Between the Danube and the Black Sea, and divided by the Carpathian Mountains, Romania shares borders with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. Inhabited in ancient times by the Dacians, the territory has long been a meeting place for different civilizations and peoples including the Romans, Byzantines, Slavs and Ottomans (today no less than 18 different minority groups are officially represented in the Romanian parliament).  As modern nationalism took shape in the late 19th century, Romania first looked to France as a model, then to Germany in the inter-war years of the 20th century, and finally to Russia under communism. However, Romania has throughout this period showed its own character as fiercely independent, breaking its ties with Germany before the end of the 2nd world war and never closely following Russian styled communism. Following the 1989 Revolution, Romania embarked on a series of ambitious political and economic reforms and joined the European Union in 2007.


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