Romanian president Klaus Iohannis conveyed a message to the Romanians on New Year's Eve
In his New Year’s address, Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis told the Romanians that 2017 was a year of probation in which society proved its maturity and attachment to democratic values. The future ushers in new challenges but the lessons of the past give us confidence that together, in unity and solidarity, we have the strength to build a better Romania for us and for the future generations. For each of us this is the right moment to strike a balance and evaluate our accomplishments and what we plan to achieve next, president Iohannis went on to say recalling that in 2018 the Romanians celebrate the centennial of the Great Union of 1918. However, the fist stage in the foundation of the Romanian unitary state was what is known as the Small Union, accomplished under the rule of Romania’s ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza, an attempt of political will of the two Romanian principalities, Moldavia and Wallachia. On January 24th 1859, Alexandru Ioan Cuza – who had been elected a week before as ruler of Moldavia – was also unanimously voted by the Elective Assembly in Bucharest as sovereign of Wallachia and the united principalities. That was the birth certificate of the new state made up of the two principalities inhabited by Romanians. The union was internationally recognized three years later and the newborn state got the name of Romania. Through its radical reforms, Alexandru Ioan Cuza’s rule (1859 – 1866), laid the institutional foundations of modern Romania. Romania joined WWl and the unification process culminated with the Great Union of 1918 when the provinces with Romanian majorities that until that time had been under the administration of the neighbouring multinational empires joined the Romanian kingdom. After WWll Romania lost Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.