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Western Europe


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  • 1. Benedict (Viktor) Gombocz
  • 2.  During the Cold War (1947-1991), the termWestern Europe was collectively used for theEuropean NATO allies of the United States:Belgium, Denmark, France (briefly left in 1966;rejoined in 1967), Greece, Iceland (not on map),Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway,Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom, andWest Germany. Austria, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, andSwitzerland were neutral states. The democratic states in Western Europe werealso called the First World.
  • 3.  Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Iceland Ireland Italy Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
  • 4.  Austria Belgium France Germany Luxembourg Netherlands Switzerland
  • 5.  Scandinavia• Denmark• Finland• Iceland• Norway• Sweden British Isles• Ireland• United Kingdom Iberian Peninsula• Portugal• Spain
  • 6.  Western Europe• Belgium• France• Luxembourg• Netherlands Central Europe• Austria• Germany• Switzerland Southern Europe• Greece• Italy• Malta
  • 7.  As indicated on slide 4 (see accompanyingmap), the categorization of Western Europeused in the Cold War is used to define post-ironcurtain Western Europe. Western Europe claims two of the oldestexisting democracies in the world (Iceland andSwitzerland), the strongest economy in Europe(Germany), and the richest country in theEuropean Union (Luxembourg). Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, theNetherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UnitedKingdom are full members of the EuropeanUnion and NATO. Austria, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden are fullmembers of the European Union; Iceland andNorway are full members of NATO. Iceland is a candidate for EU membership.
  • 8.  The two existing language families of WesternEurope are the Germanic languages and theRomance languages. The Germanic languages are spoken chiefly inScandinavia and Central Europe (Austria,Germany, and Switzerland), and to a lesserextent, in Western Europe (Belgium, Ireland,Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the UnitedKingdom) and in Southern Europe (Malta). The Romance languages are dominant inSouthern Europe (Italy, Portugal, and Spain),and to a smaller degree, in Western Europe(Belgium, France, and Luxembourg) and inCentral Europe (Switzerland). Only in Finland is a Finno-Ugric language(Finnish) spoken; only in Ireland is a Celticlanguage (Irish) spoken; only in Malta is aSemitic language (Maltese) spoken. Greek forms an independent branch of the Indo-European language family.
  • 9.  Dominated by Western Christianity, religionin Western Europe is more or less dividedbetween Roman Catholicism andProtestantism. Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy,Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands,Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland are majorityRoman Catholic. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden,and the United Kingdom are majorityProtestant. Germany is half-Protestant half-Catholic. Greece is majority Eastern Orthodox.
  • 10.  Scandinavia / Northern Europe• Denmark• Finland• Iceland• Norway• Sweden Western Europe• Austria• Belgium• France• Germany• Ireland• Luxembourg• Netherlands• Switzerland• United Kingdom Southern Europe• Greece• Italy• Malta• Portugal• Spain