Regions of Europe

Europe is often divided into regions due to geographical, cultural or historical criteria. Some common divisions are as follows.

Directional divisions

Groupings by compass directions are the hardest to define in Europe, since (among other issues) the pure geographical criteria of "east" and "west" are often confused with the political meaning these words acquired during the Cold War era.

* Central Europe
* Eastern Europe
* Northern Europe
* Southern Europe
* Western Europe

Historical divisions

Europe can be divided along many differing historical lines, normally corresponding to those parts that were inside or outside a particular cultural phenomenon, empire or political division. The areas varied at different times, and so it is arguable as to which areas fell into certain areas (e.g. can Germany or Britain be considered Roman Europe as they were only part of the Empire for a brief period, or can Yugoslavia be considered part of Eastern Europe as, even though it was Communist, it was not in the Warsaw Pact.
* Roman and non-Roman Europe: those parts that were inside the Roman Empire.
* Greek Europe and Latin Europe: those parts that fell into the western and eastern (Byzantine) Roman Empires.
* Christendom and pagan Europe: those lands that observed Christianity in the Middle Ages.
* Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Europe: those parts on either side of the Great Schism.
* Catholic and Protestant Europe: those parts that, in the main, left the Catholic Church during the Reformation.
* Civil Code and Common Law Europe: Those parts that adopted a Napoleonic Code style system and those that retained a Common Law system.
* Communist (eastern) Europe and Capitalist (western) Europe: those parts on either side of the Iron Curtain.
* Old Europe and New Europe: Those parts that didn't and did support the 2nd Iraq War.

Linguistic-cultural regions in Europe

This can often be a controversial division, as often in Europe areas have more than one language, such as the Canton of Fribourg in Switzerland, or linguistic and cultural ties are not analogous, such as in Scotland in the UK, or where there are competing theories as to cultural and linguistic ties, such as Hungary's relationship to Finland, Turkey, Central Asia and Central Europe:

Germanic Europe

Germanic Europe is where the Germanic languages are spoken. This area corresponds more or less to North-Western Europe and some parts of Central Europe. This region consists of: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Swedish-speaking Finland, German-speaking Switzerland, Alsace and parts of Lorraine, South Tyrol and the Flemish and German parts of Belgium.

Latin Europe

Latin Europe, where the Romance languages are spoken. This area corresponds more or less to south-western Europe, with the exception of Romania and Moldova which are situated in Eastern Europe. This area consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Romania, Moldova, French-speaking Belgium, and French and Italian speaking Switzerland.

Slavic Europe

Slavic Europe, where the Slavic languages are spoken. This linguistic and not necessarily cultural area corresponds more or less to Central and Eastern Europe. This area consists of: Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

Celtic Europe

Celtic Europe, where Celtic languages are spoken, or where they were recently spoken and the population has kept its Celtic heritage for non-linguistic reasons. The Celtic nations are: Scotland, Wales, Cornwall (within the United Kingdom), the Isle of Man (a British Crown dependency), Ireland, and Brittany (within France). These are all nations where a Celtic language is spoken, or was spoken into modern times, and there is a degree of shared culture (see Pan Celticism).

Outside of this classification

Outside of these four main groups we can find :

Greece & Cyprus: The only countries of "Hellenic Europe". They are sometimes associated with the Latin countries, due to the geographical and cultural ties to the Mediterranean Sea, and sometimes to the Slavic-Orthodox part of Europe due to the importance of the Eastern Orthodox Church in both. fact|date=June 2008

Hungary, whose language in the Finno-Ugric classification is distantly related to Finnish and Estonian. Due to its geographical location Hungary is more often grouped with other central or Eastern European countries.

Finland and Estonia, whose languages are closely related and more distantly related to Hungarian. Despite this connection, Finland is often referred to simply as a country of Nordic Europe.

Latvia and Lithuania, two linguistically Baltic countries (as opposed to the political concept which also includes Estonia).

Malta, which has close linguistic ties to the Semitic World, yet close cultural ties to Italy and Catholic Europe.

Turkey, which speaks an Altaic language that is not related to other European languages.

The Basque Country, where the Basque language has continued while Indo-European languages have displaced other languages in Europe over the past 5000 years.

Peninsulas

* Balkan Peninsula: The Balkan peninsula is located in southeast Europe and is generally considered to comprise the following countries:: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania (some parts), Serbia, Slovenia (depending on the definition) and Turkey (European part)

* Iberian Peninsula: Located in southwestern Europe this peninsula contains Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and Andorra

* Apennine or Italian Peninsula: Located in the south of Europe, the Italian peninsula contains the states of Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City

* Scandinavia or Scandinavian Peninsula:Including Sweden, Norway, and Finland.

Other groupings

* Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

* Benelux, or the Low Countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg

* British Isles [ The term "British Isles" is controversial in relation to Ireland where its use is objected by the government of the Irish Republic and many of its citizens. (See British Isles naming dispute).] : the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland

* Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland:*Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, Denmark :*Fennoscandia: Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Karelia; a geological region defined by the Fennoscandian shield

* Alpine countries: The states which have the Alps as a prominent part of their geography.: Austria, Switzerland (Swiss Alps), Liechtenstein, Slovenia

* Danubian countries: The states that lie along the River Danube.: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

* Visegrad Group: A Central European group representing a historical alliance.: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary

* Mediterranean nations: Mediterranean nations are those nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Excluding African countries these are the following:: Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and Malta

* Blue Banana:Describing the concentration of the wealth/economic productivity of Europe in a banana-shaped band running from London, through Benelux, eastern France, western Germany to northern Italy.

Regions of Europe by country

References


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