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Development regions of Romania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of the development regions
Map of the development regions
Coat of arms of Romania
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The development regions of Romania (Romanian Regiunile de dezvoltare ale României) refer to the eight regional divisions created in Romania in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union. The development regions correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union member states. Despite becoming increasingly significant in regional development projects, Romania's development regions do not actually have an administrative status and do not have a legislative or executive council or government. Rather, they serve a function for allocating European Union PHARE funds for regional development, as well as for collection of regional statistics. They also co-ordinate a range of regional development projects and became members of the Committee of the Regions when Romania joined the EU on January 1, 2007.

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Romania joined the First World War in August 1916, and you may well be wondering just what that country was doing while the rest of Europe was at war during the preceding years, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today. I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to a Great War special episode about Romania prior to its entry in World War One. The three regions of Wallachia, Transylvania, and Moldavia have a long history of foreign occupation going back to the Roman era. These territories, that formed the modern state of Romania, have sometimes been independent, but were more often fought over or occupied by more powerful nations. On January 24th, 1859, after a unionist campaign, Alexandru Ioan Cuza ascended to the thrones of both Wallachia and Moldova, effectively uniting them as Romania as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire. He introduced sweeping reforms designed to modernize Romania and drag it into the 19th century, but this brought him into conflict with the landed aristocracy, and he was forced to abdicate in 1866. Political chaos ensued until the throne was offered Prince Karl (Carol) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Prussian prince with Bonaparte family ties. He accepted and Romania became a hereditary constitutional monarchy, though still nominally under Ottoman control. In 1877 when the Russo-Turkish War began, Karl saw opportunity for Romania to break that control. Romania gave the Russians permission to cross Romania to attack the Ottoman forces. The Russian offensive stalled in Bulgaria, though, and the Tsar asked Carol for men and assistance, which he provided. Eventually the Turks sued for peace, and the resulting Congress of Berlin redrew the map of the Balkans, among other things creating an independent Romania. This new free nation instantly came into conflict with Russia, however, as Russia demanded Southern Bessarabia, which had passed back and forth between the Russians and the Ottomans over the years, and offered Romania impoverished Dobrogea, which had last been under Romanian control in the 1400s. This forced exchange inflamed public opinion in Romania, and culminated in the signing, in 1883, of a secret treaty that bound Romania to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, and the construction of defensive works aimed at stopping a future Russian invasion. That treaty was sort of a double-edged sword for Romania, though, since it also stopped Romania from any sort of intervention into Austro-Hungarian affairs, most particularly those in Transylvania, which was 54% ethnic Romanian and only 30% Hungarian, but ruled by the Hungarian minority. In fact, in 1892 when the Romanian National Party of Transylvania petitioned Emperor Franz Josef for equal rights and treatment, the petition was sent unopened from Vienna to Budapest and the signatories were all arrested and sentenced to prison terms of up to five years. If we fast forward to 1912, we see that Romania was by then something of a rising star. It was still mostly agricultural, but industrialization of the Prahova valley had spurred new growth, and Romania had an economic surplus of around 5% of its GDP. Now, Romania did not fight in the First Balkan War of 1912, but had only really remained neutral because Russia had organized a deal between Bulgaria and Romania offering Romania the fortress town of Silistra for remaining neutral. After the war, Bulgaria refused to go through with the deal, and this - as you may imagine - royally upset Romania, who threatened to take Silistra by force, but were stopped by Russian diplomatic intervention. Bulgarian relations with Russia cooled off now because of all of this and the Bulgarian-Russian alliance was cancelled June 9th, 1913. A week later, Bulgaria launched a surprise attack on Serbia and Greece without declaring war. The goal was to grab as much land as possible before the Great Powers could end the conflict, and so the entire Bulgarian army was committed to the invasion, despite the threat of a possible Romanian invasion from behind. Well, on the 28th, Romania got assurances from Austria-Hungary that the latter would not intervene if Romania went into Bulgaria; the Romanian army mobilized June 3rd, and on June 10th invaded a totally undefended Bulgaria. Romania invaded with 330,000 men, and Bulgaria had an army of close to twice that, but all were engaged in fighting Serbia and Greece. By the 22nd, the Romanians had linked up with the Serbs at the Bulgarian rear, and this, coupled with an Ottoman advance into Bulgaria, forced Bulgaria to sue for peace. The Peace talks concluded with the Treaty of Bucharest in August, which stripped Bulgaria of much of the territory they’d gained in the First Balkan War. Romania got not only Silistra, but also the whole of Southern Dobrogea, but the campaign highlighted the shortcomings of the Romanian army, particularly the lack of equipment and ammunition, the quality of the officers, the disorganization of supply lines, and the inefficiency of the medical corps. Combat casualties had been virtually zero, but 6,000 Romanian soldiers had died of cholera during the brief campaign. It’s nice to recognize your shortcomings, but most of the same problems would still beset Romania in World War One. The Second Balkan War had brought Russia and Romania closer together, with the Tsar even making a state visit and a planned royal wedding between the future Romanian King Carol II, King Carol’s grand nephew, and Russian Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. This fell through because the prospective spouses detested each other. Another effect of that war was to turn Bulgaria into a retributionist state, seeking revenge on Serbia and Romania, which would help propel Bulgaria into joining the Central Powers. So the First World War began and what would Romania do? King Carol revealed the existence of the secret treaty and proposed to join the Central Powers in the war, but the treaty was a defensive one and Romania was not actually required to go to war since Austria-Hungary was the aggressor. Remember, the King was of Prussian origin too, and a cousin to the Kaiser. Public opinion however, was staunchly Francophile, and that included most of the Crown Council, who opted for armed neutrality as a compromise between the king and the government, who wanted to join the Entente. And then on October 10th, 1914, King Carol died with no male heir. He was succeeded by his nephew, who became King Ferdinand I. Unlike his uncle, who never forgot his Germanic roots, Ferdinand declared instantly that he would follow his country over his family, and would reign as a true Romanian. His wife was the very British Princess Marie of Edinburgh, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, but also daughter to the Russian Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, who strongly - and kind of obviously - urged joining the Entente. One thing to realize here, was that the Romanian army was not only under equipped in terms of guns and ammunition, but since it hadn’t joined any side of the war it had real problems getting weaponry from abroad and Romania didn’t have a big weapons manufacturing industry. Still, Romania did eventually join the war, as we’ve talked about in our regular Thursday episodes. Prime Minister Ion Bratianu carefully negotiated the Romanian entry into the war, because the last thing he wanted was a repeat of the 1870s, when Romania had to cede land to Russia, so the treaty formally bound the Allies to recognize Romania’s right to annex Austro-Hungarian territory that was inhabited by Romanians. This was a pretty good precaution because earlier in the summer of 1916 the Allies had signed treaties that would prevent Romanian from participating in any postwar peace conference as an equal. In fact, Russia didn’t really want Romania to join the war because a neutral Romania guarded Russia’s southern flank, but an active Romania would mean putting that security in the hands of an unproven army. All this posturing delayed the Romanian entry into the war by two months until August 1916, which was pretty unfortunate timing, since the Russian army was in a bit of disarray after the enormously costly success of the Brusilov Offensive over the summer. The Romanian Battle Plan was called the Z Hypothesis, and it was to comprise a strategic offensive into Transylvania with a strategic defense on the southern front. The offensive was to proceed for 30 days at which point there would be a decisive battle with Austria-Hungary. Now, I’ll go into all the battles in the weekly episodes, but I have to say here that this was a very optimistic plan. It assumed that an offensive could repulse the Austrians before they could get German assistance, and also that the German, Bulgarian, and Ottoman forces south of the Danube were too weak to pose a threat to the Southern Front. Well, as we’ve seen each and every time a new country enters the war, it’s with a blind optimism and faith in its army that usually borders on fantasy, and sometimes crosses those borders.



There are 8 development regions in Romania, which (with the exception of București-Ilfov) are named by their geographical position in the country:

  • RO1 – Macroregiunea 1:
    • Nord-Vest – RO11; 6 counties; 2,600,132 inhabitants; 34,159 km2 (13,189 sq mi)
    • Centru – RO12; 6 counties; 2,360,805 inhabitants; 34,082 km2 (13,159 sq mi)
  • RO2 – Macroregiunea 2:
    • Nord-Est – RO21; 6 counties; 3,302,217 inhabitants; 36,850 km2 (14,230 sq mi)
    • Sud-Est – RO22; 6 counties; 2,545,923 inhabitants; 35,762 km2 (13,808 sq mi)
  • RO3 – Macroregiunea 3:
  • RO4 – Macroregiunea 4:
    • Sud-Vest Oltenia – RO41; 5 counties; 2,075,642 inhabitants; 29,212 km2 (11,279 sq mi)
    • Vest – RO42; 4 counties; 1,828,313 inhabitants; 32,028 km2 (12,366 sq mi)


Gross domestic product (GDP) as reported by Eurostat
2006 2016[1]
(million )
€ per
(million €)
€ per capita
% of
EU average
(million )
€ per
(million €)
in 2014[7]
€ per capita
% of
EU average
Romania 98,419 4,500 196,999 9,200 38 169,771 8,600 301,801 17,000 58
Nord-Vest 11,675 4,200 23,370 8,700 36 19,519 7,600 34,001 14,300 51
Centru 11,335 4,500 22,689 9,100 37 18,761 8,000 33,349 15,800 54
Nord-Est 10,787 2,900 21,591 5,900 24 17,081 5,300 30,912 10,400 36
Sud-Est 11,051 3,800 22,119 7,900 32 18,159 7,400 34,020 14,500 52
Sud - Muntenia 12,482 3,800 24,985 7,700 31 20,583 6,800 36,630 14,100 46
București - Ilfov 22,946 9,900 45,931 21,100 86 46 994 20,500 81,267 40,400 139
Sud-Vest Oltenia 8,138 3,600 16,290 7,200 29 12,451 6,300 22,677 12,400 42
Vest 9,940 5,300 19,897 10,500 43 16 081 8,900 28,698 17,600 60

See also


  1. ^ "Statistics". Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  2. ^ "Site3-TGM table". Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  3. ^ Eurostat (19 February 2009). "GDP per inhabitant in the EU in 2006" (PDF). Europa web portal. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Site3-TGM table". Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  5. ^ "Site3-TGM table". Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  6. ^ "Site3-TGM table". Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  7. ^ Eurostat (26 February 2016). "GDP per capita in the EU in 2014". Europa web portal. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
This page was last edited on 3 August 2019, at 07:48
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