Great Union Day (Romanian: Ziua Marii Uniri, also called Unification Day or National Day) is a national holiday in Romania, celebrated on 1 December, marking the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918. This holiday was declared after the Romanian Revolution and commemorates the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia, which declared the Union of Transylvania with Romania.

Prior to 1948, until the abolition of the monarchy, the national holiday was on 10 May, which had a double meaning: it was the day on which King Carol I set foot on Romanian soil (in 1866), and the day on which the prince ratified the Declaration of Independence (from the Ottoman Empire) in 1877. From 1948, during the period of Communist administration, the national holiday was on 23 August, Liberation from Fascist Occupation Day, to mark the 1944 overthrow of the pro-fascist government of Marshal Ion Antonescu, with parades held on Charles de Gaulle Square (then called Stalin Square and Aviators' Square).

Romania is a southeastern European country known for the forested region of Transylvania, ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. Its preserved medieval towns include Sighişoara, and there are many fortified churches and castles, notably clifftop Bran Castle, long associated with the Dracula legend. Bucharest, the country's capital, is the site of the gigantic, Communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building.

Political system

Romania is an EU member country since 2007. It is a semi-presidential republic with a head of government - the prime minister - and a head of state - the president. Executive functions are held by both government and the president. The country is divided into 41 counties and the municipality of Bucharest. Each county is administered by a county council, responsible for local affairs, and a prefect responsible for administering national affairs at county level.

There are 32 members of the European Parliament from Romania. Find out who these MEPs are. In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Romanian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

The Commissioner nominated by Romania to the European Commission is Corina Creţu, who is responsible for Regional Policy. The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".

Romania has 15 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body - representing employers, workers and other interest groups - is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

Trade and economy

The most important sectors of Romania's economy in 2018 were industry (26.1%), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (20.2%) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (14.5%).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 77% of Romania's exports (Germany 23%, Italy 11% and France 7%), while outside the EU 3% go to Turkey and 2% to the United States.

In terms of imports, 75% come from EU Member States (Germany 20%, Italy 9% and Hungary 7%), while outside the EU 5% come from China and 4% from Turkey.

Image Caption: Romanian postcard issued cca. 1918-1919

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