Romania has belonged to many great empires:
Roman, Ottoman and Austria-Hungary. After a period of
severe repression under the Communist dictator Nicolae
Ceauşescu (1965– 1989), a turbulent transition to
democracy and market economy followed in the 1990s.
Nowadays, Romania is well-anchored among the western
countries through membership in the EU and the NATO
Brief profiles of Romania, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Romania is located between the Balkan
Peninsula and the Russian-Ukrainian plain in the
southeastern part of Europe. The land is about half the
size of Sweden. In the east, Romania has an
approximately 25 km long coast towards the Black Sea.
The land area is covered by roughly equal parts of
mountains, hilly land and plains. The Carpathian
mountain range extends in a wide arc from north to
southwest. The altitude is on average 1,000 meters above
sea level with several peaks over 2,000 meters.
Extensive plateaus, such as the Trans-Silvanian Plateau,
are spreading between the mountains and deep valleys. To
the east and south of the Carpathians lies the plain of
Moldova and Valakiet, which is a continuation of the
southern Russian plain.
The Danube River flows along the border with Serbia
and Bulgaria and then flows into the Black Sea, where
one of the branches of the river forms a border with
Ukraine to the east. The Danube delta is a distinctive
steppe landscape with marshlands that are often flooded.
Delta is one of Europe's most bird-friendly areas. The
Danube tributary of Prut forms a border with Moldova in
Romania has a temperate inland climate with large
temperature changes. In the summertime the temperature
in the plain can rise to just over 40 plus degrees and
in winter it can drop to 20-25 minus degrees. The
rainfall is evenly distributed over the year, most
abundant in the mountains, while the coastal area
receives the least. Extensive snowfall can occur in the
Carpathian mountain range.
238 391 km2 (2018)
Swedish +1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria
Capital with number of inhabitants
Bucharest (Bucharest) 1,670,000 (Census 2011)
Other major cities
Cluj-Napoca 309,000, Timisoara 303,000, Iasi 263,000,
Constanţa 254,000 (Census 2011)
Moldoveanu (2,554 m asl)
Danube, Prut, Mures
Grindeanu becomes prime minister
President Iohannis appoints former Minister of Communications Sorin Grindeanu
as Prime Minister.
Nominated Prime Ministerial candidate nominated
President Iohannis refuses to appoint Sevil Shhaideh as prime minister. He
does not justify the decision, but it is speculated that it may have something
to do with her Syrian husband's background. Husband has worked closely with
Syrian dictator al-Assad and has expressed support for both him and the
terrorist-stamped Lebanese Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement. Shhaideh would have
become Romania's first female and Muslim head of government.
Prosecution for violence 1990
Military prosecutors in the Supreme Court are prosecuting former President
Ion Iliescu, former Prime Minister Petre Roman and several former senior
officials for crimes against humanity. They are accused of being behind violence
against protesters in June 1990, when at least four people were killed and over
700 injured in Bucharest (see Modern History). Most of the violence was
perpetrated by thousands of miners from Jiudalen who were commanded to the
capital to defeat government-critical protests.
The PSD leader resigns
Liviu Dragnea, leader of the Social Democratic PSD who won the election
earlier that month, refrained from trying to become prime minister because he is
both convicted of electoral fraud (see May 2015) and partly
suspected of corruption. Instead, PSD nominates the former regional development
minister, Sevil Shhaideh, as prime minister. Shhaideh is described as loyal to
The Social Democrats win the election
Social Democratic PSD becomes the biggest party when parliamentary elections
are held. Second largest will be the National Liberal Party (PNL), followed by
the Union Save Romania (USR), Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR), Liberal and
Democratic Alliance (Alde), the People's Movement Party (PMP) and ethnic
minority parties. The turnout is just over 39 percent.
Criticism against Parliament
Less than a week before the parliamentary elections, the Romanian think-tank
IPP reports that the outgoing parliament has been one of the least effective and
most corruptly accused since the fall of communism in 1989. 15 percent of those
elected in 2012 have not held the term, most because they were dismissed. for
corruption or being subject to corruption investigations. Of the legislative
proposals initiated by MPs, only 14 percent have been adopted, while the
government has pushed through 80 percent of its proposals. Nearly 40 percent of
those elected in 2012 have changed parties during the term of office.
Corruption suspicions are directed at the election manager
Prosecutors at the Anti-Corruption Authority arrest the Electoral Authority's
chief Ana Maria Patru, who is accused of receiving at least SEK 2.5 million in
bribes from several IT companies for giving them government contracts and
forging contacts with ministers. Patru resigns from his mission immediately.
The government appeals for wage increases
Parliament approves a double-digit salary increase for school and health care
staff, but the government says it will appeal the decision to the Constitutional
Court. Under Roman law, Parliament is not allowed to decide on increased
salaries or pensions less than six months before an election - Romania holds
elections on December 11 - nor can the state increase its spending without
securing funding. According to the government, the current wage increases would
mean that the budget deficit will exceed the 3 percent of GDP allowed by EU
Suspected human rights violations are being investigated again
Prosecutors are launching a formal investigation into suspected crimes
against humanity committed during the 1989 communist uprising, when about 1,000
people were killed. The events in 1989 were investigated for years, but the
investigation was closed in 2015 in the absence of evidence. In June, the
Supreme Court ruled that it would resume.
Child trafficking is increasing
The Council of Europe writes in a report that child trafficking is increasing
in Romania. The report covers the years 2011–2015, when 4 622 minors were
identified who were robbed. Just over half of the victims have been sold for
sexual exploitation, while just over a third have been used as slave laborers. A
small part has been forced to beg. According to the report, the most vulnerable
are Roma children and migrants.
Liberal leader resigns
The Liberal Party PD-L leader Vasile Blaga resigns after being subjected to
an investigation into receiving illegal campaign contributions to the party.
According to the prosecutors, Blaga used his position to get some people
employed as heads of state energy companies, which made them bribe to give
public assignments to specific companies. Blaga denies interference but says he
resigns so as not to damage the party's credibility.
Suspicions of corruption trap minister
Minister of the Interior Petre Tobă resigns after he has been embroiled in a
corruption scandal in which members of the Ministry's internal security service
are suspected of embezzling up to half a million kronor. Tobă resigns after
prosecutors criticized him for refusing to disclose documents in the case.
Call for referendum on same-sex marriage
An appeal, with around three million signatures, for a referendum on same-sex
marriage may be approved by the Constitutional Court. This means that if
Parliament votes for same-sex marriage, this must also be approved in a
referendum. The appeal has been initiated by an organization that wants the
constitution to state that marriage is a union between man and woman, not
The government is being reformed
Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș replaces the ministers of four ministries to get
new momentum on the reform work. The Ministry of Transport, Communications,
Education and Romanians abroad gets new managers. Like most colleagues, the new
ministers lack party affiliation and have been recruited on personal merits.
Corruption overshadows local elections
Municipal elections are conducted throughout the country following an
election movement characterized by corruption charges and widespread distrust of
politicians. Several politicians who are the subject of police investigations
are among the candidates. Social Democratic PSD has the greatest success with
just over 40 percent of the vote, compared to about 34 percent for liberal PLDs.
The low turnout, just over 48 percent, indicates a limited interest among
voters. The PLD is considered to have benefited from the rules being amended so
that the candidate who receives the most votes wins directly, without the need
for any other ballot.
Robot shield is used
The US robotic defense system designed to protect the NATO countries against
attacks from "rogue states" is formally put into operation in Deveselu in
southern Romania. The Russian government reiterates its well-known position that
the "robotic shield" is a threat to Russia's security. According to Moscow,
NATO's robotic defense is part of the Western Alliance's attempt to surround
Health scandal shakes the government
The Minister of Health resigns after media criticized how a growing scandal
in the health care sector was handled by the government. A Romanian company has
been revealed to provide the country's hospitals with disinfectants as the
contents for low levels of the cleaning agents. The Minister must have linked
the fraud to the widespread problem of hospital infections in Romania.
Twenty years in prison camp chief
A former commander of a prison camp during the communist era is sentenced to
20 years in prison. Ioan Ficior was head of the Periprava camp between 1958 and
1963, where he was accused of "inhuman treatment" of the prisoners. At least 103
prisoners died there during his time as chief. Ficior is the second Romanian
former camp commander who is imprisoned for crimes against humanity.
Transparency should curb corruption
11th of March
A computer program designed with EU support is provided to give all Romanians
full insight into how nearly 18,000 government institutions manage their
finances. Among them are Parliament, all government departments, municipal
administrations, schools and hospitals. The program should be able to apply a
brake if incorrect payments are made. According to the Ministry of Finance,
state-owned enterprises and activities that take place after public procurement
are to be included in the program within four months.
EU criticism of the economy
The European Commission commends the strong economic growth in Romania, but
complains that growth is based on low wages and reduced expenditures instead of
investments and more efficient production.
1 250 corruption charges during 2015
In 2015, the anti-corruption authority brought DNA to 1,250 prosecutions, an
annual report shows. Among them were five ministers, 21 MPs and the departed
Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Nearly 500 executives for companies or government
were also prosecuted. DNA's prosecutors received 970 convictions, but many cases
are still being processed.
EU MEPs convicted of bribery
Former Foreign Minister Adrian Severin is sentenced to three years in prison
for receiving bribes from British reporters who claimed to be lobbyists during
his time as a Member of the European Parliament. Severin was filmed with a
hidden camera when he agreed to submit favorable legislative proposals. Earlier,
an Austrian former Foreign Minister and a Slovenian former Foreign Minister have
been imprisoned in their home countries after going to the same trap. Severin
claims that his behavior was "perfectly normal".
The tax managers are dismissed
Prime Minister Cioloș dismisses the two chief executives of the tax
authority, the day after prosecutors launched a criminal investigation against
them for suspected embezzlement of EU money.
Police licenses are abused
The State Prosecutor resigns and the Senate approves that a former Interior
Minister be prosecuted. Both are accused of over-exploiting the opportunity to
obtain police licenses during their travels. Criticism against them has
increased as the debate on corruption among the country's leaders has increased.
Cultural labeling stops mining
The village of Roşia Montană (see November 2013) is declared
a cultural monument, which according to the government means that planned gold
mining in the area is stopped for all future. Canadian company Gabriel Resources
has been trying to get a gold mine at the village for 15 years, but plans have
been met by strong protests against supposed environmental degradation.