in rural areas . Berlin-Verlag Spitz, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-8305-0003-3 .
    • Keith Hitchins, A Concise History of Romania, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2014, ISBN 978-0521694131 .
    • Thede Kahl, Michael Metzeltin , Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu (eds.): Romania. Space and population - history and images of history - culture - society and politics today - economy - law - historical regions . 2 volumes, LIT Verlag, 2nd edition, Vienna-Berlin 2008, 976 pages, ISBN 978-3-8258-0069-7 .
    • Thede Kahl, Larisa Schippel (Ed.): Kilometer Zero. Political transformation and social developments in Romania since 1989 . Forum series: Romania, Volume 10, Frank and Timme Verlag, Berlin 2010, 488 pages, ISBN 978-3-86596-344-4 .
    • Michael Metzeltin : România. Stat - Națiune - Limbă . Editura Univers Enciclopedic, București 2002.
    • Kurt Scharr: The Carpathians. Balthasar Hacquet and the forgotten mountains in Europe. Studien-Verlag, 2004, ISBN 978-3-7065-1952-6 .
    • Steven W. Sowards: Modern History of the Balkans. The Balkans in the age of nationalism . BoD, Norderstedt 2004, ISBN 3-8334-0977-0 .
    • Hugo Weczerka : Romania (until 1945) . In: Literature reports on new publications on history outside Germany. Volume 5. Oldenbourg, Munich 1973, pp. 324-420.
    • Historical legacy - capital for the future? German traces in Romania . Documentation of the Potsdam Forum on April 24, 2003 in the Old Town Hall in Potsdam. German Cultural Forum for Eastern Europe V., Potsdam 2003, ISBN 978-3-936168-10-5 .

    Web links

    Wiktionary: Romania  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
    Commons : Romania  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
     Wikinews: Romania  - In The News
    Wikivoyage: Romania  - Travel Guide
    Wikimedia Atlas: Romania  - geographical and historical maps
    Wikisource: Romania  - Sources and full texts

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    150. ^ ARCA Arca Space Corporation.
    151. ^ Aero Telegraph Romanian supersonic jet.
    152. ^ Romanian Labor Code
    153. National Arena costa 119 milioane de euro și ajuns la 234! In: March 2, 2011, accessed June 9, 2011 (Romanian).

    Coordinates: 46 °  N , 25 °  E