ⓘ Western Europe
Western Europe is a geographic region of Europe. This term does not have a precise definition. Its use has changed over time. During the middle ages, the European parts of the Western World included those countries following Catholicism or Protestantism. During the Cold War, Western Europe was a geographic and socio-political concept. It meant the democratic European countries of the First World, which are also vaguely defined. It was and still is distinguished from Eastern Europe by differences of economics, politics, and religion. At its widest medieval definition, it includes the following 32 countries:
- Czech Republic Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Estonia Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- San Marino
- Poland Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Croatia Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Lithuania Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Slovakia Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Hungary Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Latvia Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Slovenia Was eastern/communist during the cold war
- Vatican City
- United Kingdom
Many of these countries were members of the Western European Union. Many, such as Norway, are also in Northern Europe or in Central Europe or Southern Europe.
Today, the term Western Europe has to do with geography and with economics. The concept is commonly associated with liberal democracy, socialism and also with the European Union, though that also has some countries of Eastern Europe.
Most of the countries in the region share Western culture, and many have economic, and political ties with countries in North and South America and Oceania.
In addition, Scandinavia in Northern Europe is commonly associated with social democracy and remains fairly neutral throughout international disputes. The Iberian Peninsula, the most western part of Europe is similarly closely linked to the Americas.