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European Union page

Shouldn't there be a page for the European Union as well? Since some things, such as the currency, are common to most (if not all) EU countries, it would seem like a good idea to put this information in a single page, which would then be linked to from each country page. -Timo

I guess I can see this, but I'm not really sure. I mean, why would a European Union page be different from a "SEATO" page, or a "West African Monetary Union" page? I realize that it's important for Europeans, but what about for travelers? My experience in Europe, as a traveler, has had very limited contact with the EU. Besides the euro, what information do you think would go on a European Union page? I'm not saying not to do it -- I'm just wondering what relevance the EU has to everyday travelers. -- Evan 14:04, 7 Nov 2003 (PST)
Okay, maybe an EU page is not necessary at this stage. I think that as the integration goes forward, having such a page could become useful in the future, but that will take time. But maybe just a Euro page then? -Timo
Evan, I disagree with you. There are some travel related infos that are the same for all (or most) EU countries, e.g. currency (in 12 countries), traffic rules and signs, migration, visum and toll stuff, and for sure some others that don't come into my mind right now. So the EU is not to compare with the "SEATO" or "West African Monetary Union", since there are much more common things than just the currency. -- Hansm 01:40, 2003 Nov 11 (PST)
OK, that sounds fine. What kind of article would it be, though? A travel topic? A continental section? I'm having a hard time fitting my head around how it would work. But, hey, let's start it and see where we go. One last thing: it's important to remember that Wikitravel articles need to be guides. What does European Union do for the traveler? Would anyone ever print out European Union and put it in their back pocket to carry around? Or are we just excited that we know some facts (the European Union is composed of these countries, the currency in most of the countries is the euro, the capital of the EU is in Brussels, the EU was founded in this year, dah dah dah) and want to write them down? We're not a general knowledge collection site, but a travel guide site. -- Evan 06:34, 11 Nov 2003 (PST)
Well, indeed, the EU doesn't fit into the Geographical Hierarchy. I'd propose to handle it similar to a coutry article, but it will remain something special that doen't fit into any template form. The use of that page would rather be to work as a target to witch the EU coutry pages could link the same way as different coutry pages link to the same phrasebook or what ever. So, the EU page need not to be listed on the Europe page since it is no actual country. -- Hansm 06:29, 2003 Nov 12 (PST)

How do I get to Prague?

So right now you can't get to any of the Eastern European destinations from the Europe page-- Prague, Budapest, etc. I know the whole "Eastern" vs "Central" Europe thing is a can of worms, but we gotta do something with it. I have to say I've never heard "Central Europe" used to describe these places, thought I get that it's a PR/image issue. But we do call Bombay Bombay because that's what the majority of travellers are going to look for, can't we do the same with this? I'd say it would be a good point to include in the Understand section of course... Majnoona 21:27, 29 Feb 2004 (EST)

Table of European Union Membership, Schengen, Euro

I am not certain that changing the layout of the Country section of this article is a good idea. I have seen something similar and think this is almost boardering on a copyright violation. See WikiPedia:Economy of Europe for a similar table. Could someone explain why it should not be reverted to what it was previously. -- Huttite 20:57, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)

I don't think it's a copyvio -- he appears to be updating the info as he looks it up. On the other hand, the old list was in standard region-template form (a simple list) which is easier to print out. -- Colin 21:28, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)
Bugger! - has been reverted just now by the professor. I wonder if he has read this? I didn't want to do that just yet as I could see the page was being actively updated and there were other edit in the history too. I wonder what will happen now? -- Huttite 22:04, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)
Reverted back to Tobias' version until the Prof explains himself. I'm not sure the new table formatting is particularly useful, but I don't think it's actively harmful either. Jpatokal 22:11, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)

There was talk about setting up EU-page and whether this is usefull for travellers. I do not know. But currency and Schengen-info should be usefull. The text above the list says there are countries in EU some in Schnengen, some SChengen not in EU ... Having a table is easier. That we do not have this for other continents is obvious. They do not have this ;-) Tobias Conradi 22:21, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)


Just a formal note.

Ten new members of EU are party of Schengen Agreement. Just not all rules apply yet.

Member States already apply common rules in these areas under the Schengen agreements. These intergovernmental
agreements have been incorporated into the European Union following the entry into force of the Amsterdam
Treaty and now form part of the Community acquis to be adopted by the applicant countries.  However, most of
the Schengen acquis will not be applied to the new Member States as soon as they join but later, once this has
been specifically decided by the Council. This is the aim of the plan of action for adopting the Schengen
criteria on the basis of a realistic timetable for implementing the Schengen Agreement.
The efforts in matters of exterior relations are principally directed at expansion while taking account of the
extent of the task and the time limit provided.The ten new Member States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus) should have integrated the Union’s entire
acquis in the field of justice and home affairs by 1 May 2004, the date the treaties of accession signed 16
April 2003 come into force. However, certain provisions concerning the Schengen acquis will not apply, in
particular those concerning the connection of the ten new States to the Schengen Information System and the
dismantling of internal border controls.

(See: [1] [2]) Up to your decision if the article needs slight rewording. --JanSlupski 16:51, 26 Jan 2005 (EST)


"Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen Agreement signatory country is valid in all other countries that signed and implemented the treaty."
Since when? Do you have a source for that? Last time I inquired (November 2004), that wasn't true in every case. Some visa are only valid for the country that granted it.

If your visa is from a country fully applying the Schengen rules, it automatically allows you to travel to the other 
Schengen countries as well. (...) You may need a national visa to visit Ireland, the United Kingdom and the new member states. 
Some new member states accept Schengen visas or Schengen residence permits so check with their consulates.

(See ) --JanSlupski 16:56, 30 Mar 2005 (EST) &

What do you think about adding these links to the page?
And maybe a short paragraph on city cards as well...

-- JanSlupski 17:24, 8 Feb 2005 (EST)

Turkey? European Turkey?

If we say European Russia, I feel that we should say European Turkey as well. Portion of Turkey that lays in Europe is relativelly small. --JanSlupski 17:09, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)

I do not agree. The leftmost column is meant to host country names, and there is no country as "European Turkey". It is true that in geographical terms, Turkey has divisions in Europe and Asia, but it is a country as a whole in the context of this page (travel / transportation). The facts and figures concerning this country in this context do not just apply to a region, but the whole of it (Turkey as a whole is an official EU applicant, or Turkey as a whole is in the Inter Rail zone G). AtilimGunesBaydin 17:48, 15 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Well, there is no such country as European Russia too. And part of Russia that lays in Europe is far bigger than Turkey. --JanSlupski 17:42, 16 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Sorry, but I do not see your point on this last reply (JanSlupski 17:42, 16 Oct 2005 (EDT)), and its connection to the things I've just stated. And I do not understand why you are comparing the size of a portion of Russia with the size of Turkey. AtilimGunesBaydin 09:24, 17 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I'm talking about consistency. If you object Europen Turkey term, why don't you object and change European Russia (which I believe to be more European than Turkey) too? --JanSlupski 07:54, 18 Oct 2005 (EDT)

1.The EU is an organisation which can expand beyond Europe's boundaries. There are also some countries which are not in the EU (e.g. Switzerland) but are clearly part of Europe. It does not make sense that we use EU membership as the criterian for being part of Europe.Yzerfontein 11:02, 29 Jan 2006 (EST)

2. Istanbul is generally regarded as being the geographic boundary of Europe. It is also generally accepted that part of Turkey is in Europe and part in the middle-east. Yzerfontein 11:02, 29 Jan 2006 (EST)

Mediterranean Europe Name Change

I reverted an edit that changed the name of the link for Mediterranean Europe to Southern Europe. I believe such a name change needs to be agreed first. -- Huttite 20:20, 11 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Mediterranean Europe is fine except for the inclusion of Portugal which isn't actually on the Mediterranean Sea. Maybe Southern Europe is more valid. -- Colin Angus Mackay 09:54, 12 Jun 2005 (EDT)
As far as I'm aware, most the the Balkan countries listed here don't consider themselves "Mediterranean" - they are on the Adriatic Sea which, although physically part of the Med, is seen as a a distinct marine area. Portugal, of course, is on the Atlantic Ocean and far from the Med. The only justification for using "Mediterranean" as a description for this area would be that the coutries share a common culture that is distinguished by proximity to the Med region. They don't. I propose Southern Europe, which is geographically accurate. --ManOnABus 03:18, 18 Jul 2005 (EST)
FYI: Croatia has been running ads on European TV for the last year or with the tagline "The Mediterranean as it used to be" ignoring the fact that they are actually on the Adriatic. -- Mark 03:19, 18 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Passengers Rights

It only applies to passengers flying from an EU airport or from an airport outside the EU to an EU airport on an EU carrier.

We need few clarifications on this (do we know it already? how can we get official info?)

  • passengers flying from an EU airport: it applies to every carrier, not only EU-based, right? For example, if Aeroflot (which is Russian airline) flies from Athens, these regulations can be applied, am I right?
  • from an airport outside the EU to an EU airport on an EU carrier: is there any formal definition which carrier should be considered EU in this context? For example, if the same Aeroflot flies from Moscow to Athens, are these rules applicable?

--DenisYurkin 08:22, 17 Oct 2005 (EDT)

One more thing: can we move the link to official info inside Passenger Rights section instead of very end of the page? I believe it'll make easier for reader to refer to official sources if they need to. --DenisYurkin 08:27, 17 Oct 2005 (EDT)
There is a couple of email adresses on [3]. It would be great if you would contact them. --elgaard 08:31, 17 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I sent email and received a reply; posted both under Talk:Europe/DeniedBoarding. Will extract relevant info later -- or encourage someone to do that before me.
--DenisYurkin 07:38, 21 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Great, I think you should tell Marina that it is for Wikitravel. Maybe she could even check that what say on WT is correct. --elgaard 08:31, 21 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Other territories

The french island of Reunion, located east of Madagascar, is also part of Europe.

It is a part of France. Using the USEnglish definition of Europe, it most certainly is not part of Europe. -- Colin 15:29, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Geographical Europe

The photograph is quite murky. I think it could be edited, so there are clearer differences between the landmass and the sea... 13:17, 26 Nov 2005 (EST)

Bulgaria and reorganization.

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 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!

Hey! I'm really glad that you are interested in Wikitravel, and in the geographical placement of Bulgaria. Thanks for contributing!
It kindof seems like it's really important to you that Bulgaria not be grouped either with Estonia or with the Balkan countries. OK, cool. Can you try however to make your arguments as much as possible from the point of view of the traveller? As for the rest of us, I think that we should try to imagine that as travellers discover Bulgaria they might well find that they no longer think of it as belonging to some amorphous east, but that it it more like a southern country.
That said the main thing is always the traveller. After all, how do you place the country I live in (Switzerland)? Is it in Western Europe? Central Europe? Southern Europe? The answer depends on who your are. On Wikitravel that is always the same: You are writing as and for the traveller. -- Mark 16:36, 27 February 2006 (EST)

Hey Mark. I make my request base exactly on what a traveller would expect to see in Bulgaria. I say that the whole grouping here is flauly. I certainly would not mind if Bulgaria is put into the BALKANS group (we need to create it first). Actually, I am FOR that. It is the best solution actually. Becouse Bulgaria is 100% Balkan state. My point is that Bulgaria has very little and sometimes nothing to do with the countries it's grouped with here - diff. culture, histroy, architecure, tradition, climate, customs and so on. On the other hand, Bulgaria shares alot with the rest of the Balkans - almos identical culture, traditions, climate, history, architecture and so on.Even the languages of the southern slavs are for most part mutually comprehensible if yr a native speaker of one of them (except probably between Slovene and Bulgarian being the two ends of the language subgroup). My point here is that if one is exploring, let's say ex-Yugoslavia he/she may decide not to cross the border with BG coz it falls into a different region of Europe - a traveller would expect to find something different in Bulgaria, something simmilar to Russia and the Baltics...but for most part he/she will come accross cultures so close to those of the rest of ex-Yugoslavia that they are hard to distinguish.

Here is a site with pics from BG...u tell me if this falls into yr understanding of Eastern Europe look esp at cities like Veliko Tarnovo. and the coastal nessebar...

Eatern Europe is the last thing that comes to my mind when i see those photos: or

Length of visit?

In some section we should have something that explains how long you can stay in Schengen Agreement countries. For example, lets say you're from a country allowed in w/o a visa, you get the 3 month limit. If you've stayed in Spain and your 3 month limit is up, can you go to Morocco for a few days and come back and then your 3 months is reset? I would add this myself but I am not sure of how it works. (Lizz 15:09, 11 July 2006 (EDT))

Colors on the map

If somebody would be editing the map, please consider also changing the colors (esp. for Mediterranean Europe). Why not try for example:  Color 1   Color 2   Color 3   Color 4   Color 5  It'd be more readable this way. Or I can do it if there is the map source available somewhere. CandleWithHare 15:11, 20 August 2006 (EDT)


The whole way the groups are made in this article is wrong. The first error is to use the old pre WW2 geopolitical concept of "western Europe" to group together countries such as UK and Netherlands with France, who don't share not much more than having being democraties in the first half of the 20th century. France obviously share much more culturally with the other south-western European countries such as Spain and Italy, especially for its southern half. Due to the latin language, catholic heritage and of course its coastline on the mediterranean. UK and Netherlands on their side have germanic languages, important protestant influences a geographical position in the northern half of Europe and coastlines on the north sea. It is clear that netherlands are much more similar to Germany (with who they have their longest border), than with France !! (with who they don't even have a common border). The same way for UK, wich doesn't share any border with France. From a French point of view, being grouped in this limited "western Europe" concept has no meaning and seems completly arbitrary, since it is not justificated by geography, by language, by climate, by political system, or any other criterium.

This definition is outdated and inacurate, it should be removed. the definition of western Europe of Wikipedia is more accurate, it includes all western Europe and does not prevent the belonging to other groups such as northern or southern.

I tend to think that there are in reality 4 cardinal groupings defined by geography but also culture: north-west (Scandinavia, UK, Germany, Netherlands), south-west (Italy, Spain, Portugal France(with reserves for its northern part on a pure geographical way)), north-east (Poland, Russia, Baltic states, etc), south-east (balkanic states). and one overlaping region, central Europe, witch can include countries that can also be integrated in other groups (Germany, poland,Autria, Hungary, etc.)

I invite you to see the discussion in the article about southern Europe in wikipedia.