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Country Reports

Romania Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The minority government of the centre-right PNL will probably stay in power until the next scheduled parliamentary election in November-December 2020. The cabinet of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, leader of the PNL, was confirmed in parliament in November 2019, receiving the votes of 240 out of the 465 MPs in parliament. This came after the PNL initiated a successful no-confidence vote against the minority PSD government. The PSD lost its control of the parliamentary majority in August 2019 after the withdrawal of support from its junior coalition partner. Economic growth decelerated to 4.2% in 2018, with continued slowdown indicated by investment contracting 2.7% y/y during the same period. Adverse global trends affecting emerging markets and Romania’s unbalanced growth with growing current account and fiscal deficits make Romania vulnerable to external shocks and capital outflows. IHS Markit estimates the budget deficit above 4% of GDP in 2019 and current-account deficit at 5% of GDP.The volatile political landscape will pose elevated risks of policy reversals and unpredictability throughout 2020, affecting also the tax environment. The electoral cycle (2020 local and general elections) is also likely to continue dominating policy-making. If public-sector workers mobilise across multiple sectors at the end of 2019, then this would likely prevent the government from reducing pension and social-related expenditure to balance the budget. In the one-year outlook, projects to improve Romania's transport infrastructure will probably be affected by budget cuts and inefficient implementation. The rising budget deficit and unpredictable tax environment are adverse indicators both for public and private-sector investment. Nevertheless, the low base and EU structural support should permit stronger investment growth in 2019 even though risks are tilted to the downside. Household consumption will remain the main growth driver for Romania’s economy, but economic growth will weaken as the external environment becomes less favourable.
Last update: November 26, 2019

Operational Outlook

Romania's workforce is well educated, with labour costs substantially lower than in Western Europe. Infrastructure is underdeveloped and modernisation, including expansion of the road network, is likely to be slow. Infrastructure and railway construction projects are likely to be stalled in the coming year due to probable budget cuts. Romania's EU accession encouraged steps towards a simplified tax administration and an improved legal system. Nevertheless, corruption will remain a challenge, with anti-graft efforts likely to be stalled under the current government. Strikes will probably be driven by lay-offs in state companies or by union-affiliated public-sector employees.

Last update: August 31, 2019

Terrorism

Elevated

The threat of home-grown radicalisation and terrorism is lower than in Western Europe and comparable to that in regional peers such as Poland and Hungary. There have been reports of individuals in Romania promoting terrorism online, but the intelligence service has intensified surveillance activities to detect potential threats. The deployment of US troops and military assets in Romania increases the risk of attacks, instigated by foreign groups. Jewish individuals and assets are also probable targets. Cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure and financial services are likely.

Last update: November 22, 2019

Crime

Improved law enforcement funding, additional legal powers combined with greater collaboration with European counterparts has led to a gradual decline in criminal activity . However, foreign investment has been and still is hampered by corruption in central and local governments. Organised crime in Romania is of concern, although it does not pose a risk to state stability or foreign investors. Romania is a source and transit country for human trafficking for sexual exploitation and sits on the northern drug trafficking route: Afghanistan, Pakistan/Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria/Germany. The Roma minority in Romania is particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Local criminal groups are also involved in cyber crime and smuggling of refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East into Central Europe. However, Romania, compared with neighbouring Bulgaria, is not a preferred route for this form of smuggling. Violent crime in Romania is generally low.

Last update: November 22, 2019

War Risks

Relations with Russia are strained, but the risk of war is low. Nevertheless, Romanian-Russian relations are likely to remain deteriorated. This comes after the opening of a regional NATO co-ordination unit and the activation of the US missile shield system in Romania, and corresponding plans to further intensify NATO maritime military drills in the Black Sea. The risk of cyber-attacks has increased. Possible disputes with neighbours over border delimitations and minorities are to be managed by diplomatic means. Relations with Moldova are unlikely to deteriorate to the extent of including any military confrontation.

Last update: November 26, 2019

Social Stability

High

The risk of large-scale anti-government protests attracting thousands of people in Bucharest has decreased. Still, peaceful protests by trade unions held in Bucharest and gathering up to few thousand people are probable in the next few months. With a record of effective political demonstrations, large, mostly peaceful demonstrations, with the ability to reverse political decisions, are likely to continue to be a standing feature of Romania in the coming years. Peaceful protests against shale gas exploration or environmentally degrading industrial plants and other projects are likely near such complexes and in Bucharest.

Last update: November 26, 2019

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

Romania contains some of the most seismically-active zones found in Europe. Small earthquakes occur yearly and large earthquakes every 30 to 50 years. In 1977, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 killed 1500 people and caused significant material damage to downtown Bucharest.

Flooding is also a common occurrence. In September 2005, the country experienced its worst floods since 1970, in which 23 people were killed (Vrancea county; 14,000 people evacuated).

When traveling in the Romanian mountains, it is advised to take precautions for bear encounters. Do not approach bears by any means and give them enough space to run away. Do not make any sudden movement and do not scream. Tourists have often been hurt and killed by bears.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

Outside of large cities and main highways, roads are generally in poor condition, often narrow and unlit. However, the road network is being renovated. There are two highways linking Bucharest to Pitesti or to Constanta. The roads in the Oltenia and the Moldavia regions are in poor condition. Thus, in these regions and in remote areas, extreme vigilance is advised at night due to the lack of proper street lighting. Horse-drawn carts, agricultural vehicles, cyclists, and vehicles without taillights or reflectors are common. Moreover, drivers can be very aggressive.

It is necessary for drivers to display a sticker (rovignette). This sticker is available at border posts, post offices and at some gas stations. Vehicles are required to be fitted with snow tires during the winter.

The railway network is thorough and in good condition. However, the comfort of the trains varies. Buses are a good alternative mode of transportation from town to town. They are comfortable, fast, and frequent.

To travel by taxi, travelers should only use formal taxis with a meter and with displayed prices. Taxis are usually inexpensive. Do not ride a taxi alone to go to remote areas. Travelers wanting to go to Bucharest from the airport by taxi should ask at the kiosk at the terminal exit.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Romania has a continental climate with significant temperature changes from season to season. Summers are hot, sometimes scorching in certain regions (Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania in particular); temperatures are milder along the coast of the Black Sea and in the mountains. Summers and autumns are short with pleasant temperatures during the day and cool nights. Winters are long, harsh, and dry (with the exception of regions around the Black Sea).

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 40
Police: 955 or 112
Fire Dept.: 955 or 112
Ambulance: 955 or 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019