Template talk:Europe topic

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RfC: British constituent countries in Template:Europe topic[edit]

It seems there's a clear consensus to go through with the change; not only by looking at the numbers of !votes (18 supports versus 4 opposes), but also by considering the discussion following each oppose !vote. Which pages need to be updated when the proposal is implemented can be discussed in a separate section.
SiBr4 (talk) 16:50, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Currently, the {{Europe topic}} navbox template shows the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom or CCs (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) in brackets next to the UK. There is a parameter |UK_only= available which hides them from the template if set to anything. This has been how the template works since 6 December 2007, when the UK_only parameter was added (see below for a detailed timeline).

My proposed change is to reverse the behavior of the UK_only parameter and hide the CCs from the template by default. They could still be activated by setting the |UK_only= parameter to "no" (not allowing just any text prevents pages already using |UK_only=yes from showing the CCs). A comparison of the current and proposed versions of the template can be seen at my sandbox.

The change was boldly made, reverted as "no consensus" and discussed a few months ago, with the main objection that a template transcluded on thousands of articles shouldn't be changed on the basis of a discussion by three editors. The purpose of this RfC is therefore to get more people to know about the proposed change and to discuss it and its consequenses community-wide (though not necessarily to know how many people support or oppose it). SiBr4 (talk) 22:05, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I did a bit of research of the relevant changes made to the template:

None of these changes (except the last) have been discussed specifically. Four discussions about the CCs can be found in the archives of this talk page, though none discussed the option I'm proposing. SiBr4 (talk) 22:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Topics in which the CCs are relevant[edit]

Are there any topics in which listing the CCs in the template is necessary, or in which the CCs are otherwise reasonably more relevant than the subdivisions of other states? Feel free to add a new subsection to discuss the CCs' relevance in particular topics. A list of all transclusions of the template, listing direct and indirect transclusions separately, can be found at User:SiBr4/AWB Reports#Template:Europe topic (warning: 350-kB page).

Note that the mere existence of an article "X of England" etc. doesn't mean by itself that the four CCs are relevant for topic X, as readers should be able to find these articles via "X of the United Kingdom". SiBr4 (talk) 22:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I think listing the trancluded Europe topic areas should be the very starting point of the conversation. If England/Scotland/Wales/NI are relevant in many of these topics then this proposal is a non-starter. Alternatively, this may show that these sub-countries are not broadly relevant to Europe topic areas. I've done a rough splice of SiBr4's data to come up with what topics this proposal will affect. I think a rationale not based on the reach of these topics would not be a very well thought through one. SFB 19:19, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Note that I replaced all instances of {{Europe topic}} in "<year> in <country>" articles (#1) with the new template {{Year in Europe}}. I should generate an updated list when I have time (AWB can do it automatically, but it takes a few hours). SiBr4 (talk) 21:36, 18 March 2014 (UTC)


Since this is probably the main reason why the CCs should be available in the first place, I'm starting it myself. In a number of sports, England, Wales and Scotland compete as seperate Home Nations, having their competitions and/or national teams. Northern Ireland either competes separately as the fourth Home Nation or joins the Republic of Ireland.

There are only a few sports articles which transclude {{Europe topic}}; most sports articles use navboxes built from scratch. Sports-related navboxes that do transclude {{Europe topic}} include {{Football in Europe}}, {{Sport in Europe}} and {{Women's football in Europe}}. Of the articles that transclude {{Europe topic}} directly, sports-related prefixes used commonly include "Ice hockey in ...", "List of football clubs in ...", "List of football stadiums in ...", "Rugby union in ..." and "Sports broadcasting contracts in ...". SiBr4 (talk) 22:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

This does vary very significantly from sport to sport. In the Olympics and most (but not all) Olympic sports, the sporting federations are UK-wide and there is one UK team. Major sports such as cycling, tennis and athletics know no boundaries between UK home nations, except during the Commonwealth Games (where all four home nations send separate teams). In other cases there is a split, but it is not a three-way split between England, Scotland and Wales. In cricket, for example, England and Wales are combined and Scotland is separate. In basketball, England and Scotland are combined and Wales is separate. In Northern Ireland's case, there are very few sports that treat Northern Ireland as separate from both the UK and (the Republic of) Ireland.
Dunno how much difference this makes in practice, if most sports don't use this template anyway. Kahastok talk 22:56, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I didn't know there were also sports in which combinations of England & Wales and England & Scotland compete, though there is certainly a fairly large number of sports that don't know of a UK team (football/soccer is the only one I can come up with). Note that the British Olympic team is called "Great Britain" but does represent the entire UK. SiBr4 (talk) 10:20, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
@Kahastok: Do you know whether the CCs have separate teams in the sports I mentioned? They do in football, but do they in ice hockey and rugby union? Also, do you think they should be listed in the general "Sports in ..." and "Sports broadcasting contracts in ..." templates? SiBr4 (talk) 11:24, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Sure. Rugby Union has three separate GB teams (England, Scotland and Wales), but the Ireland team includes both sides of the border. Every four years the four teams come together to play as the British and Irish Lions - but like the Commonwealth Games this is the exception and most matches are separate teams.
In ice hockey, there is a single UK team. As in many cases where there is a UK/Ireland split, Northern Irish ice hockey players can choose to represent Ireland instead.
Sports broadcasting contracts are generally UK-wide since most broadcasters are UK-wide. The big exceptions are Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football and rugby rights, which can more than adequately covered by the existing Sports broadcasting contracts in the United Kingdom.
As to "Sports in ..." articles - well, most of it is actually covered by Sport in the United Kingdom, and it's difficult to see what the individual countries are going to say on non-split sports (such as cycling or athletics) that is not already covered in the UK-wide article. And I see a lot of duplicated content between the articles. Personally, I would just link to Sports in the United Kingdom, which provides links to the other articles and to more focussed articles (such as Rugby Union in Wales, for example). In my view the separate links are best used in cases where there is a complete split with little common ground: Education in the United Kingdom is little more than a dab page, for example, so we're better off linking to the four home nations articles. Kahastok talk 19:18, 3 March 2014 (UTC)


I've started this because {{Europe topic}} is transcluded directly on about 350 "<Year> in <Country>" articles, with years ranging from 1199 to 2014. England (then including Wales) and Scotland were independent countries before the Acts of Union 1707, which would mean they should be shown on the pre-1707 year articles. However, since no-one attempted to add any other historical countries in Europe to the template AFAIK, I think the usage of {{Europe topic}} in these articles has to be reconsidered. SiBr4 (talk) 22:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm now working on a new template in which the list of countries depends on the input year using parser functions. This template can replace {{Europe topic}} in the year articles when it's done. SiBr4 (talk) 17:27, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Though it doesn't contain all former countries yet (the many states in modern Italy still need to be added), I've moved the template to template namespace. SiBr4 (talk) 14:29, 8 March 2014 (UTC)


Many religious bodies have separate national organisations for these countries.--MacRùsgail (talk) 19:05, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

In navboxes about national religious organizations that may be a reason to list them, though as I said below, I'm not sure whether general "Religion in ..." articles should include the CCs because of the separate national organizations. There is an article on Religion in the United Kingdom with information about religion statewide, which links to the articles for the separate countries in a hatnote. SiBr4 (talk) 19:18, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Still not getting it, are you? Scotland is treated as a different country in Presbyterianism, Anglicanism, Methodism, Congregationalism, Roman Catholicism, the baptist movement and others that don't immediately spring to mind. Smaller organisations such as the Mormons, Bahais and Scientologists don't treat Scotland separately, but they generally subsume the Republic of Ireland under the same regional organisation, for numerical reasons. The "religion in the United Kingdom" is not a helpful starting point for religion in Scotland for a number of different reasons. (Not least for the fact that writers of such articles tend to be ignorant of the highly complex religious history of Scotland. And when I say it is complex, it is extremely complex!)
By the way, your claim that Scotland has been a country for a shorter time than Sicily is highly questionable.-MacRùsgail (talk) 14:27, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
According to the article Kingdom of Scotland, it existed between the 9th century and 1707 (when the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed), which is 864 years using the starting year of 843 given in the lead. The Emirate, County, and Kingdom of Sicily together existed for 985 years according to their articles (from 831 until the unification with Naples in 1816). Note that modern Scotland is still called a "country" but I use the word to refer to sovereign states only.
I am not religious and trust you in that what you're saying is correct. SiBr4 (talk) 15:44, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
The origins of Scotland are hazy. (Sicily is more neatly defined perhaps, being an island). Some people trace it back to Dál_Riata which is far earlier. -MacRùsgail (talk) 12:11, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
FWIW I think it's a touch more complicated than that. Check, for example Anglican Communion#Province and you will see that for the Anglican Church, while Scotland is undoubtedly separated from England, most of the rest of Europe isn't (it is covered by the English Diocese in Europe). Kahastok talk 19:36, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Again, that's down to numbers. There aren't many Anglicans in most of Continental Europe. However, the Roman Catholic church also treats Scotland separately, and that has significant presence in nearly of all of Western Europe, and to a lesser extent in the east as well.-MacRùsgail (talk) 16:01, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

There are 158 articles and project pages about religion that transclude the template directly. There are also the following specialized templates that use {{Europe topic}}:

  1. Template:Buddhism in Europe
  2. Template:Christianity in Europe
  3. Template:Hinduism in Europe
  4. Template:History of Christianity in Europe
  5. Template:Islam by country horizontal
  6. Template:Islam in Europe
  7. Template:Jews and Judaism in Europe
  8. Template:List of mosques
  9. Template:Orthodox Christianity in Europe
  10. Template:Religion in Europe
  11. Template:Roman Catholicism in Europe

Including pages that transclude these templates, that's a total of 569 religion-related transclusions, or about one fifteenth of all transclusions. SiBr4 (talk) 18:50, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

Based on the number of transclusions in which the CCs should and shouldn't be listed, do you support the proposed change? Should it be implemented in another way, or with another parameter name? Should the CCs maybe be removed from the template entirely?

  • As proposer I'd like to explain why I'm proposing this change. Despite the designation of "country", the CCs are subdivisions of the UK and are rarely more relevant than other countries' subdivisions. There is no difference in political status between Wales and Wallonia, or between Northern Ireland and North Dakota. So unless all European countries' subdivisions are added to the template (which I don't think anyone would want), there's no reason to give the UK's subdivisions more prominence. SiBr4 (talk) 22:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support change. There's no reason to give UK countries greater prominence than the constituent parts of many other entities in most cases. This is systemic bias favouring the UK countries, and the name used by the UK does not make any difference. Where there is a good reason for a split, we can set the parameter. Kahastok talk 22:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Support change. I agree with Kahastok. — Petr Matas 04:42, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Pinging CMD and Ben MacDui as they commented in the discussion above. SiBr4 (talk) 22:04, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Some sub-national units have greater autonomy than the British home nations, so I agree that it is silly to separate them out (especially when in many cases England and Wales function as one). Number 57 12:58, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support No reason to treat the UK differently. Int21h (talk) 06:58, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Supoort No reason to make an exception for the UK. If the template remained as it is, we would have to do the same for Germany, Austria and Italy as well because they use to refer to their subdivisions as "Länder" which translates to "Countries". (In Italy, use of the word "Länder" is limited to the German-speaking part of the country, but it is still official.) The swiss cantons would have to be regarded as the swiss equivalent of a CC as well because they hold all competences which haven't been transferred to the federal government (including the Kompetenzkompetenz). However, I think that the option to include the CCs selectively in some articles should remain in order to accomodate those odd contexts where the CCs are actually treated as seperate entities. -- Dynam1te3 (talk) 16:18, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support removal Functionally, Northern Ireland is no different than (e.g.) Alabama in many contexts. There is a lot of special pleading about the UK based on the fact that some of the constituents were independent at one point (which is true about all kinds of subnational divisions—cf. California, Texas, and Vermont in the States) and that they use the word "country" which is patently silly and inconsistent anyway (again, re: Northern Ireland). —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:15, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A particularly inept proposal given Scotland's independence referendum this year. There are actually a surprising number of instances where Scotland and Wales are treated as countries in their own right (England and NI less often - England tends to represent itself as British)-MacRùsgail (talk) 19:03, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
@MacRusgail: If Scotland actually becomes independent in September (which doesn't seem very likely looking at the polls), the template will be adjusted so Scotland is shown separately, but if the rest of the UK keeps the same structure, this proposal still applies to the remaining three CCs. Sorry if this sounds a bit rude, but outside of sports contexts, saying Scotland is a country in the same sense as e.g. Serbia implies either nationalism or unawareness that not all countries are countries. SiBr4 (talk) 20:58, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Depends which poll you look at. The result will be tight. However, you, and many others on this poll clearly don't have a clue what you are talking about. Scotland is a country for a NUMBER of different purposes. I've mentioned religion, which is yet another thing that you've overlooked, or not bothered to look at.-MacRùsgail (talk) 11:53, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what the results of the polls are; treating Scotland differently from the other three CCs because it may become an independent country in September is premature. I didn't claim to have investigated every possible topic; if you think they are considered separate national entities in specific topics, please create a new subsection for these topics in the section above this one. In the particular case of religion; while Religion in the United Kingdom makes clear there are separate religious organizations for the CCs or combinations like England & Wales or Great Britain, I'm not sure whether that's a reason to list them separately in navboxes about religion in general. SiBr4 (talk) 14:00, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Struck part of my comment; didn't notice you already did so. SiBr4 (talk) 19:07, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I do not believe that anyone is arguing that the opt-in cannot be activated on any article where consensus deems it appropriate. Kahastok talk 18:35, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The current arrangement is systematic bias and the change will still have the option to show the CCs where needed. Timrollpickering (talk) 19:28, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, agree that the current arrangement furthers a systemic bias that gives undue prominence to English-speaking subdivisions. All kinds of countries have autonomous entities which are functionally treated as countries in their own right; Crimea, for example, is technically an autonomous republic, yet it doesn't appear in this navbox.--eh bien mon prince (talk) 03:05, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
@User:Underlying lk Then why not include Crimea instead of knocking out the other countries? Crimea surely comes under disputed entities, or soon will be. I would back the inclusion of autonomous republics in Russia such as Daghestan and Mordova as well, and the major entities in the Spanish state such as Catalonia and the Basque Country.-MacRùsgail (talk) 11:55, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Crimea is indeed currently disputed, but the intended argument also applies to other autonomous entities like Gagauzia, Vojvodina and Nakhchivan. The republics of Russia aren't fully autonomous. The subdivisions of Spain are called "autonomous communities", but I doubt they are actually autonomous in the same way as e.g. Vojvodina, and that Catalonia and Basque Country actually have a separate status from the other ones. If every single European subdivision was added to the template, it would become unmanageable. SiBr4 (talk) 14:00, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
And again why this dislike of small nations beyond the British Isles? The Catalans and Basques are obvious nations, whereas Vojvodina is a border area between Serbia and Hungary with the attendant problems.-MacRùsgail (talk) 16:23, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is a major difference between Northern Ireland and North Dakota. The sub-divisions in the UK have distinct national identities and long histories, with many separate and distinct features that would be much harder to access with this change.--SabreBD (talk) 18:23, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Would the same argument not equally apply to Bavaria, the Basque Country, Brittany or any one of a large number of other cases in Europe alone? Kahastok talk 18:35, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know why the Basque Country etc are treated with such contempt in this discussion. -MacRùsgail (talk) 14:27, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) So have many other areas in Europe, for example many parts of modern Italy and Spain have. Sicily has been a country for way longer than England and Scotland, so why don't we add that too? Since I replaced the uses of this template in the year articles, virtually no transclusions link to history articles, so I don't consider that a reason to list the CCs in all usages of this template. SiBr4 (talk) 18:48, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
There are levels of degree here no doubt, but if you ask a Bavarian their nationality they are most likely to say German. Ask a Scotsman that question. Historically Germans and Italians, by and large, retained a German or a Italian national identity, long before their states were unified.--SabreBD (talk) 18:58, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Don't ask me why there's so much more nationalism in Scotland than in Bavaria, though I don't see why exactly that would be relevant to this proposal. I'm sure there are also people from Scotland who recognize that their country is part of the UK and would answer "British" to your question (which legally is the only correct answer). SiBr4 (talk) 19:48, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
That is an interesting tacit admission that something is different here. Stating that the legal position is what it is ignores the fact that it was not always the case. Scotland was politically separate from England before 1707 in the case of Scotland and that it never ceased to be a separate nation with separate institutions in law, education and religion and that, regardless of the independence issue, it has a devolved parliament, which has created more diversion with England. All that partly answers the issue about why there is more clear national identity in Scotland. I also think that although it might be possible to solve the date article problem, I do not at the moment see how to solve the problem of separate institutions or themed articles where there were or are not common to the UK, but I would be interested to hear any suggestions.--SabreBD (talk) 20:22, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Scotland was actually a country before 1707, but so were many other states that no-one argues should be added to the templates too. Scotland has its own parliament, but it's dependent on the British parliament and not sovereign. There is no clear definition of a "national identity", but it's not relevant to Scotland's political status. In law, education and religion Scotland may be considered a separate country (I don't know whether it is), but that's better discussed in the section for specific topics above. SiBr4 (talk) 20:45, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I think similar cases could be made in several other instances. And it could not be made of other parts of the UK.
Let's compare Catalonia with one of the other UK countries - Wales (chosen because it's a closer parallel). Aragón - based in Catalonia - was independent significantly more recently than Wales was. It has its own devolved parliament with significantly more power than the Welsh Assembly, and its own separate language. Aragón's separate institutions were abolished in the eighteenth century - as were Wales' separate institutions in the sixteenth century. Ask someone from Catalonia what their nationality is, chances are good that they'll say "Catalan". Why should Wales be included by default, but not Catalonia?
As to the final point, I believe that the proposal is to change the current opt-out system into an opt-in system. At present, E/S/W/NI are included unless a choice is made to exclude. If this goes through, they would be excluded unless a choice is made to include. Articles where it is genuinely useful to separate could maintain the separate links. Kahastok talk 21:11, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
It indeed is. Currently the CCs are included unless the UK_only parameter is set; my proposal is to include them only if the UK_only parameter is set. The question "Should the CCs maybe be removed from the template entirely?" at the top of this section was more like a suggestion for what to discuss in this section; I'm okay with it if they can optionally be included for some topics in which they are actually relevant. SiBr4 (talk) 21:30, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for dealing with that substantive point. If I am assured that they can be included where appropriate then I would be willing to withdraw my opposition. Of course at some point we might want to consider what is an appropriate article. I think it could only be on a case by case basis and there is a question of how many of the CC would need articles for it to be valid to show all four.--SabreBD (talk) 22:45, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, the existence of articles on a particular topic for all four CCs doesn't automatically mean they should be linked to in the template. Unless they are actually considered independent entities in that topic, it's better to link to the UK article only and have that link to the articles for the CCs, like would be done for other countries and their subdivisions. SiBr4 (talk) 23:03, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
That is pretty much the position I feared. In that case, for what it is worth, I will maintain my position of opposition.--SabreBD (talk) 14:40, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per arguments given. There's no common differentiator that separates them from all other European subdivisions. Furthermore, they're all individually toggleable at the moment, so the UK=only parameter might be worth dropping altogether, given the template can otherwise be tailored to different situations, like those of the various sports discussed above. An optin/optout change would probably have to be made to the individual toggles however. CMD (talk) 23:35, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Removing them by default using their respective toggles is as easy as removing the diamonds so the default value of the ENG, SCT, WLS and NIR parameters is nothing. Though if that's done, then the exact pages they link to must be specified in order to include them: {{Europe topic|ENG=Topic of England|SCT=Topic of Scotland|WLS=Topic of Wales|NIR=Topic of Northern Ireland}}. SiBr4 (talk) 08:38, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually there are a number. Not only in sport and mainstream religion, but in the organisation of various different societies and organisations, and also in arts organisations and many other fields. This isn't "nationalist sentiment", it is fact. Those who are questioning this whole thing are clearly confusing autonomy with national status, even before devolution, Scotland had national status in a number of areas. After devolution that case is stronger still.-MacRùsgail (talk) 14:27, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
As I said above, I don't see anyone here arguing that the flag cannot be used on any article where it is deemed appropriate by consensus. The question is not whether a split should be allowed - it will be regardless - it is whether a split should be the default. Kahastok talk 09:53, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support no reason to separate out UK countries by default, so long as they can be separated out optionally. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 11:58, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Support for the concise reason given by Jonathan Oldenbuck. There's a fundamental difference between, on the one hand, at least England, Scotland and Wales, and, on the other hand, North Dakota, Bavaria, my home state of Western Australia, etc. The former are countries that, while part of a union of countries, also continue to function as separate countries for at least some purposes. By contrast, the latter are states or provinces, none of which, eg, competes in its own right in sporting contests between countries. So it's appropriate both for the default position to be UK only, and for the constitutient countries of the UK to be optionally separable for situations where they function separately. Bahnfrend (talk) 05:57, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - As is traditional in these Wikipedia discussions, I see no one has bothered to actually take this to the WikiProjects concerned. God forbid we might actually get some people on this discussion who do know the difference between an American state and a "CC".-MacRùsgail (talk) 14:30, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I believe that it is appropriate to ask whether these WikiProject notifications: [1][2][3][4] and this individual notification: [5] are appropriate according to WP:CANVASS. I note that the latter individual has been previously active here and was pinged a the start of this discussion. Kahastok talk 09:53, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Definitely not in the spirit of canvass. There's also no attempt to notify wikiprojects from the other countries in the template and various subdivisions that have previously been asked to be inserted here, although that's >50 notifications, which is not a small task. CMD (talk) 10:26, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
I think that notifying some WikiProjects saying "Some Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish input is desperately needed" without asking at the England, UK and Europe projects is an itself desperate attempt to gain more "oppose" votes and agree that it may be considered canvassing. I didn't notify any WikiProjects or specific users on their talk pages, but the notice I added to the template itself puts a link to the RfC on all 8,700 transclusions (I didn't know whether that's appropriate, but no-one reverted saying it wasn't). SiBr4 (talk) 11:43, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
You're wrong. I didn't tell anyone to vote a particular way. The fact that you describe this as 'an itself desperate attempt to gain more "oppose" votes' suggests that you yourself have an issue in this direction. You are obviously concerned that a wider range of opinions would undermine any manufactured consensus that you manage to set up. Why else would you be so worried about it? You should have notified all of these projects yourself before doing this, but like so many people on Wikipedia, you prefer to operate in obscurity. -MacRùsgail (talk) 15:54, 18 March 2014 (UTC) p.s. You'll notice that I did not go to a number of other WikiProjects of relevance to this. But you didn't either.
Notifying certain WikiProjects and users and posting biased notifications ("some Scottish/Welsh/Irish/Northern Irish input is desperately needed") in order to influence the result of the RfC is canvassing. Notifying related WikiProjects and involved users at all isn't obliged; also, with a link to this page from 8,700 other pages this RfC is hardly "obscure". SiBr4 (talk) 17:19, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
It looks like canvassing to me. Chris Troutman (talk) 19:22, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It wasn't broken, and although Jonathan Oldenbuck gives a concise overview of the advantage of the proposal, my suspicion is that attempts to enact this are likely to lead to yet more fairly pointless discussion and controversy. Ben MacDui 19:19, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
@Ben MacDui: "It's not broken" may be a reason not to make a change, but if the new version isn't broken either, the exact same argument applies to reverting back. If this proposal proceeds and someone comes to the talk page to ask why England, Wales, Scotland and NI aren't included (and somehow misses this discussion), we should teach them that they aren't countries in the same way as France, Sweden etc. rather than pretend that they are. SiBr4 (talk) 19:58, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per reasons above, and decry the bad faith claims of certain opposers that the only reason to support the proposal is ignorance of "the difference between an American state and a CC." There are a few specific cases where England/Wales/Scotland/NI do indeed act as separate countries - mostly sports - but that is the exception, not the rule, so the default should be changed. For the vast majority of "Europe" topics, calling them out as separate makes as much sense as calling out Spanish Autonomous Communities as separate. SnowFire (talk) 21:22, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Qualified Support, though there's a lot of technical knowledge required to understand the issues; I've created a number of "List of ... in Wales" articles and hope they don't disappear by default from the templates!! In certain areas, particularly sport, England/Scotland/Wales/NI have a fairly unique status in Europe (I've no knowledge of a Bavaria, Pays Basque or Catalonia football team, for example). As this is the English language Wikipedia there will be a larger number editors ready to create England/Scotland/Wales/NI subpages. But outside of a small number of topics there's less likelihood for the requirement for E/S/W/NI subgrouping, so I guess overall the change will result in less template clutter.
Qualified support because I think there's an element of double standards. Why not hide the states with limited recognition too? After all, Crimea is a small dependent part of Ukraine/Russia. Sionk (talk) 22:38, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, support without much input from the relevant WikiProjects, which you have deliberately avoided doing. Also your attempt to pit Wales against Catalonia, doesn't get to the root of the problem. Why should both be excluded because you disagree with the presence of one? By the way, there WAS a Catalonia rugby side, but Franco abolished it.
I don't know why you are so against the inclusion of this various areas (over and beyond the CCs). Don't hide the states with limited recognition. Don't hide the CCs, and don't let your one size fits all mentality overrule everything else.-MacRùsgail (talk) 15:49, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Is that addressed at me? Strange if it is, I came here from WikiProject Wales. I'm not proposing the change, or pitting anyone against anyone else. Maybe your comment needs to be moved to the correct place? Sionk (talk) 18:09, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
MacRùsgail used your comment to "prove" that few people oppose the proposal because of the "fact" that I "deliberately avoided" sending a message to related WikiProjects. I use that many quotation marks because I think that's pretty ridiculous. SiBr4 (talk) 22:15, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
From your own comments, you seemed to view the idea with concern, which is presumably partly why you did not do it. Logically, you should have spread the message a bit more widely, and not criticised me when I did. There are a number of other places I could have gone as well. Not just the likes of the Manx project page, but the French and the Russian ones.
Any proposal such as this should be widely publicised in the relevant areas, rather than done on the quiet as you have attempted to do.-MacRùsgail (talk) 16:19, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
@MacRusgail: Not sending any notifications is not forbidden, but canvassing is. Is there any other good reason for notifying only the WikiProjects of the Celtic nations and not the England, UK and Europe projects, and saying their input is "desperately needed"?
Except for the CCs, this template includes all "countries" found in other Wikipedia lists of countries, i.e. sovereign states and dependent territories. The included states with limited recognition claim independence, are de facto independent, and are all recognized as sovereign by at least some other states. Dependent territories, though not sovereign, are fully autonomous and are not integrated in their respective states. None of these characteristics are shared by the CCs, Catalonia, Bavaria or any other European subdivision. SiBr4 (talk) 22:15, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Apart from the bizarre double (triple?) negative there, you have provided no evidence of canvassing. You have however, provided ample evidence that you do not want your proposal publicised in those areas. "Desperately needed" means that people should respond quickly, before you decide to shut the discussion down. Again, why the hatred of Catalonia etc? That's odd too.-MacRùsgail (talk) 16:21, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
  • "Not sending any notifications is not forbidden" — what exactly is wrong with that sentence?
  • Is there a reason you have notified the Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland projects and not the England, Europe and UK projects? If there is I apologize for calling it canvassing. Though you could assume a bit more good faith as well. This is the first RfC I started; I didn't "deliberately avoid" posting messages at relevant projects. To increase the input (not at all necessarily the number of supports), I added a link to the template itself, which serves the same purpose.
  • I don't "hate" England, Scotland, Catalonia, Bavaria or any other place. I just don't think country subdivisions should be included in this template, since there's hundreds of them. There's no reason to make an exception for any subdivision unless they're actually treated as separate national entities in some topics, which the CCs are but AFAIK Catalonia isn't. SiBr4 (talk) 18:59, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - note also use of Ireland in template. I am not sure this is acceptable, since both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are parts of the island of Ireland. There are also certain instances in which the entireity of Ireland comes under certain bodies eg Church of Ireland, Irish Rugby Football Union. Whatever the state decides to call itself, this is not in itself helpful.-MacRùsgail (talk) 16:05, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
  • This template should direct the users to subpages, not the country page itself. Many of the subpages it seems are merged, such as geography of Ireland, and so have no Republic-specific link to go to, as the Republic-specific link redirects to the overall island article. Presumably the same applies to articles on all-Ireland bodies. Is there any area where such links are leading somewhere they shouldn't? CMD (talk) 17:17, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - basically per SnowFire, along with the fact that the four CCs are simply not sovereign states, and they shouldn't be presented as such, even parenthetically, since the parentheses can easily be missed by the casual reader. In the cases where it makes sense to include them, those articles can opt in. Parsecboy (talk) 19:50, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The statement "There's no reason to give UK countries greater prominence than the constituent parts of many other entities in most cases. This is systemic bias favouring the UK countries" doesn't take into account the fact that most sources show the parts of the UK seperately, whereas they don't for the other European countries. If there's a systemic bias here, it's in the sources, and Wikipedia is supposed to reflect what's in the sources without making its own value judgements. - The Bushranger One ping only 23:13, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
@The Bushranger: "The statement (...) doesn't take into account the fact that most sources show the parts of the UK separately" – do you have any proof for this "fact"? And even if you could show that most sources do, that wouldn't be relevant, because quality of sources is way more important than quantity (though I can't find the exact policy right now). Neither WP:COMMONNAME nor WP:OR applies here. SiBr4 (talk) 23:50, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
This is a case of WP:BLUE, as a look at almost any map will show you. Commonname may not be relevant but is an example of the spirit of the thing ("most commonly used"), while WP:OR is completely relevant - saying "the sources use X, but Wikipedia will use Y because Wikipedia" is either that or WP:SYNTH. - The Bushranger One ping only 00:21, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you live in a different world or something, because of the first fifty Google Images search results for "Map of Europe" all but one show the UK rather than its four CCs. The results on the first two pages of a Google Web search for "Countries of Europe" all do (although one result lists three of the CCs alongside the UK with (UK) after their name). I'm not saying a Google search says everything, but it does indicate that most sources and maps do show the UK and not its four CCs. If anything, it's saying that the CCs are equivalent to countries like France and Poland that's OR. SiBr4 (talk) 08:52, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – That section of the template is titled "Sovereign states" and in no way are England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland Sovereign. The UK is a sovereign state formed from the union of four countries that were previously sovereign. While that may or may not be interesting, why is it germane to the list of sovereign states of Europe? While "country" is a somewhat nebulous term and though the word is commonly used to refer to sovereign states, sometimes it's used to refer to other political entities. The constituent countries of the UK are countries in a "political entities" sense, but it's very clear they are not sovereign states, so why give them exceptional treatment (by default) in that section? Under the proposed change, if there's a special situation where it makes sense to use the template that way, it's certainly still an option, just not the default. Mojoworker (talk) 20:01, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – I agree with others. The UK shouldn't get the special treatment. United States Man (talk) 15:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support – agree with others. follow precident. BoogaLouie (talk) 13:59, 3 April 2014 (UTC)


I believe that there is consensus in favour of change here. Can we accept this, or do we need to start looking at formal closure? Kahastok talk 10:12, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

I'd agree that there's enough support to non-formally close it, though I'm not experienced enough with RfCs to be sure. Also, the default 30 days are over tomorrow. SiBr4 (talk) 11:22, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
@Kahastok: I'll assume I can close it myself now, if no-one minds. SiBr4 (talk) 06:45, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Yesterday and today I've made the proposed change and updated articles on "split" sports to explicitly include the UK's constituent countries. If anyone thinks any other article should really show them, they can use the parameter |UK_only=no, or ask me to add it using AWB if it's a lot of articles. I didn't change the religion articles yet since I don't know which exact religions need the parameter. SiBr4 (talk) 17:46, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

User:SiBr4 can you edit the individual links as well, so that they can be edited to show one of the countries even if UK_only isn't activated? CMD (talk) 21:03, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I'll try to find a way to do that. SiBr4 (talk) 21:05, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done and documented. Should work now. SiBr4 (talk) 21:59, 5 April 2014 (UTC)


is included because ... ?!? Knisfo (talk) 09:28, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

...it has a special status because of the Svalbard Treaty even though it's fully part of Norway? I don't know, but it was already included in the very first version of this template from December 2005. SiBr4 (talk) 10:02, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

List of Welsh artists[edit]

Could someone fix the loss of Scotland/Wales/NIR on the List of Welsh artists article template. I've tried all permutations unsuccessfully. Sionk (talk) 11:26, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Since the article uses the specialized template {{European artists}}, a pass-through parameter |UK_only={{{UK_only|}}} must be added to that template to make UK_only work on the List of Welsh artists article. SiBr4 (talk) 12:31, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Like this. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:10, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Nagorno-Karabakh / Nagorno-Karabakh Republic[edit]

The template {{Europe topic}} links to Nagorno-Karabakh, but the template {{Asia topic}} links to Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Due to the existence of separate articles for Nagorno-Karabakh and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and due just Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is state with limited recognition, I think that the solution in {{Asia topic}} is more correct. Anyway, both templates should refer to the same article. It is now in the references unnecessary confusion. Thanks. Jan CZ (talk) 20:49, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree with you and had it changed. Please tell me if I did it properly as I'm not very familiar with this kind of template and I'm not sure if I ruined anything with my edit. --Nadia (Kutsuit) (talk) 21:00, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Looks fine. I put a "the" in so it would hit article titles that have correct grammar. CMD (talk) 21:22, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

List of universities in Northern Ireland[edit]

Could someone add this? Gbawden (talk) 14:17, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. There was no need to add it here, but I've enabled all the UK's constituent contries at the wrapper template {{List of universities in Europe}}. You can do that with all these Europe topic templates by adding |UK_only=no as a template parameter in the article where the template is called. De728631 (talk) 17:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Caucasus states opt-in[edit]

While I don't oppose disabling states with tiny or no parts in Europe by default, this edit by Dbachmann is a fairly radical one I disagree with for several reasons:

  • It was done inconsistently. Azerbaijan and Abkhazia were left opt-out while the others (Georgia, Armenia, NKR, South Ossetia) were made opt-in. If the criterion is that only states entirely in Asia are omitted by default, Georgia should be changed back since it's also partly in Europe.
  • No change to the documentation page was made to explain that/how the changed entries can be activated.
  • To more easily add the Caucasian states, I think there should be an option (maybe |Caucasus=yes) to activate them all at once – |AM=yes|GE=yes|NKR=yes|SO=yes is kind of cumbersome.

SiBr4 (talk) 11:55, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree with all of this. But I'd add that Abkhazia is entirely on the Asian side of the Caucasian watershed (so, if that's the split, it should go opt-in). I'd also question Kazakhstan, whose European territory is relatively small and thinly-populated: I might be inclined to make it opt-in (but I won't push it).
There is a question of these options being used for POV purposes, which we should discourage if possible.
Finally, note that Cyprus is - geographically-speaking - fairly unambiguously in Asia, but it's so commonly treated as European that it should probably be included be default. Kahastok talk 13:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the above concerns, either consistently apply the same argument to Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, SO, NK, NC and Abkhazia or don't at all.-- Ευπάτωρ Talk!! 04:45, 14 September 2014 (UTC)