The crucial importance of land cover and use changes, components of the ‘global changes’, for the worldwide sustainable and resilient development results from their negative influence on ecosystem services, biodiversity, and human welfare. Ongoing debates concerning whether the global drivers are more important than the local ones or which are the most prominent driving forces and effects are still ongoing at the global level. In Europe, the patterns of land cover and use changes differ between the west and the east. Property restitution was an important driver of change in Eastern Europe and especially in Romania. This study aimed to look at the land cover and use changes in Romania by their transitional dynamic using Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE) data in an attempt to identify long-term spatially and temporally consistent trends. Although generally inconsistent, the results indicate that deforestation and urbanization tend to prevail over other changes, and the development of agriculture slows its pace. Such findings are consequences of unplanned development associated with little environmental awareness. The presence of hotspots where land cover and use changes seem to be clustered can be seen as a feature of ex-socialist countries undergoing economic transition.
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