No votes against (no votes of support as well), so just did that. -- JanSlupski 15:45, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
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it's 2005 and wikitravel is supposed to be futureproof for the next several years and it's important not to use archaic/outdated systematisation.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)