The Government and Politics of the European Union

Seventh edition

by Neill Nugent


Population 21.5 m
Capital Bucharest
Surface area 230,000 km2
Official Language Romanian
Gross domestic product (GDP) (in euros) 220 bn
GDP as a % of EU-27, based on 2009 data 1.9
GDP per capita by purchasing power standards (indexed to EU average of 100) 45.8
Currency New leu
Human development index (HDI), an index based on life expectancy, education and GDP (max. 1) 0.813
World rank in HDI 60/177
Key economic sectors (% of GDP in 2002) Services (48.8); industry (38.1); agriculture (13.1)
Unemployment in January 2010 7.2% (source:
Main religious denominations (numbers in millions) Romanian Orthodox (18.8); Roman Catholic (1.03); Reformed Church (.70)
Significant minority ethnic groups Hungarians (1.43 m); Roma (0.54 m)
Political system Semi-presidential system
The President is elected every five years, and a bicameral legislature (with a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate) every four. The President appoints the prime minister, and is empowered to veto legislation unless it is upheld by a two-thirds majority of both chambers.
Electoral system Presidents are elected by direct vote. Both chambers are elected by a proportional mixed member system.
Current (March 2010) leaders President: Traian Basescu (b. 1951), since December 2004
Prime minister: Emil Boc (b. 1966), since December 2008
Previous leaders: Presidents: Ion Iliescu (2000-04); Emil Constantinescu (1996-2000)
Prime ministers: Calin Popescu-Tariceanu (2004-08); Adrian Nastase (2000-04)
Joined the EU/EC 2007
Commissioner from country in Barroso II College of Commissioners, and portfolio Dacian Ciolos (Agriculture and Rural Development)
Number of MEPs 33/754
Turnout in 2009 EP elections (%) 27.4
Member of eurozone No

Except where a specific reference is inserted, the sources for this profile are either Neill Nugent’s book itself, or Barry Turner (ed.), The Statesman’s Yearbook Online, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. If your library subscribes, you can gain access at