Studies for elaborating the National Geographical Atlas of Romania. The aim of this project is to provide an interdisciplinary work in Romanian and in laguages of international circulation in give the reader an insight into Romania's natural, human and economic potential by using modern, computer-assisted cartographic design and synthesising latest statistical data.
The atlas will highlight the physical-geographical trends and socio-economic aspects of sustainable development, environmental protection issues and Romania´s role within the current international geopolitical and geostrategic context. The explanatory texts, graphs and diagrams appended to each map will offer a detailed picture of the thematic content of this work.
The geographic study of regional development of Romania. This research project, the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration, is part of a wider synthesis of Romania´s geographical development with highlight on the natural and human potential of its eight development regions, of regional and inter-regional disparities caused by favourable or restrictive factors in the country´s social-economic progress. The authors pinpoint the gaps between town and countryside, between disadvantaged areas and areas of sustainable development potential. Regional analyses have in view human availabilities, economic activities, industrial concentrations within development regions, tourism opportunities, social phenomena, in general and unemployment, in particular. Regional development policies and strategies, objectives and programmes targeting sustainable development domains and zones are also discussed.
Geographical study of protected areas in Romania. This project falls in line with a highly topical issue, namely, environmental protection to improve the management of resources and create a natural, non-degraded framework for society. The diversification of human activity and the level of nature degradation require urgent and severe measures to protect the environment. The Institute of Geography is part of the recent national effort to meet this goal. The theme inscribed in its research plan includes the mapping of protected areas, the outline of their internal structure and the detection of negative factors which affect the balance of protected ecosystems. So far now, Romania´s 17 national and natural parks, officially granted this status in 2003, have been inventoried, localized and marked out on maps (scale 1:25 000 and 1:50 000) that are expected to be useful especially to the completion of local territorial planning schemes. The complex geographical study of nature reserves scheduled for 2006 and 2007 targets protected natural areas in Oltenia and Muntenia.
Geographical study of euroregions and cross-border cooperation potential against the background of Romania´s EU integration. The contradiction between institutional division of the territory and the existence of cross-border issues that have requested a unitary approach and consequently a cross-border cooperation led to the appearance of new types of regional cooperation structures. Which coincide with the state frontiers: cross-border zones and Euroregions. This kind of cooperation should take into consideration the fact that between the two cross-border zones there is a strip of frontier and, most of the times, there are different legislations that induce different requests regarding the cooperation framework. Consequently, the braking up process represents the main threat to the cross-border regions; if this process is not properly coordinated at the central level, there is the risk of loosing control, the cross-border region gravitating towards one of the co-participant states. The issues that fuel the dynamic of the cross-border zones are part of the level of harmonization of the politics for the development of the two cross-border zones that come in contact. The areas situated on each side of the border have, or have not the tendency to evolve in the same way, as a result of central and local politics, but also the local specific situations, which impose the cross-border zone type.
Analysing the cross-border zones with Romanian participation from this point of view, it can be said that while the southern cross-border zones (Romanian-Bulgarian one and Romanian-Serbian one) have characteristics similar to those in the first category; those with the Republic of Moldavia and Ukraine, due to the spreading of the Romanian ethnic bloc on each side of the border, join the second category. The Romanian-Hungarian cross-border zone can also be included in the second category; the Romanian authorities see this zone as an opening gate towards the Occident, the European and Euro-Atlantic structures, while Budapest sees it as a linking gate with the Hungarian communities from Transylvania. That is why this cross-border zone was extended by setting up the first Euro-region with Romanian participation: the Carpathian Euro-region, Danube-Mures-Tisa Euro-region (DKMT) and, recently, Bihor-Hajdú Bihar Euro-region, based on the Oradea-Debrecen collaboration.