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About Romania / Country Information / General information

Year of EU entry: 2007
Capital city: Bucharest
Total area: 237 500 km²
Population: 20,121, 641 (Just over 20 million)
Currency:  leu (also known as lei or Ron)
Time Zone: Eastern standard time (GMT+2)
Schengen area: Not a member of Schengen
Ethnic Groups:
88.9% Romanian
6.5% Hungarian
3.3% Roma
1.3% Other
  • Government

    Romania has gone through a period of rapid and major change in every sector since the revolution of 1989. Before this revolution, Romania was a communist country. In December 1989, the political system moved towards a democracy and Romania became a republic, led by a president
    and governed by a two-chamber parliament (the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies), both elected for four-year terms.

    Currently the political party in charge is the USL – social liberal Union. The USL is a coalition between PSD and the PNL (social democratic party) and the PNL (National liberal party).
    The Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta from the PSD  is head of the government.. Victor Ponta was elected in on 20 February 2010. The Romanian parliament consists of two chambers, the Senat (Senate) and the Camera Deputaților (Chamber of Deputies).

    The President of Romania, Traian Băsescu is the head of State. During his/her term in office, the President may not be a member of any political party. BĂŁsescu has been president since 20th December 2004 and during his two terms he has been suspended twice.

    Romania is divided into 41 administrative districts.

    Language: Romanian is the official language. The Romanian language, like a number of others in southern Europe, is directly descended from Latin, although Romania is separated from other Romance-language countries by Slav speakers.
    Hungarian is still widely spoken in many counties in Transylvania. English is taught in schools as is German and French but usually to a lesser extent. Many of the elderly know Russian from the communist era.

    Religion: Romanian Orthodox — 86.7%
    • Roman Catholic — 4.7%
    • Protestant Churches (Calvin, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Baptist, Adventist) — 5.3%
    • Greek Catholic — 0.9%
    • Islam — 0.3%
    • Atheist — ~0.04% (9,271 people)
    • No religion — 0.1%
    • Other religions — 2.0%
    • Refused to declare — 0.1%
  • Geography

    Located in south-east Europe and partially bordering the Black Sea Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the north-east and east, and Bulgaria to the south. The north of Romania is mountainous while the main feature of the south is the vast Danube valley. The river forms a delta as it approaches the Black Sea, which is a wildlife reserve for countless native and migratory birds.

  • Climate

    Temperate and continental with 4 distinct seasons. Summers (June to August) are generally very warm with   average maximum temperatures in Bucharest 28°C (82°F), and temperatures over 35°C (95°F) common in the lower-lying areas of the country.
    Winters can be cold, with average maximum temperatures no more than 2°C (36°F). Snow falls yearly and often remains for months in certain counties.
    In Harghita county where C2T are based the summer months receive an average temperature of 24°C with highs of 35°C whilst in the winter months the average temperature can range from -5°C  to -10°C  with lows of -32 (although this is not common).

  • Wildlife

    60% and 40% of all European brown bears and wolves reside in Romania respectively. Although presently in decline, Romania's population of brown bears is the largest in Europe (over 5,000 individuals). There are also almost 400 unique species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in Romania.
    Nature lovers will feel they have stepped into an unspoilt medieval landscape of rolling hills, lush meadows, oak forests and fence-free fields dotted with haystacks. Traditional, wildlife-friendly agriculture makes Transylvania one of the best places for fauna in Europe.

  • Economy

    For many centuries Romania's economy was based on agriculture. In the 1930s Romania was one of the main European producers of wheat, corn and meats and it used to be called "the bread basket of Europe." In the 1950s the communist leader of Romania, Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej, began developing heavy industry.
    There has been a shift towards heavy industries since the 1970s but the agriculture is still economically important and employs about one-third of the workforce.
    Romania produces coal, natural gas, iron ore and petroleum but most raw material for the country's large industrial capacity potential are imported. Prominent industries include chemical (petrochemical, paints and varnishes), metal processing, machine manufacturing, industrial and transport equipment, textiles, manufactured consumer goods, lumbering and furniture.
    39.2% of Romania's territory is arable land, 28% forests, 21% pastures, hayfields and orchards and 2.5% vineyards. Corn, wheat, vegetable oil seeds, vegetables, apples and grapes for wine are the main crops and sheep and pigs the main livestock. Forestry and fisheries are being developed under long-term programs. Since 1990, successive governments have concentrated on turning Romania into a market economy ( ).

  • Money

    There are many places in the cities to change money, with all major foreign currencies accepted. The exchange offices (casa de schimb) offer better rates than banks and usually show their rates on a board outside in the street.

  • Food

    Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact. Commonly the Romanian diet is a lot of meat typically pork, potatoes and cabbage. Lunch is generally the largest meal with soup usually being the starter.
    In Harghita county where the majority of the population are still ethnically Hungarian traditional dishes tend to originate from Hungary.
    For example, Gulyás (Goulash) is a soup or stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices.
    Töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage) cabbage rolls made from pickled cabbage leaves, filled with minced pork meat.
    Lángos, a type of flat doughnut often with a sour cream or chocolate spread.
    Kürtöskalács, a type of spiral pastry, also known as Chimney cake or Stove cake.  The pastry is baked on a hand-turned, tapered, wooden spit, rolled slowly on the wooden cylinder above an open fire. The dough is yeast-raised, flavoured with sweet spices, the most common being cinnamon, topped with walnuts or almonds, and sugar. The sugar is caramelized on the kürtöskalács surface, creating a sweet, crispy exterior, and a soft, smooth interior.