Romania has come a long way in the past 20 years. As the Soviet Union's grip on Eastern Europe waned, some of the former Eastern-bloc countries flourished and some continued their decline. Romania is still a very poor country but its entry into The European Union means that living standards, costs of outsourcing and legal standards are all on the rise. Romania does boast a large number of people who speak multiple languages and is considered the premier 'nearshore' location for The Italian market. There are also large numbers of German, French, Spanish & Italian speakers.