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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 government instability risk is high in light of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, unstable parliamentary majority and parliamentary election in December 2020. In March 2020, parliament backed a new government of caretaker Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and his centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL) amid the global COVID-19 epidemic and the announced national state of emergency. Policy-making throughout 2020 will be reactionary, and will likely depend primarily on the development and impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak. The government will most probably focus on disaster response and financial relief measures aimed at alleviating the burden on businesses and households. Financial relief measures and social spending at the expense of budget deficit are likely. The government has already announced that it would allocate RON10 billion (0.9% of GDP) to the underfinanced healthcare sector and promised support to transport, tourism and entertainment sector workers by paying their social security contributions. Most other policy areas are likely to face delays, unpredictability and ad-hoc decisions. IHS Markit's March 2020 release estimates that Romanian economic growth will decelerate significantly from 4.2% in 2019 to 1.6% in 2020 due to COVID-19-related lower household consumption and the negative effect on the service sector, which has been driving growth so far, and even weaker industrial production performance. However, the risk of economic contraction is rising as well. Romania is not in a good position to weather external and internal shocks due to high one of the highest current-account and fiscal deficits in the region, amid fragile investor confidence. 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. The low base and EU structural support encouraged stronger investment growth in 2019 however, continuation of this trend in not likely, not least due to COVID-19.
Last update: March 21, 2020

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. Strikes will probably be driven by lay-offs in state companies or by union-affiliated public-sector employees.

Last update: December 28, 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 are no known terrorist cells in the country. 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: March 6, 2020

Crime

Improved law-enforcement funding, and 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, financial 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: March 6, 2020

War Risks

Although relations with Russia are strained, the risk of war is low. Nevertheless, a significant improvement of Romanian-Russian relations is unlikely. This is because of the opening of a regional NATO co-ordination unit and the activation of the US missile shield system in Romania, and a growing number of NATO maritime military drills in the Black Sea and the Denube delta. Russian naval military presence in the northwestern part of the Black Sea has intensified since the annexation of Crimea, elevating the risk of disruption to commercial traffic and unintended escalation involving the Russian Navy. The risk of cyber-attacks has also increased in the past few years.

Last update: March 6, 2020

Social Stability

High

The risk of large-scale anti-government protests attracting thousands of people in Bucharest has decreased since 2019. The likelihood of protests is likely to remain lower in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in Romania. With a record of effective political demonstrations, large, mostly peaceful demonstrations with the ability to reverse political decisions will probably continue to be a standing feature of Romania in the coming years. Protests activity is likely to resume in response to perceived injustices. Peaceful protests against shale gas exploration or environmentally degrading industrial plants and other projects can be triggered near such complexes and in Bucharest.

Last update: March 20, 2020

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