Romania is a semi-presidential unitary state. As a nation-state, the country was formed by the merging of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 and it gained recognition of its independence in 1878. Later, in 1918, they were joined by Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia. At the end of World War II, parts of its territories (roughly the present day Moldova) were occupied by USSR and Romania became a member of the Warsaw Pact. With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Romania started a series of political and economic reforms that allowed for Romania to join the European Union on January 1, 2007.
Romania has the 9th largest territory and the 7th largest population (with 22 million people) among the European Union member states. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest (Romanian: Bucureşti /bu.kuˈreʃtʲ/ (help·info)), the 6th largest city in the EU with 1.9 million people. In 2007, Sibiu, a large city in Transylvania, was chosen as a European Capital of Culture. Romania also joined NATO on March 29, 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie and of OSCE.The name of Romania (Rumania or România) comes from Român (Romanian) which is a derivative of the word Romanus ("Roman") from Latin. The fact that Romanians have said the name is a derivative of Romanus (Romanian: Român/Rumân) is mentioned as early as the 16th century by many authors, including Italian Humanists travelling in Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia. The oldest surviving document written in the Romanian language is a... [continues]
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