Regions of Europe

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Different views about regions of Europe
European subregions according to EuroVoc:
Subregions of Europe by the UN geoscheme:

Europe, the westernmost portion of Eurasia—is often divided into regions based on geographical, cultural or historical criteria. Many European structures currently exist. Some are cultural, economic, or political; examples include the Council of Europe, the European Broadcasting Union with the Eurovision Song Contest, and the European Olympic Committees with the European Games. Russia dominates the continent by both area and population; spanning roughly 40% of its total landmass, with over 15% of its total population.

Several countries are often included as belonging to a "wider Europe", including Cyprus; Greenland; the Caucasus countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia; the two mainly Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Turkey; as well as the overseas territories and regions of the European Union.

Geographical boundaries[edit]

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

The modern geographical regions of Europe include:

  1. Central Europe
  2. Eastern Europe
  3. Northeastern Europe
  4. Northern Europe
  5. Northwestern Europe
  6. Southeastern Europe
  7. Southern Europe
  8. Southwestern Europe
  9. Western Europe

The modern geopolitical regions of Europe include:

  1. Old Europe and New Europe
  2. Three Europes
    1. East-Central Europe
    2. Eastern Europe
    3. Western Europe

Historical divisions[edit]

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 were part of some common historical entity (e.g., were Germany or Britain part of Roman Europe as they were only partly and relatively briefly part of the Empire—or were the countries of the former communist Yugoslavia part of the Eastern Bloc, since it was not in the Warsaw Pact).

Contemporary[edit]

Council of EuropeSchengen AreaEuropean Free Trade AssociationEuropean Economic AreaEurozoneEuropean UnionEuropean Union Customs UnionAgreement with EU to mint eurosGUAMCentral European Free Trade AgreementNordic CouncilBaltic AssemblyBeneluxVisegrád GroupCommon Travel AreaOrganization of the Black Sea Economic CooperationUnion StateSwitzerlandIcelandNorwayLiechtensteinSwedenDenmarkFinlandPolandCzech RepublicHungarySlovakiaGreeceEstoniaLatviaLithuaniaBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourgItalyFranceSpainAustriaGermanyPortugalSloveniaMaltaCyprusIrelandUnited KingdomCroatiaRomaniaBulgariaTurkeyMonacoAndorraSan MarinoVatican CityGeorgiaUkraineAzerbaijanMoldovaArmeniaRussiaBelarusSerbiaAlbaniaMontenegroNorth MacedoniaBosnia and HerzegovinaKosovo (UNMIK)
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational European organisations and agreements.

Economic and political[edit]

European Single Market integration:
  Non-EU states that participate in the EU Single Market with exceptions: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (see also EFTA)
  Part of a former EU state that remains partially aligned to the EU Single Market on goods: Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom (see also Brexit and the Irish border)
  Non-EU states with a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU allowing for participation in selected sectors of the Single Market: EU accession candidates Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia; EU accession potential candidates: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo
  Non-EU states with a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement with the EU allowing for participation in selected sectors of the Single Market: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
  Non-EU states which have a bilateral Customs Union arrangement with the EU: Turkey (an accession candidate), Andorra and San Marino
Countries that are member states of the political and economic bloc (27 as of 2020):
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
An alliance of Mediterranean countries within EU:
Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain
Countries that have adopted the euro as their currency:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Vatican City.
A free trade organisation that operates in parallel with, and is linked by treaties to, the EU:
Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
A free trade agreement among non-EU members:
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (represented by UNMIK), Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
A borderless zone created by the Schengen Agreements, comprising:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden; in addition, by separate agreements Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland fully apply the provisions of the Schengen acquis.
A customs union of all the member states of the European Union (EU) and some neighbouring countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey are each in customs union with the EU's customs territory.
An economic union of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia. Moldova and Uzbekistan hold observer status.
A free trade agreement among the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.
A forum of regional economic cooperation:
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Other political[edit]

Members of the Eastern Partnership
A group of former Soviet Eastern European countries cooperating with the EU:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
  • OECD Europe countries
European countries that are a part of the OECD:
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
A forum of regional cooperation including:
Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine
A military and political alliance between Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and observer states of Afghanistan and Serbia.
A group of former Soviet disputed states in Eastern Europe:
Abkhazia, Artsakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.
An international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Europe, and to promote European culture.
It has 47 member states, with approximately 820 million people.
The world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization, with 57 participating states mostly in the Northern Hemisphere.
A cultural and political alliance of four Central European states for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another:
Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
An Interreg IIIA project to establish a multinational region in Central Europe encompassing four European countries: Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Promotes Central European cooperation.

Geographical[edit]

Peninsulas[edit]

Located in the south of Europe, the Apennine Peninsula contains the states of Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City
The Balkan Peninsula is located in Southeastern Europe and the following countries and territories occupy land within the Balkans either exclusively or partially:
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia (approximately the southern half), Greece, Kosovo,[a] Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania (the Dobrudja region), Serbia, Slovenia (the coastal section), and Turkey (East Thrace)
Located in the north of Europe, including Finland, Norway, Sweden, and part of Russia
Located in Southwestern Europe, this peninsula contains Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain and a small part of France
Jutland of Denmark (main part of the country excluding its islands) and the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany
Located in the north of Europe, including Norway, Sweden, and part of Finland

Regional[edit]

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden
The Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom
Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia; also the disputed territories of Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia
Guernsey and Jersey
Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, parts of France, and parts of Germany
Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Greenland, and Iceland
States that occupy the Alps:
Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Germany, France and Italy
States that lie along the River Danube:
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine
Overlaps with Southeastern Europe:
Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Kosovo,[a] North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro
Countries occupying land on and off the Balkans are Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey (East Thrace).
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania
Serbia, Kosovo[a] and Italy occupy a small portion of the Dinaric Alps.
Chain of Islands in the North Atlantic
Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira; also including Cape Verde, an independent African nation.
Mediterranean nations are European countries on the Mediterranean Basin:
Portugal, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, San Marino, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta and the British territory of Gibraltar
The Panonnian nations are:
Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine
The Black Sea nations (although some sections lie within Asia) are:
Abkhazia (de facto state), Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine
The world's largest lake which forms a section of the Asian-European border has five countries occupying its shore. Iran and Turkmenistan lie entirely within Asia while the following countries are transcontinental and have sovereignty over the Caspian Sea's European sector:
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia

Religious groupings[edit]

Catholic-majority countries, including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, France, Southern and Western Germany, Gibraltar (United Kingdom), Hungary, Ireland, Italy, parts of Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Southern Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
Orthodox-majority countries, including Armenia, Artsakh (de facto state), Belarus, Northern and Eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Protestant-majority countries, including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, North and Eastern Germany, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, parts of Latvia, the Northern Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Muslim-majority countries, including Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,[a] Northern Cyprus (de facto state), and Turkey.
Kalmykia (Russia) is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the predominant religion.

Linguistic groupings[edit]

Eastern and Western Romance zones are geographically separated by any of two sovereign states including Austria or Slovenia with Hungary.
Northern Slavic and Southern Slavic zones geographically separated by either of three countries: Austria, Hungary, and Romania; or by the Black Sea.

Other groupings[edit]

  • Blue Banana: describing the concentration of the wealth/economic productivity of Europe in a banana-shaped band running from north west England, London, through Benelux, eastern France, western Germany to northern Italy.
  • Celtic Europe
  • Civil code Europe and common law Europe: those parts that adopted a Napoleonic Code style system and those that retained a Common Law system.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognised as an independent state by 97 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 112 UN member states have recognised Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.

References[edit]