No votes against (no votes of support as well), so just did that. -- JanSlupski 15:45, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
Please someone edit this map division, clearly everyone who reads it from Europe will see that the divisions are wrong and will give visitors the wrong idea about the culture of Europe, par example: Britain, France, Germany and Spain are all Cultulrly part of western euirope as well as politically. YOu only have to go on Google images and then type in divisions of Europe to see the true Cutural Divions. thank you
Guys, here's the the proposal for division of Europe that hopefully will satisfy everyone (... OK, I know I'm being so naive here). I admit this is mostly addressing the Central Europe controversy. Let's keep it simple and keep Europe divided into Western, Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern. I've rearranged the colours on Professorbiscuit's map to better illustrate this:
I believe this division satisfies the following criteria:
Up-to date - it's 2005 and wikitravel is supposed to be futureproof for the next several years and it's important not to use archaic/outdated systematisation. We have no more Austrohungarian empire, no more Czechoslovakia and no more "two Europes".
Simple and intuitive - keeps the number of regions down to 5. As a traveller pick any European country, look at the 5 regions and think where would your particular country best fit ?
Politically neutral - the cold war and iron curtain is over for several years already. There's no reason to artificially divide Europe in line with military or other political pacts. It's much better to have the division based on geography, not politics.
Not confusing for the traveller - we're not calling regions what they're not and avoiding unnecessary further confusion.
Correct, and as an extra bonus in line with Wikipedia ;-) (yes, I remember the argument that we don't have to do it the same way, but it does not mean we cannot ?)
NPOV - I know that historically for the Brits Europe consisted of "UK + the continent", while many Americans still believe there is "East" and "West" and the Berlin wall in between. Wikitravel however is for global audience and NPOV should be respected with this in mind.
Respect - does not ignore what local people call themselves. Respect is an important quality for any traveller and I strongly believe should be promoted on wikitravel.
What do you think ?
Wojsyl 14:07, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
I like this too. I'm tempted to shift Germany and Switzerland over to Western Europe, and the Baltics to Northern though -- but I could be argued the other way too, as this is admittedly more political than geographical. Jpatokal 23:33, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)
As for Germany, for most Germans it's quite obvious that they are in the heart of "Mitteleuropa". It seems both historically and geographically justified to have German speaking countries in Central Europe. In fact they have coined the term in the first place.
For the Baltics, I'm not sure. Again, politcally I'd gladly see them in Northern, however if you're going to Lithuania, do you think you're going to Northern Europe or rather Eastern ? Certainly they would deserve their separate small group of the Baltics, but this is sacrified here for the sake of simplicity. So here "Northern" equals Scandinavian, which again is a simplification of course. This is like asking whether Italy is an Alpine or Mediterrenean country. No good answer. Wojsyl 04:10, 4 Jan 2005 (EST)
I like this solution also. Much better than what we have now. Only Lithuania, Latavia and Estonia were always Baltic States for me, no Eastern or Northern. -- JanSlupski 20:19, 23 Jan 2005 (EST)
Having not really participated in the conversation before I feel I can say as a neutral party that I like the proposed solution as well. -- Mark 03:40, 24 Jan 2005 (EST)
Can I echo that last assessment please? The reasons outlined make a very good case for a compass-point division.... Everything else is just outdated politics and cultural cringe. The only variations I would suggest to the scheme is that Romania and Bulgaria might be moved into Eastern Europe to better reflect their geographical position (NOT their cultural affiliation! - about to join the EU....) - that way nearly 'all the countries in Southern Europe would basically be those with a Mediterranean coastline, providing a useful alternative designation / characterisation for the region as "Mediterranean Europe". What do others think about this proposal? Pjamescowie 06:30, 24 Jan 2005 (EST)
I like it, and would in fact suggest we use the term Mediterranean Europe only. Jpatokal 08:31, 24 Jan 2005 (EST)
Mediterranean is quite tempting, even if it destroys the simplicity of compass-point, but seems more intuitive indeed. As for the Baltics, I think we should not attempt to list all the smaller regions like Benelux, the Balkans etc. and keep the division general at this level, instead. I've also moved Romania and Bulgaria as Pjamescowie suggests. So here we are:
Western Europe = the British Isles, France and Benelux.
Northern Europe = Scandinavia, Island and Finland
Central Europe = Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia
Eastern Europe = Baltic countries, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.
Mediterranean Europe - Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, San Marino, Vatican, Monaco, Greece, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Cyprus, Turkey and Malta.
I'd leave it for a few more days here to see if there are still any strong opposing views around. Otherwise, I'll assume that the consensus has has been finally reached. Wojsyl 17:07, 24 Jan 2005 (EST)
Maybe for these last few days create announcement on main Europe page, to attract more attention, like: -- Jan Słupski 17:30, 24 Jan 2005 (EST)
Europe Hierarchy is currently being reworked. You can add you comment on a discussion page
All right, no more voices, I assume the consensus has been reached. I have then implemented the division. Wojsyl 18:55, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
I think the Baltic States belong rather to Nordic countries, Northern Europe I mean. Hope it's not too late. -- bujatt 06:13, 12 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I think the so called Baltic States should be replaces with the names of the countries. Estonia and Lithuania are very very different politically, culturally and historically. Also, being called an Eastern European country is pretty offensive, at least in Estonia.
European map colors
I really like design where not foucsed contries on the map are gray (like on Baltic states map).
Eventually it could be smart to show which country on the map is which. Maybe use different color for each country (like on Europe map)? I know it would be difficult for Mediterranean Europe, but should be possible for other European regions. What do you think?
Next, I would show where Europe ends (gray out Asiatic part of Russia and Turkey).
Also don't like yellow color on Europe map. It's to bright (may on LCD?).
I agree grey seems better. That's why I'm experimenting with vaious colours and that's why the Baltics map has grey for "inactive" areas. I'm not sure about more colours on a single map though. Wojsyl 10:46, 6 Feb 2005 (EST)
With all do respect here, this map uses a quite wrongful division of Europe. First thing that comes to my mind - Bulgaria is not in Eastern Europe in the sence you present here. East and West are not what they used to be. East used to mean communist, and West democratic. Even Greece was labled Western Europe under that criteria. But it's time to categorize Europe within cultural and historical limits. If you follow the old criteria then you should put Serbia, Macedonia and all the other ex-communist countries in Eastern Europe too. Historically, culturally and geographically Bulgaria is in Southeastern Europe a.k.a. the Balkans. Serbia and Macedonia don't even have a coastline, they are landlocked!!! Not to mention the Med sea. Bulgaria had Med sea coastline to the south, before it lost it to Greece in WWI. Now the Med is only 30 km away from the south border with Greece.
Second of all, I think the whole map needs to be reorganized. You can not group East and West Med together! They are very different. We need a Balkans or Southeast Europe category (or east Med if you will). Then you also need to put a Baltics cetegory - also different from Eastern Europe in a sence.
Please read Talk:Europe/Hierarchy. Jpatokal 22:48, 7 Feb 2006 (EST)
I read it so what? You proposed it...but it makes no sence. Bulgaria has very little in common with the East European states. Geographically it is in South Europe. Med sea is like 30 km way from the south border. Used to have Med sea coast till WW1. South Bulgaria has Med climate. Culturally and traditionaly a South Europen state. Part of the Ottoman Empire and so on...name something in favor of placing it as E Europ.
If you drew a line down the middle of Europe, Bulgaria would be in the East. Bulgaria is a former communist country and shares economic, political, linguistic and historical ties with the other Eastern European countries.
If we were doing a travel guide for the 1890s, of course, we'd include Bulgaria in Mediterranean Europe. If we were going to work on some other imaginary travel guides, we could put Bulgaria on Neptune or in Mordor. But we're not doing imaginary what-if travel guides, and we're not here to rewrite history. Travelers are going to be looking for Bulgaria in Eastern Europe, and it should be there when they look. --Evan 15:39, 27 February 2006 (EST)
My friend I want you to tell me base on what do you group the countries here? Serbia and Macedonia have no Med coast and have the same culture and traditions and virtually the same language - Bulgarian and Macedonia are almost the same. Still SR and MK are put into the Med Europe. Following your logic, if we were to prepare a travel guide before 1991, they would be put in Med as part of Yugoslavia. It really makes no sence. I believe that the whole grouping is wrong. There should be a seperate Groups for Balkans and probably Baltics too. Med and East Europe are too broad entities.
History, tradition and culture should play the major role in grouping the states. Grouping a southern country like Bulgaria with a nothern country like Estonia is deceiving: far away, nothing in common, diff climate, tradition and culture. Oh yea they share the same time zone...but so do Egypt and South Africa...lets put them in E Europe too!
Maybe thats why the balkan became such a mess; because it is part of everything and yet of nothing - there are hungarians in Hungary, in Serbiaand in Romania. Are you going to 'fix' this?. Boundary work is a sociological expertise, and I wish everyone with an opinion good luck (and good night:) 22.214.171.124 16:15, 27 February 2006 (EST)
Western Europe ?
France is not part of a so-called "western Europe" regions together with the UK and Netherlands.
See the definition of western Europe in Wikipedia, it includes all the countries of western Europe. France doesn't share much with the UK or Netherlands on geographical points, and even less on cultural, linguistic, political system, religion or climate. can look the discussion in wikipedia about southern Europe and Western Europe. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 9 October 2006
Please understand that regions created for use in a travel guide are often much different than regions created for political purposes, since they each have very different goals; thus the discussion at Wikipedia may not be relevant. It could be argued that France straddles several European regions, but for the purposes of organization we need to choose one, and the current breakdown of European regions has been created based on the consensus reached through discussion (see above). Any changes should only be made if a new consensus is reached. -- Ryan 15:01, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
Ok, I may agree that it should be put arbitrary in one region. But I tend to think that linking France with UK+Netherlands is far to be the most appropriate grouping, especially when speaking about tourism. The "western Europe" group made of UK+France+Benelux is only an old-fashionned geo-political grouping, which has very few reason to be on a purely touristic point of view. Except for Paris, the majority of the tourism of France concerns the mediterranean regions, Côte d'Azur, Provence, Corsica, and also south-west, where millions of north-European come in summer for the beaches and the mediterranean way of live, as they would do in Spain or Italy.
I don't see any reason to exclude France from the mediterranean countries, while it is ones of the most touristic places of the mediterranean are precisely situated in France. On the other way, Serbia, which has no coast on the med, and which is not a touristic destination of southern Europe has absolutly nothing to do in that category.
We can keep France in the arbitrary of "western Europe", since it can be relevant for the celtic-influenced Atlantic region of Britanny. But to limit whole France in that category is just a deep misconception of what is mainly France in a touristic point of view. France canno't not being cited in the mediterranean countries.
I don't quite like the Mediterranean Europe division and pretty much agree with you about Serbia. I wouldn't say, however, that French tourism (business and leisure) concentrates mostly on its southern coast. Paris is the most visited city on earth, and I don't think people go there for the beaches. Anyway, I don't believe it's really a problem (except for breadcrumb navigation purposes, maybe) to have one country featured in two different regions. Turkey, for instance is on two continents, and nobody seems to be unhappy about that. --Ricardo (Rmx) 16:56, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
"I wouldn't say, however, that French tourism (business and leisure) concentrates mostly on its southern coast."... I personally live there, I can tell you that it is the case. In summer all the people I cross in my own city are north European tourists. A lot of the neighbouring houses are owned by Dutch, German or English people who come here for our climate. If France was in the same region of Europe than England and Netherlands, do you really think that so much people would move to a place that would be similar to their country? Of course not, for them, they were clearly looking for an "exotic" mediterranean place, very different from their own country, not even speaking of language, culture and mentalities.
Excepted Paris, the north of France is mush less turistic than the south. The south concentrate the first touristic historic beaches places of southern Europe (+the beaches of south-west), the oldest constructions of France and the Alps and pyrenees which are the biggest winter sport domain of Europe. Thousands of Dutch, English, Belgians and other north Europeans come to ski in the south of France.
Anyway, since nobody is supposed to be unhappy with integrating France in the mediterranean group, I'll add it once again and will hope it will not be removed once again. I'll open to discussion some modifications to the map:
Since this issue has already been hashed out at length among contributors, please ensure that you get some support and consensus for this change before making it. If you wish to upload sample maps to point at as part of the discussion process, by all means please do since it can only help clarify stuff. -- Colin 20:05, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
Labeling Serbia as part of 'Mediterranean' made more sense when it was together with Montenegro and still had a coastline. I'm tempted to suggest renaming "Mediterranean Europe" as "Southern Europe", but keeping this list of countries intact — which also means keeping France out of this grouping. Jpatokal 00:14, 10 October 2006 (EDT)
What is basically you problem with grouping France within this group ? Could you prouve us that the French riviera, Corsica, the pyrenees, languedoc-roussillon, Landes, aquitains, basque country, etc. are not major touristic regions of southern Europe ? and why not accepting that ? The "western Europe" group as used here is completly imaginary and doesn't represent any reality on geographic, cultural, linguistic, economic, climatic or touristic criteriums. In all those points france have more common points with Italy and Spain than with Netherlands !