Romania's administration is relatively centralized and administrative subdivisions are therefore fairly simplified.
According to the Constitution of Romania, its territory is organized administratively into communes , cities and counties :
Below communal or town level, there are no further formal administrative subdivisions. However, communes are divided into villages (which have no administration of their own). There are 12,957 villages in Romania. The only exception is Bucharest , which has six sectors, each with an administration of its own.
The earliest organization into județe of the Principalities of Wallachia,respectively ținuturi of Moldavia, dates back at least to the early 15th century. Each județ, respectively ținut, was ruled by a jude, respectively pârcălab, an officially appointed person who had administrative and judicial functions in a manner inspired from the organization of the late Byzantine Empire. Transylvania, when it was part of the historic Kingdom of Hungary (in the Middle Ages), an independent Principality or a Habsburg domain (in the modern era until World War I) was divided into royal counties (Latin:comitatus), headed by comes (royal counts) with administrative and judicial functions. The term județ became used in Romanian universally for all principalities since mid-19th century.
After modern Romania was formed in 1859 through the union of Wallachia and rump Moldavia, and then extended in 1918 through the union of Transylvania, as well as Bukovina and Bessarabia (parts of Moldavia temporarily acquired by the Habsburgs, 1775–1918, respectively the Russian Tsars, 1812–1917), the administrative division was modernized using the French departments system as an example. With the exception of the half of the Communist period, this system remained in place. Since 1864, for each județ there exists a prefect (from the Latin praefectus ), a subordinate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who is the representative of the government in the county, and the head of the local administration in the areas not delegated to local authorities.Until 1948, each județ was further divided into a number of plăși (singular plasă), with each administered by a pretor (from the Latin praetor ), appointed by the prefect.
In 1913, as a result of the Second Balkan War, Romania acquired Southern Dobruja from Bulgaria, integrating this historical region within Romania's borders until 1940. In 1923 Romania adopted a new Constitution, and in 1927 it uniformized the traditional administrative systems of Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia with that of the Romanian Old Kingdom. County borders were kept largely intact, with only a couple minor adjustments, as a total of 71 județe existed between 1927 and 1938.
In 1938, King Carol II modified the Constitution, and after that the law of administration of the Romanian territory. Ten "ținuturi" (approx. translation: "lands") were created, ruled by "Rezidenți Regali" (approx. translation "Royal Residents"), appointed directly by the Monarch. The ținuturi represented another layer of administration between counties and the country; county borders were not erased.But, due to World War II, the Second Vienna Award, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and the loss of territory that Romania suffered, this style of administration did not last, the administration at the "județ" level being reintroduced back until the establishment of communism in 1945–1947.
During World War II, the territory of Romania suffered very significant modifications. In 1940, Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and Herza region which after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, would become part of Republic of Moldova and of Ukraine. Between 1941 and 1944, these territories together with Transnistria, were administered by Romania briefly, as the country was governed by a military dictatorship allied with Nazi Germany. Transnistria consisted of formerly proper Soviet territory between Dniester and Southern Bug rivers. Nowadays, most of it is in Ukraine, with small parts in the Republic of Moldova (current Transnistria). This territory was kept under Romanian military occupation, and was not annexed to Romania consisted of a further 13 counties.
After the war, the Communist Party took over the administration of the country. In 1950, the party changed the administration model to the Russian model (regions and raions), but it reverted to the current system in 1968, although county borders were quite different from the interbelic period.In 1981 the former counties of Ilfov and Ialomița were re-organised into the present-day counties of Giurgiu, Călărași, Ialomița and Ilfov. The county borders introduced in 1968 are largely in place, but administrative reform during the 1990s has devolved the functions of different authorities in line with transition from a totalitarian communist system to a modern democracy. The only territorial adjustment after 1989 occurred in 1995, when Ilfov County was formed. Before that it was a dependency of the Municipality of Bucharest (Sectorul Agricol Ilfov).
Eight regional divisions (called development regions) were created in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union, and consist of several counties each. These correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union member states, but do not actually have an administrative status and do not have a legislative or executive council or government. As of 2009, Romania is divided into 41 counties and one municipality which are assigned as NUTS III-level divisions. Currently, Romania has no NUTS-4 units, the counties being composed directly of cities (some of which with municipality status) and communes.
As in all modern democracies, the political power in Romania is divided into three independent branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The prefect and his administration have only executive prerogatives. However, the territorial districts of the Romanian judicial system overlap with county borders, thus avoiding further complication.At the same time with local elections (of mayors and councilors for the cities and communes), a Consiliu județean (County Council) is elected for each county. From 2008 to 2016 a President of the County Council was also elected by direct vote, from 2016 he or she has been (as prior to 2008) elected by a Council. As of now, the legislative powers of county councils are quite reduced, but there are plans for more decentralization. (These plans, however, call for introduction of Regional Councils for the 8 development regions of the NUTS-2 level.)
As of 2010 there have been several proposals for the administrative reorganization of Romania made by the presidential commission tasked with the analysis of the political and constitutional regime.Most of these recommendations aim for the partial reestablishment of the counties in their pre-1950 form. The counties will be grouped into several regions (9 to 15) based on common historical and economic characteristics (NUTS II level). The regions will be in their turn clustered into 4-6 macroregions (NUTS I level). Furthermore, a NUTS IV level division, called plasă or canton will probably be added in order to meet the EU statistical and administrative requirements.
Another proposal, based on 15 autonomous euro-regions (amongst them one ethnic based region with a consistent Hungarian majority made of the existing Mureș, Harghita and Covasna counties) grouped into 5 statistical macroregions (NUTS I), was made by the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).
For statistical and development purposes, Romania, in the NUTS scheme, is divided into:
An exception to this structure is the Municipality of Bucharest, which is a secondary division (rather than a tertiary division like other municipalities) and is officially divided into six sectors, each sector having a local government and council.
The eight development regions (specific territorial entities without administrative status or legal personality) represent the framework for collecting specific statistical data, according to the European regulations issued by Eurostat for the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) II territorial level. According to the Emergency Government Ordinance No 75/2001 on the functioning of the National Institute for Statistics, eight Directorates General for regional statistics have been created, and together with the 34 county directorates for statistics, aim at developing regional statistics. Officially, the eight regions are Nord-Est (North-East), Sud-Est (South-East), Sud - Muntenia (South - Muntenia), Sud-Vest Oltenia (South-West Oltenia), Vest (West), Nord-Vest (North-West), Centru (Centre), and București - Ilfov (Bucharest - Ilfov). The criteria used by NCS for delimiting the regions is a combination of geographical location and homogeneity based on population density. Alternative historical names are also used, but remain unofficial.
|no||type||name||area, km2||population (mid-2007 official estimate)||municipalities||other cities||communes||villages|
|1||Nord-Est development region||36,850||17||29||506||2,414|
|2||Sud-Est development region||35,762||11||24||355||1,448|
|3||Sud - Muntenia development region||34,453||16||32||519||2,019|
|4||Sud-Vest Oltenia development region||29,212||11||29||408||2,070|
|5||Vest development region||32,034||12||30||281||1,327|
|6||Nord-Vest development region||34,159||15||28||403||1,800|
|33||county||Satu Mare County||4,418||366,270||2||4||59||220|
|7||Centru development region||34,100||20||37||357||1,788|
|8||București - Ilfov development region||1,821||1||8||32||91|
The 41 județe and the municipality of Bucharest comprise the official administrative divisions of Romania. They also represent the European Union' s NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania.
According to the Moldovan law on territorial administrative organisation, Moldova is divided administratively into the following administrative territorial units: districts, cities/towns and villages. The administrative territorial organization of Moldova is made on 2 levels:
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but, after the fall of Communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest. The gentrification of the county is continuing, with many towns in Ilfov, such as Otopeni, having some of the highest GDP per capita levels in the country.
The history of the Jews in Bessarabia, a historical region in Eastern Europe, dates back hundreds of years.
The development regions of Romania refer to the eight regional divisions created in Romania in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union. The development regions correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union member states. Despite becoming increasingly significant in regional development projects, Romania's development regions do not actually have an administrative status and do not have a legislative or executive council or government. Rather, they serve a function for allocating European Union PHARE funds for regional development, as well as for collection of regional statistics. They also co-ordinate a range of regional development projects and became members of the Committee of the Regions when Romania joined the EU on January 1, 2007.
The historical regions of Romania are located in Central, Southeastern, and Eastern Europe. Romania came into being through the unification of two principalities, Wallachia and Moldavia in 1862. The new unitary state extended over further regions at various times during the late 19th and 20th centuries, including Dobruja in 1878, and Transylvania in 1918.
A județ is an administrative division in Romania, and was also used from 1940 to 1947 in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic and from 1998 to 2003 in Moldova.
Lăpușna County was a county Romanian: județ) in the Kingdom of Romania.
The Transnistria Governorate was a Romanian-administered territory between the Dniester and Southern Bug, conquered by the Axis Powers from the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa and occupied from 19 August 1941 to 29 January 1944. Limited in the west by the Dniester river, in the east by the Southern Bug river, and in the south by the Black Sea, it comprised the present-day region of Transnistria and territories further east, including the Black Sea port of Odessa, which became the administrative capital of Transnistria during World War II.
Ținutul Argeș was one of the ten Romanian ținuturi ("lands") founded in 1938, after King Carol II initiated an institutional reform by modifying the 1923 Constitution and the law of territorial administration. Named after the Argeș River and extending over historical areas of Wallachia and parts of Transylvania, it had its capital in the city of Bucharest. Ținutul Argeș ceased to exist following the territorial losses of Romania and the king's abdication in 1940.
Ținutul Dunării was one of the ten Romanian ținuturi ("lands") founded in 1938, after King Carol II initiated an institutional reform by modifying the 1923 Constitution and the law of territorial administration. Named after the Danube River and extending over historical areas of Moldavia, parts of Northern Dobruja, and an area of Wallachia around Brăila. Its capital was the city of Galați. Ținutul Dunării ceased to exist following the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina and the king's abdication in 1940.
Ținutul Suceava was one of the ten Romanian administrative regions (ținuturi) created on August 14, 1938, as a part of King Carol II's administrative reform. From August 14, 1938, to June 28, 1940, it included the whole of Bukovina, a county of Bessarabia (Hotin) and a county of Moldavia (Dorohoi). It was named after the river Suceava. Its administrative capital was the city of Cernăuți. After its northern part was ceded to the USSR on June 28, 1940, Ținutul Suceava was restructured on September 16, 1940, when Baia county became a part of the region, and abolished only a few days latter, on September 22, 1940. Ținutul Suceava had two governors: Gheorghe Alexianu and Gheorghe Flondor. Alexianu's mandate was marked by the suppression of ethnic minority and Jewish rights.
The union of Bessarabia with Romania was proclaimed on April 9 [O.S. March 27] 1918 by Sfatul Țării, the legislative body of the Moldavian Democratic Republic. This state had the same borders of the region of Bessarabia, which was annexed by the Russian Empire following the Treaty of Bucharest of 1812 and organized first as an Oblast and later as a Governorate. Under Russian rule, many of the native Tatars were expelled from parts of Bessarabia and replaced with Moldavians, Wallachians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Russians, Lipovans, Cossacks, Gagauzes and other peoples, although colonization was not limited to formerly Tatar-inhabited lands. Russia also tried to integrate the region by imposing the Russian language in administration and restricting education in other languages.
A total of 41 counties, along with the municipality of Bucharest, constitute the official administrative divisions of Romania. They represent the country's NUTS-3 statistical subdivisions within the European Union and each of them serves as the local level of government within its borders. Most counties are named after a major river, while some are named after notable cities within them, such as the county seat.
In the NUTS codes of Romania (RO), the three levels are:
The București – Ilfov development region is a development region in Romania, encompassing the national capital, Bucharest, as well as the surrounding Ilfov County. As other development regions, it does not have any administrative powers, its main function being to co-ordinate regional development projects and manage funds from the European Union. It is also used as an entity in regional statistical analysis at the European Union NUTS-II level.
This article discusses the administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Romania between 1941 and 1944. As a result of the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, Second Vienna Award and the Treaty of Craiova, territories that had previously been part of Romania were lost to the Soviet Union, Hungary and Bulgaria respectively. By September 1940 the administrative system set up in 1938 based on 'ținuturi' (regions) was disbanded and the former counties (județe) were reintroduced.
Administrative divisions development in Ukraine reviews the history of changes in the administrative divisions of Ukraine, in chronological order.
A new territorial division of the Romanian People's Republic was introduced in 1950. Following the Soviet model, a structure of regions and raions (districts) was created, replacing the former system of județe (counties) and their subdivisions. Further changes were implemented during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Bukovina Governorate was an administrative unit of Romania during the Second World War.
|NUTS–I||Macroregiunea 1||Macroregiunea 2||Macroregiunea 3||Macroregiunea 4|
|Nord-Vest||Centru||Nord-Est||Sud-Est||Sud - Muntenia||București - Ilfov||Sud-Vest Oltenia||Vest|