Original publication: July 2017
Author: Diána Haase, Research Administrator
Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/2HsKkA9
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The economic, social and territorial situation of Romania - North-West Region

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This briefing was prepared to provide information for the visit to Romania’s North-West (Nord-Vest) Region (Cluj-Napoca and Turda) of 18 to 20 September 2017 by a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development.

1. Introduction to and political-administrative system of Romania

The largest of the Balkan countries, Romania is located in south-eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. The north and centre of the country are dominated by the Carpathian mountains, while in the south the main features are the vast Danube valley and Danube Delta. Romania joined the EU on 1 January 2007. The official language is Romanian, and the currency in use is the leu (RON).

Table: Key data

Table: Key data

Romanians, 18.3 % Hungarians, 4.6 % Roma, 1.3 % Ukrainians and 0.3 % Germans. Its land surface is as follows: mountains 28 %, hills 30 % and plains and valleys 42 %; 85.73 % of the Region’s territory consists of rural areas (accounting for 47.4 % of the population), but there are some important cities as well. The most economically important cities are Cluj-Napoca, Baia Mare, Oradea, Zalău, Satu Mare and Bistrița. Cluj-Napoca is the second largest city in Romania (with 324 576 inhabitants according to the 2011 census), and thus the biggest in the Region (and in Cluj County). The second biggest city in Cluj County is Turda, with 47 744 inhabitants (2011 census).

Romania is a parliamentary republic with a semi-presidential regime and a bicameral parliament (Chamber of Deputies – Camera Deputaţilor and Senate – Senatul). The territory of Romania is divided into the following entities: communes (comune), towns (oraşe) and counties (judeţe), with bigger cities being categorised as municipalities (municipii). There are 42 counties including Bucharest (which holds both municipality and county competences). A prefect is appointed by the central government at the county level, while local public affairs are overseen by the County Council (Consiliul Judeţean) and the Local Councils (Consiliul Local), which are elected bodies.

Romania is divided into 8 NUTS 2 level or so called development regions, one of them being the North-West (Nord-Vest) Region, which includes Cluj-Napoca and Turda. This region is situated in northern Transylvania and consists of 6 counties (the latter being classified at NUTS 3 level): Bihor, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Cluj, Maramureş, Satu Mare and Sălaj. Cluj-Napoca is the capital of Cluj County.


Map: NUTS 2 regions in Romania

In Romania the development regions form part of the administrative division, under which the Regional Development Councils (composed of the County Council presidents and one representative from each municipality) coordinate regional development tasks, with the Regional Development Agencies being the executive bodies. The North-West Regional Development Agency (NWRDA) was established in 1998 and is governed by the North-West Regional Development Council; its main office is in Cluj-Napoca.

Table: Political summary

Table: Political summary

Link to the full briefing: http://bit.ly/601-991 

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