Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
That topic quite good...I wish more people took it seriously...I thought I knew what Europe was!
For me, Europe is a geographical term more than anything else. The excerpt above that starts with "Geographically Europe is a part of..." best describes Europe as such. I cannot agree that Europe means EU. Simply because EU is a union that is constantly expanding and soon most probably non-European countries will be members of it. By non-European I mean countries like Turkey and Russia. Parts of them may be in Europe but this fact does not make them European. So, Europe has political borders and what is inside is Europe!
by Denny on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 09:58:49 AM EST
Parts of them may be in Europe but this fact does not make them European.

Can't you accept them to be both European and Asian?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've found many people, both here and journalsts and writers using the terms "Europe" and "The EU" interchangeably.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:41:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and that irks me. But is boils down to the same thing as calling USAers "Americans" or even "North Americans". It's not necessarily wrong to do so. Words have a common meaning and a technical meaning. Europe is one of those words that has so many meanings that it is best avoid in any technical writing.

By the way, famously neutral Switzerland is not in the EU, nor do I think it is ever likely to be, but it is definitely in Europe. So...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 10:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beyond what Migeru responded, I'd like to emphasize this part of Denny's comment:

For me, Europe is a geographical term more than anything else. The excerpt above that starts with "Geographically Europe is a part of..." best describes Europe as such.

This is true for me too - and when I read "center of Europe", I can only think of the geographical sense of "Europe". BTW, the Southeastern geographical border ambiguities shan't change the center much - the Caucasus Mountains - Kura river difference is only a 100 km wide strip, the Ural-Emba rivers idfference is roughly 500 km x 500 km, altogether a difference of 0.33 million km² - in a 10 million km² area.

You can visualise it on another relevant map from the Wiki article (here the Emba and Kura rivers are the borders; Georgia's and Azerbaijan's northern border is the Caucasus Mountains, the Ural river follows Russian-Kazakh border half-way East and then turns South):


II Europe, according to one commonly-reckoned definition
II  Extension over Asia of the continuous territory of a European state
II Geographically in Asia, considered European for cultural and historical reasons

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't two of Russia's major cities -- Moscow and St. Petersburg -- in Europe?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on on what you mean by "Europe."  

It's insanity, I tell ya.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah!  Well said.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here I though US identity politics were insanity... Welcome to the mirror world ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 11:49:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Denny,
You are looking at geography in too limited a fashion, I believe that you are equating it with cartography, or the type of geography that we learn in high school, Indianapolis.is.the.capitol.of.Indiana...Actually, geography would give you as good a chance at answering your question as any discipline since geography looks at the relationship of man and environment.  This often has a cartographic component and geographers are great ones for maps, but these maps can get pretty sophisticated.  There are maps that show population density, ethnic concentrations and mixtures, energy usage, crop types, religious affiliations, political divisions, annual income per capita, traffic density, and a dozen other things that can be presented spatially, and that can be composed to show these factors over different times.

If you overlay a general map of Eurasia with the specific types of maps above you would get broad pattern of agreement in-though not complete or perfect alignment by any means with-the general notion of Europe.  That would just be a starting point for the more significant question, which I think that you are asking, which is, who are you people who live in this large area?  Is there a set of commonalities between you that differentiate you in important ways from those of us who do not live there?  If there is a set of commonalities is it a result of facts on the ground, or is it an outlook based on ideas?

From across the Atlantic, it looks more and more that an European identity is coming into being, again.  From afar it appears that the history, the political organizations, and the economics are being expressed with a sufficient cohesion to at least superficially express a specific and identifiable grouping of people.  In the dark hour we are going through here, we hope both that people can see all the things that we have in common that are not expressed on these maps, and that Europe, whatever it is, stands for enlightenment.  

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever "enlightenment" is ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:43:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And wherever we can find it!

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:59:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I figured out that my point of view of what is actually Europe does not match most of those of other bloggers. And...yes, I confess it is kind of limited... But I was trying to do that associations game and the first thing that came into my mind about Europe was a map. And since the basic question posed was "What is Europe for you" I just put that down. But actually, you are quite right that this is what we learn in high-school (which by the way was two years ago). Thank you for that comment! I really appreciate it!
by Denny on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Denny,
It is the same thing that I learned in High School about 35 years ago (and how weird is that to think that).  In college I started out with a dual major of Econ and History and took a geography survey course and ended up switching majors.  I would highly recommend anyone that is in college with an interest in liberal arts to take cultural geography, and at least one regional geography class.

You will really learn to love all the info that can be mapped, and how it all integrates with econ, history, politics, etc.

Good luck on the journey.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series