Talk:European Union/Archive 14

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Structure in light of recent edits

Hi all, through the recent edits the structure of the articles is getting a bit wobly. Why would Military and Foreign policy be almost at opposite ends; etc. I would like to propose the following structure

  • Introduction

1 History

2 Geography

  • Member states

3 Internal politics

  • Institutions and bodies
  • European Community
  • Treaties and law (basically about internal treaty and law)

4 International cooperation

  • Police and Judicial Co-operation
  • Common Foreign Policy
  • Military

5 Economy

  • Infrastructure

6 Demographics

7 Culture

  • Sports

8 Education and Research (I would like to keep these together as the program is mainly aimed at University level where research is a fundamental element of the professors workload and influences education - at least that is the idea ;-)

  • Science

This will require a bit of work most sections can be shifted, but a read through will be needed afterwards to ensure the overall storyline makes sense. Can you tell me what you think of this? Arnoutf 08:24, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about complete reorganization but IMHO a defined way to structure the article would have been to structure it in the same way that the commission is structured i.e. after each DG. This way since every sector that the EU influences comes under the competence of a specific commission DG so we have immediate classification of any information by which DG it falls under. This may not be the most logical, (we are talking commission here :-) but at least it is well defined, documented and easily verified. It would also show us any areas where the article is lacking simply by looking at commission activities such agriculture, fishing and transport. Just my 2 €cents worth.Triwbe 08:47, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
We once agreed (some while ago), that for readers convenience we would use the Wiki country articles structure as template. My suggestion would not imply a major overhaul, only shifting some of the sections, and then make sure that any references forward-backward in the text are ok. While I appreciate your idea, the structure from the commission may not include essential parts such as Geography and History. I think readability should go first, after all we are writing for the interested laypeople, not experts. Arnoutf 08:55, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Also the Commission is organisied for too many members, areas are split where they shouldn't be. Plus, portfolios such as JFS cross the Community-PJC boundry. Furthermore, some portfolios are weak with little info comapred to others (just look at the sizes of the portfolio pages). But I think the idea is a starting point, following country guidelines (which places military at the bottom far away from foreign policy) is a bit of a folly considering the nature of the European Union. We should also, while we're reoganising, look at what needs to be included on the main page and what doesn't - rather than having sections because they are in the country template then struggling to fill them.
As for your proposal, it's good but I'm not happy with some bits, politics needs splitting yes but I don't think those segments split well. This might also be a good time to think of a structure that would also apply after the pillar structure is abolished. - J Logan t: 09:02, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Politics is my least favourite in my own structure, if you have a better idea; welcome. Arnoutf 09:07, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Okay, just for thought here are some areas we might consider - based on the Commission. These are not exact proposals mind you, these are areas we should mention - in prose or in own sub-section.

  • Institutions
  • Elections
  • Integration and Enlargement
  • Treaties and law

Justice, Freedom and Security

  • Police and Judicial Co-operation (Europol / Eurojust)
  • Borders, Immigration, Frontex, Schengen
  • Fundamental Rights


  • Internal Market
  • Euro
  • Four Freedoms
  • Competition
  • Consumer Protection
  • Infrastructure
  • Agriculture (EU budget?)
  • Regional Development

Foreign relations

  • Foreign Policy
  • Security Policy
    • Military
  • Humanitarian Aid

If we pick out of here, then form the bulk of the structure on that (a lot of extra writing to do in this case) then we should have the most important elements within the text. - J Logan t: 09:15, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

This would require some more work, but may prove a stable structure for some time to come; Good idea.
Of course the level of detail maybe too high. Nevertheless, we can start writing it in your proposed structure. Once it develops we may not need to assign a sub header to each and any one of the subjects (e.g. I can imagine that once we start writing the internal market/Euro/4freedoms/Competition/cons protection sections may be 5 paragraphs in a single 'internal trade' (or whatever) section). (Waiting for more comments before engaging in this task though). Arnoutf 09:25, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think we need a decent consensus before we change the structure radicaly, I'll put a note up on the project talk page. When writing, if people check the portfolio pages - should be some basic information there, hopefully cited. - J Logan t: 09:31, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I find this layout more familliar. The EU is neither a country nor a federation, it is a political and economic union and this layout is a lot closer to how it actually functions, from a political PoV. I agree.Triwbe 09:36, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Of course the EU is not a country, but it has some properties like it or at least that of a federation. I guess JLogan means to start off with History/Geography and then his four proposed sections to end with demographics and culture/ science and education. This addirtional information which is not included in the official EU structures is IMHO very important for the interested reader. Arnoutf 10:03, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I did mean that, as I said they were ideas on sections rather than an entire layout. We still include geography etc. However thinking about it we could cut down some sections such as science - I don't know how interesting the reader would find the 7th framework programme, or how important it is to the EU. - J Logan t: 10:09, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the country template has proved of value for a rough orientation. It makes it easy for the reader to approach the issue EU. I understand the desire to split the politics section or to prepare for future developments. But please keep in mind that politics is what is most associated with EU and can be emphasized in a big section with many subsections. For the time being the three pillars should be presented together. The JLogan proposal is reasonable in terms of content, but to detailed in terms of sections and subsections organization for the main article. Lear 21 10:13, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

My first suggestion above, was exactly to reduce the number of level 1 headers (e.g. military - science, etc.); to make the structure easier; so I think we agree.
Could you agree with my remark, that we use his (JLogans) structure as writing guideline, rather than as final structure (i.e. his subheaders may end up as paragraph summaries (without heading) within slightly larger sections).
On a lighter note, FP7 is of course very important as it will provide a significant part of my salary over the next few years ;-) But no kidding, we could come down on that a bit Arnoutf 10:22, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Haha, oh well if you put it that way! Well we don't have to remove content at least, just don't consider it a huge priority for expanding etc.
I have to say, having a politics section heavy with subsections isn't at all easy to navigate to me. And I would just like to clarify, those were not exactly proposed sub-sections - they were content for the sections. They would only be sub-sections if there was a lot of infomation to them. Things like four freedoms for example would be way to small for a subjection, that would be in the main prose or combined with another section. In some cases there could be no sub-sections. For example, an outline for Justice, Freedom and Security - J Logan t: 10:46, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh and on another point, I think we should switch geography and members around. The states I think are a more important topic for the EU (unlike with countries) than the geography hence ought to be first. - J Logan t: 15:22, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

(S break one)

Okay, small changes in the plan I put up. Looking through I have clarfied a few points and also connected it to existing text. I reckon it could be pasted together with min amount of major writing (except in certain areas where I put "new") and a copyedit could be combined with changes. Again these are not solid subsections, just things to include which would become subsections if big enough. Here is a new outline;


  • Politics
    • Institutions (from Institutions and bodies, I propose we cut down to institutions. ECB moved to economy, others given an "others" sentence - advisory bodies have very little importance)
    • Enlargement and intergration (based on 2nd para of Politics)
    • Democracy (EP info, Election info plus 4th para of Community)
    • Pillar system (drawn information from EC/PJC etc.)
    • Reform (based on 3rd para of Politics)
    • Treaties and law (from same)
  • Economy
    • Internal Market + Four Freedoms (based on Economy info plus 2nd para of Community)
      • Euro & ECB (euro info as is, possible small expansion, plus ECB information)
    • Agriculture and EU budget information (based on 4th para of Politics)
    • Regional development (based on 3rd para of Community)
    • Consumer Protection / Competition (new)
    • Infrastructure (as is)


How does that look? - J Logan t: 19:44, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

General support: Whatever about the actual structure chosen, dumping the country layout makes sense. The layout should be the one best suited to the EU not just one used for countries. Caveat lector 17:08, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, any thoughts on proposed ideas though?
One thought, perhaps it would be best to split the politics section (as above) into a section relating to the structures (centred on institions - including treaties, law, and the pillar system) and a section on current/ongoing issues (intergration, enlargement, reform treaty, democracy...)? I think that might be an appropriate and equal split of topics with a clear scope. - J Logan t: 17:48, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I figured I have a sleep on what I thought the structure should be. You're completely right about the politics section. We should be very careful to distinguish the policies of the Union from the politics of the Union. As far as structure goes, I' propose the following rather rough draft:
  • Lead
  • History (the old history and member states sections, which was essentially about enlargement)
  • Politics (deals with current themes, controversy etc)
  • Governance and law (the old institutions section)
    • The Council
    • The Commission
    • The European Parliament
    • The Court of Justice
    • the Legal System (the old treaties and law section)
    • the supra-national pillar: the European Community
    • the intergovernmental pillars (new short para about the structures involved)
  • Policies
    • The four freedoms
      • The schengen area
    • the European Single Currency: the Euro
    • Common Foreign and Security policy (includes the old military section)
    • Agriculture and Fisheries
    • Trade policy (common commercial policy)
    • energy policy (part 1 of the old infrastructure section)
    • transport policy (part 2 of the old infrastructure section)
    • Police and Judicial Co-operation
    • Other policies
      • Culture
      • Sports
      • Social policy
      • Education
      • Science
  • Member states (parts of the demographics and geography sections
    • languages
    • the Union's outlying regions (eg the French overseas departments)
  • Economy
  • Religion (actually I'm not sure about relevance but then again)

Individual short paragraphs should also be added about each institution. Caveat lector 11:57, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I've put a rough draft of my proposed structure in my user space User:Caveat lector/European Union. It includes a bit taken from JLogan sandbox. Caveat lector 12:35, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

(S break two)

Expansion of content dealing with several policies in Politics are welcome. The main structure - drawing orientation and headings from the country template has to be maintained. Keep in mind that the EU does not consist of the policies deriving from Brussels alone. The same emphasize needs to put weight on the combined entirety of 27 countries and their societies without being influenced by directives. Nobody could present UK, US, Ireland only in the light of currently elected governments. Lear 21 13:22, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Lear21, please considere using other wordings to say what you mean (compared to "template has to be maintained"). The way you phrase it you assign yourself to be ultimate dictator, leader, and police force on the structure of this article. Please consider that other editors have valuable ideas and opinions and that many are willing to listen to reason, and adjust their opinion if a better argued case is put before them. In this case, there is no law in Wiki, so there are no strict "has to-s". This attitude will only work against consensus how to build the article. If you would have phrased the same message as "The main structure - drawing orientation and headings would benefit greatly by using the country template for consistency and readability." you would have made the same argument bit without the chance of offending anyone. (By the way, I agree with my own phrasing, that we could benefit from the country template). Arnoutf 14:43, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it is more than his wording. But anyhoo, yes we should take inspiration etc. from it, all the formats proposed follow it in some form - with adaptions to take into account the EU. By formally dropping it, while taking ideas, should help us develop it along the EU's own lines.


On CL's format; I think we should at least keep economic information under one roof, in that case I don't think we should split policy off. On the member states section, it is interesting thought that we could include languages - makes me think that maybe if an issue is just talking about what the member states have - we could put it under that heading. I was just thinking of taking about the member states one by one - official languages, entry date etc. however I think that is best under European Union member state? I do think member states should be at the top though, as people connect more with the member states it might help to start off saying what countries are members.
On the institutions section, that I think is on the right lines. I was tempted to propose it be called "Government" or "Government and law" but to some people government is not an EU word and hence might spark editwar/vandalism. Politics also on the right line, having topical issues. Policies I am not so sure about, I fear it could get messy and dull to be honest. Plus I can't think that policy has much in the way of information, sources or is even that interesting. Especily the "other policies". You need to know where your going I think, hence why economic policies should be under Economy. In addition, areas like culture for example do not totaly address policy so we would have to cut it down quite a bit (for the better?).
Some good ideas we can take on board though. One thing I would like to say though is we shouldn't have a "European Community" section - that is the majority of the EU and the majority of the article. The other pillars should be mentioned and contrasted to the Community of course, but a section seems a bit out of place to me. Much of the info can just be moved to Economy as regional development etc. - J Logan t: 15:16, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
for note, I have updated my outline for the whole article: User:JLogan/JFS. I have not included any major new points in it yet though, waiting for responce on that as I'm still thinking on it. - J Logan t: 18:00, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The problem with following the country template is that it emphasises unimportant parts of the union (cultural and sports policy) at the expense of more significant areas (Agriculture may not be sexy, but it accounts for most of the EU's budget). I put "other policies" as a heading to put stuff already in the article which I think should have less emphasis. On the point of the policies heading, maybe it would be better to delete that heading and move up the policies, resulting in a structure with a themed structure. I'll adjust my sandbox shortly. Caveat lector 13:40, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree on the sport and culture. I just cut out cunks of culture from my template. But some country-like waffel isn't too bad, and people like LEar do have a point in that the EU is more than policy. However it is hard to talk about it as outside the EU, intergration is more pan-European rather than pan-EU. The only thing we could pick up on is a EU political culture due to common government, but I've seen nothing on that so far.
I think with your outline currently: there are too many headings under governance and geography - could be intergrated more? - and the order seems a bit odd. I don't think, for example, that other policies should be above economy. And as I said above the member states would be best coming first I reckon (after history).
Finally, I'm having second thoughts on the use of the word "policy". It seems perfect for the EU but then again not everything the EU does is policy. Looking at culture for instance. I reckon invoking culture is something we should mention - yet that is not policy, it is more an act. I think if we have an over arching "other", we should actualy take a leaf out of the country guide line and just go for "Miscellaneous topics". That way we have a free hand on what to include in there. I've made a few more changes to my template. I reckon the outline I have for politics/gov't/FR area is working well now. - J Logan t: 17:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I am not so happy with Caveats structure where basically everything of importance falls in the policies sections. While it may follow internal EU structure it does not help in reading (for example why are the sections Economy, Trade, and Euro so far apart - in my lay vision these are intimately connected). Why is law, and judicial co-operation apart. This way the structure either asks for much redundancy, or a lot of (see section X) pointers. Both IMHO a clear indication of a very weak structure. So no, I do not think this is an improvement. Perhaps remodel after the three pillars (for now) would help, if we do it good, the lay-reader would not even know the pillar structure is used. It would look something like:

  • Lead/Introduction
  • History (background on history)
  • Member states (background of the make-up of the union) - I think this should be high up, as very important in the light of EU
    • Languages
    • Geography (in relation tothe Union's outlying regions eg the French overseas departments)
    • Enlargment (this is very important and should be covered somewhere)
    • Critisism (- on enlargement, but also on transfer of sovereingty - this would fit with the Turkey case, but can also be later)
  • Governance (background on how the Union is governed)
    • The Council
    • The Commission
    • The European Parliament
  • Economy (first pillar a)
    • the European Single Currency: the Euro
    • Agriculture and Fisheries
    • Trade policy (common commercial policy)
    • energy policy (part 1 of the old infrastructure section)
    • transport policy (part 2 of the old infrastructure section)
  • Social and environmental policies (first pillar B)
    • The four freedoms inlcuding The schengen area
    • Social policy
    • Culture (incl sports)
    • Education and Science
  • Common Foreign and Security policy (includes the old military section) - this is necessarily connected to politics (2nd pillar)
  • Law (the Legal System (law section) / The Court of Justice (can be merged into one super section) / Police and Judicial Co-operation (again this cannot be in a separate section from law) = 3rd pillar

Let me know what you think Arnoutf 18:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I think agriculture is a main theme of any proposal here, but I don't have the knowedge or sources to write about it. Anyone willing to write us a section?
Your title Social and environmental policies I think is great for that but I'm worried it will tie our hands. On having to write on policies only, and those categories. If we have misc, then that allows for easy expansion on a new issue without doing the full works (I hope same for inside the politics section I have also). Four freedoms and Schengen I think could also be something under economy (I think I put Schengen under JFS) Furthermore, you realise Lear will split the Sports section off from culture again.
With memberstates, I'm not sure if criticism belongs there, it is a political theme rather than something to put along side states and geography. Perhaps integrated into a a section on integration and/or enlargement? However, non political issues on enlargement (the workings and history) would be separate and under member states.
CFSP and law should be higher up I think. CoJ is something that ought to be combined with law though as I have tried to do on my outline. Not sure on your point of keeping PJC with law, can you elaborate?
On governance, do you see council, commission and parliament as defined subsections? If so, don't you think we need more data on it? - J Logan t: 12:40, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Agriculture, neither have I, but it is important and should be in
Social and environmental, ok I took pillar 1 (economics, social, environment) first as a whole, but as we have so much economy I rather split it in two. Culture with a subsections sports would be fine (did not want to put in all subsections for the overview)
About critisism section, I agree, I 'm not sure where it should go
Mmm PJC and Law, perhaps not one section, but of course Police and Law should be connected. But I am not sure how this will work out
Governance, I am not sure how to shape this. It should hold something about all three. For example for the parliament something about it being the only democratically chosen thing, and how it goes... Arnoutf 14:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

(S break three)

I'm loosing track of these in this long list, so I added a few breaks. Also, here is a summery of my template to save looking for all the changes;

  1. Member states after history, geography as sub-section
  2. Politics for political issues, inc. enlargment (politics of), intergration, reform (treaty and other), budget negotations
  3. Governance, political inst in prose. Law as subsection combined with courts.
  4. PJC becomes JFS. (Inc. non 2nd pillar topics of simmilar nature (JFS) - Schengen, Frontex and Fundamental Rights)
  5. Foreign relations (inc. Aid and ESDP-Military)
  6. Economy, all economic info from Euro and single market. Subsec: CAP, Development, Energy, Infastructre
  7. Demo, as is. Would be happy to chuck religion and move other info elsewhere, poss under next;
  8. Misc Topics, - cut down version of Culture, Sports, cut down edu&sci, +anything else abandoned.

If you explicitly agree with any above points, please say to help with the following. Comparing, I'd draw the following agreements thus far, correct me if I'm wrong.

  1. We dump the country template (but do not agree on to what extent)
  2. We split governace from politics (but not the inclusion of the ECJ)
  3. We also split CFSP (but not name or position) (is the outline I drew up okay for FP? CL used it, haven't seen diff from A)
  4. We have some kind of overarching "other" (but not its name or its contence)
  5. We include Agriculture (no details)
  6. We split energy from transport/infastructure (but not if they are subs or not)

Any else? - J Logan t: 13:13, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds a bit complex, but basically I agree. I want to make a note for the rest of this discussion.
There are basically two things we can do now.
1) Patch up the old structure by shifting some sections, and stay close to the country template. Pro: Little work, Easy to maintain; Important con: Does not allow for the EU specifics easily and will hence get a bit of a patchwork
2) Radically overthrow the structure, following ideas above. Pro: This will allow much better reflection of EU things, Con: This will ask for a lot of work. Maintaining the structure when other information is added may be less easy (compared with the tested and proven country template).
I would support both options (but will not be able to invest a huge amount of time (needed when option 2 is chosen)).
I would say all involved editors think about this fundamental choice we are making here. Arnoutf 14:37, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Its not so black and white. All the changes I've proposed, aside from writing about Agriculture, I've already put up on User:JLogan/JFS (of course needs a look through). By having a misc section new data without a place can be included under there. I think we actualy get more lost trying to follow the country template where the EU doesn't apply. - J Logan t: 15:06, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
You are right. I think in your version the social/environmental elements are still missing though, which are an important part of pillar 1. I would rather move Culture and Eduction into Social than place it in a Misc. category; as that is pretty close to "trivia" IMHO Arnoutf 15:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, made a slight change to my template, is that what you mean? If not, feel free to edit it as I'm not sure. I also do not quite know what you mean by the social and environmental info from pillar 1. What data are you talking about in particular there? - J Logan t: 15:37, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
The 4 freedoms/Schengen is a social thing - Ah I see you put it with the Judicial system; and very importantly environmental things are under the competence of the parliament. For example past toxic waste dumping in the rivers has been halted by EU regulation; also in Kyoto like meetings EU is becoming important. I have little references here, but I think something about this should be in.
For your adjustment/misc topics. For me, it feels as if a (much shortened) demographics/languages section would fit well with the member states part. Religion would disappear.
Also justic freedom and security sounds out of place between a (unconnected) "judiciary and law" and a "security and defense" section, so perhaps merge that a bit
That leaves culture and education; juggling your contents sections a bit (sorry for yet another list) gives this Arnoutf 15:58, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
   * 1 History
   * 2 Member states
         o 2.1 Geography
         o 2.2 Demographics
               + 2.1.1 Languages
   * 3 Politics
         o 3.1 Intergration and enlargement
         o 3.2 Reform
         o 3.3 Budget
         o 3.4 Critisism (I think fits very well here, as most is about "enlargement", "power of Brussels" and "money"
   * 4 Governance
         o 4.1 Judiciary and law
   * 5 Internal and international relations
         o 5.1 Justice, freedom and security
         o 5.2 International humanitarian aid
         o 5.3 Global security and defence
   * 6 Economy
         o 6.1 Regional development
         o 6.2 Infrastructure
         o 6.3 Energy
         o 6.4 Agriculture
   * 7 Society and environment
         o 7.1 Culture
               + 7.1.1 Sports
         o 7.2 Education and research
         o 7.3 Environmental issues
   * 8 See also
   * 9 References
   * 10 Further reading
   * 11 External links

Okay, I've put in place the general changes, but left blank the areas that need writing. I've changed a few headings, they look okay? I haven't put in critisism yet though. I feel this is something that shouldn't be bricked up in a section. If were criticising intergration for example, it should be in responce to a section on that topic. Same for enlargement. So we are taking the criticism of actual issues rather than just bundling it together with a big target for POV on it. If we are criticising things not in the article, then is it in the right place? Unless of course we do a section on "Euroscepticism" as a whole, about people and movements but I am not sure if we should have that in the main article. Thoughts?

But yes, that layout seems to work. We just need to fill in the gaps. And I think the freedoms/schengen are under economy or JFS rather than judicary, don't remeber putting it there. I'll check. On and on environment - oil spills. We have a minor mention in law about movement into criminal law, that started from proposing "eco-crimes" (see EU law page, criminal law) which might be a good starting point perhaps. - J Logan t: 16:28, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Small update: Written environment section. Move Gov't above politics, I think it is best to explain what the Commission etc. is before taking about reform etc. That okay? - J Logan t: 15:27, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Environment section looks like a good start. Shifting the order as you suggested sounds very useful. Arnoutf 16:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

This version looks very good, but I suggest that there's an important gap around Social/Employment policy; and there should be a reference to Lisbon (which I may have missed). I also feel that Trade could do with a bit more. A good re-read will be useful too.Raggio 13:56, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree, but please keep in mind that it is still developing, as the original article had no Social/Enviroment section at all. Arnoutf 15:28, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Well we are talking about structure right now, so if - after a few more comments - we put that up. All the areas that need to be written I will add to a rewrite of the todo list so please everyone continue with suggestions on that front. Once the new structure is up, we can start adding new sections and information while the established areas undercopy a copyedit. Sound like a plan?
We should be near a consensus soon, I have tried to advertise this debate enough so interested parties ought to have seen it. - J Logan t: 17:36, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I explicity agree with the layout and content of the 'Intergovernmenal cooperation' section on the /JFS. With regards to the Economy section, the bit on agriculture I feel should note: its large proportion of the EU budget, a summary of objectives and workings, an mention of drawbacks/criticism, and perhaps the UK position (rebate/Single payment scheme). Other than that, I generally agree with the restructuring and the move away from country article guides, but can't comment much else on the content as I'm not much of an expert on the EU as a whole. Rossenglish 22:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I would like to note that agriculture is partly covered under the EU budget section of Politics - as a political theme. What do people think about having two sections on it - i.e. the political side and the technical side - or just having one under Economy. In the mean time, I think it looks like everyone is okay with it - if not we can always adapt once its up. For the record, I did invite Lear to comment again but have not hear back yet. - J Logan t: 06:44, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
New structure is now in place, bar areas not yet written - J Logan t: 07:14, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

GDP figures

Can someone give the original source for the GDP figures in the Infobox (nominal and PPP, absolute and per capita) and quote here the exact figures given? The original source doesn't seem to be specified here. The figures are described as IMF estimates for 2007, but the IMF 2007 estimates that I could find were apparently different from the values currently in the infobox. --Boson 17:08, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

The values come from the wikipedia articles that the citations next to them in the infobox link to.

As an aside, what do others think of the practise of giving the EU rankings based on removing all of the memberstates that rank above it from the listings? This seems like a dubious practise to me that inflates the EU's aggragate performance - even though Luxembourg, for instance, is a member of the EU, it is still currently both a sovereign country and richer per capita than the EU. BriKaBraK 18:21, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Em, I think it is obvious. The GDP of the EU is the combination of its members. You can't list them side by side as it is essentially the same GDP. Were the EU to be considered a single entity, it is assumed its component entities would not be considered separate. Hence if the EU is listed, its components can not be. It is the same GDP on the list, just a different way of organising it. The German GDP cannot compete for ranks with the EU GDP as the German GDP is part of the EU GDP. You would have to remove the German component for make a comparison. Hence, it is perfectly logical.
If it's perfectly logical then why doesn't the IMF list do it? As the EU is not (yet, if ever) a country that has absorbed all its constituents, it cannot be treated as if it is. The constituents are still seperate political entities to the EU with different statistics. It doesn't make much sense to magic them away. BriKaBraK 15:53, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
You point on the actual GDPs was valid though, different figures were shown. That was however due to different sources being used, the reference for those GDPs is not given at the bottom of the infobox - they do however exclude the per capita figures as I have not yet been able to track down the source of them. 19:07, 12 August 2007 (UTC) (sorry, forgot to log in. - J Logan t: 19:07, 12 August 2007 (UTC))
I very much doubt the old figures ever had any validity. The EU obviously doesn't have a GDP in the $40,000s, as that would imply that, despite much of the population living in Eastern Bloc countries, the average EU citizen is richer than even a US citizen. Even Britain, Germany and France don't have such high per capita GDPs. BriKaBraK 15:53, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The per capita figures currently given for GDP PPP and GDP nominal (28213 and 29476) are taken from the aricles on per capita GDP), where (for the EU) they are calculated as total GDP for 2005 (or 2006?) divided by the population. This means that currently the total GDP is specified (according to the note in the infobox) as an estimate for 2007, but the per capita figure is for an earlier year) - presumably based on a different GDP, a different population and different member countries), i.e. the figures are not consistent and (in combination with the note) are incorrect. I suggest we change the per capita amounts to the 2007 figures, viz. 20,385 and 32,078 respectively. Or have I missed something?--Boson 19:27, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
What is the source of the 2007 figures? That is why they have not yet been updated, the IMF source only listed nominal. (i.e. a source which gives it exactly, or a definate source of population with shown calculations in a ref. I have been looking for the first keept dispute to min.) - J Logan t: 19:47, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I had calculated the per capita figures from the total figures divided by the population (in the infobox). Both claimed to be estimates for 2007. Since this is the formula described for the 2006 figures now used for per capita, I thought that would be an improvement. I now see that there is apparently no valid source for the population figure.The superscript reference gives the Wikipedia article as the source, but that article currently contains a different figure (which claims to be for 2006); so that might not be such a good idea.
The data in the infobox are now a total mess:
  • Apparently there is no reliable source for the population (and it may not even be a 2007 figure as claimed).
  • The GDP figures claim to be 2007 estimates, but the per capita figures are actually for 2006.
  • The 2007 (est.) figure for population is not yet available - apparently because Eurostat are still waiting for Luxembourg and Belgium.
  • The figures are inconsistent. If anyone divides the GDP by the population they get a different result from the one given, although other articles clearly state that the per capita figures are calculated from the other two figures.
So something needs to be changed. We could give 2006 figures for everything and provide footnotes giving more recent figures where available. At the very least we need a note in the infobox explaining that the per capita figures are for 2006.--Boson 19:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I am not completely sure about your procedure. Did you add up the 27 GDP's over the countries and divided by the total number of people, to arrive at nominal. In this case, how do you deal with babies and elderly? Or did you average the 27 nominal GDP's (in which case Luxembourgh would have unduly high impact?). Not an easy issue, and I am afraid such calculations are getting pretty close to original research, know no alternative though Arnoutf 19:54, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
For the per-capita suggestions I took the totals (for PPP and nominal) already given in the infobox (they come from the IMF source named in footnote 1; IMF gives totals for EU, so no adding up necessary) and divided by the total population given in the infobox. Currently the per capita figures in the infobox are taken from the GDP articles , which use the same procedure -- as explained in a footnote to the tables there -- except that they are for 2006). However. I would now tend to retract this suggestion becaus I can't find a reliable source for the 2007 (est.) population. The current problems are IMO that the infobox contains a mixture of different years and/or incorrect notes on the years and that the population figure appears to be unverified.--Boson 20:23, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, I agree the procedure seems a bit wobly. Is it possible that your totals from 2007 include Romania and Bulgaria while your inhabitant numbers did not yet (this may account for the high GDP no's as you take the GDP of 27 countries and divide by inhabitants of only 25, leaving out two big ones). Arnoutf 21:29, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I have found a source for EU27 population as at 2007-01-01 here:,1136184,0_45572595&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL It is under: Tab: Data

  • Population
    • Demography
      • Demography - National data
        • Main Demographic Indicators
          • First demographic estimates

Last update is 2007-02-13. EU27 population as at 2007-01-01: 494674.8 ('000). So, with a GDP (PPP) of 14,518 billion and GDP (nominal) of 15,849 billion, that gives per capita GDP of 29,349 and 32,039 respectively. --Boson 20:46, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

That sounds much more reasonable compared to the 40,000 about in earlier estimates. Arnoutf 22:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Fantastic. Also, just found this on the ECB website [1] - has info on EU/Eurozone/US/Japan - Population, GDP PPP, GCP percapita PPP and exports. - J Logan t: 19:40, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Listing all member states in the infobox

In January I modified the code of what then was the Country/terretory infobox template, and made it into a new template called Infobox European Union. I had enlarged the centralised EU flag in the infobox (the presidency logo wasn't there), turned "Government" into "presidencies", (later) turned "Capital" into "Commission seat" and implemented space for the collapsible list of member states simply because the previous wikitable-infobox had one.

Later, somebody had modified Country/terretory infobox so that the Infobox European Union template became redundant, allowing equivalent modification in the new "Infobox Country" (now allso for "Geopolitical organizations"). Suddenly, the UN article used "Infobox Country" instead of "Infobox organization" - with Membership | 192 member states.

The 50 states of the USA isn't listed in the USA article, and the UK (a union) doesn't mention England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland in its infobox.

I believe listing all "members" in infoboxes has become a very redundant habit/standard. In articles about organisations, all "members" are often mentioned anyway.

Anyhow, I believe the EU (a semi-country. Not a standard 'organisation') shouldn't need to list all members in its infobox. We've allready got a complete list in the enlargement section. - S. Solberg J. 15:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Ooo interesting point. It seems right to include it, and we don't have to do what others are doing. Also it is a good ref point. Then again it is getting a long list, there is detail elsewhere, this is more about the EU than members.... I don't know. I'm torn. I'm going to wait for other peoples arguments on this before making up my mind. - J Logan t: 16:07, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I like the collapsible info box with member states - it provides the information on demand, but doesn't require significant extra space. Not a strong opinion, mind you - just my 2 cents. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 16:19, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Same for me, I have no strong opinion about this (yet) and can see both sides (if the collapsible option is used), so I'll wait how it develops. Arnoutf 16:21, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Though question SSJ, is the member states the only difference between this and the country infobox? Will its removal allow use to use the country base without any other changes? - J Logan t: 14:17, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd prefer to list them, though I'm fine with a collapsible list. —Nightstallion 13:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

City images

Image of Barcelona was changed to Athens. Do we have an agreement on which images ought to be used or did the current selection organically evolve? Just wondering as you can't really develop a top 6 from those three lists. The table it self looks slightly odd to me there. Might I suggest we have the table information aligned into the text and images of just the two largest; London and Paris? Or better still, cut the detailed information out just too the demographics page? There is a lot of info there on cities and in the structure discussion above it is one of the areas suggested for trimming. The whole table thing just seems like the result of a compromise over who has the biggest city than an idea on providing information. - J Logan t: 14:16, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

It was a compromise; with a lot of discussion; Athens definitely should not be placed there according to prior consensus.
The problem is that different countries deal differently with their cities, e.g. Paris has many semi-independent suburbs, as does Athens, that is why these cities, as city proper are relatively small (Paris only about 2.2 m-place 5; Athens much, much smaller) while for example Bucharest (city proper=urban area) is large as a city, but as region is not very important. So yes; it is a compromise too; it would just be impossible to use one measure for all these different ways cities are dealt with.
Personally I would not mind at all if the whole list is deleted except for some reference in the prose above the current table. Arnoutf 14:28, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Well it doesn't seem like a major thing to include in this article. Also in the prose, details on how cities are measured. Seems like odd detail - just clarifying the table or to users who want to add the largest city to the infobox or something. In my template I'm working on I've cut the prose down, but what do people think about the table, any other thoughts? - J Logan t: 15:26, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
It is not about how they are measured, but how they are governed. The Greek government basically split Athens into many smaller cities, each with its own major and council; this results in many smaller governmental entities (and limited power compared to the national govt). The Romanians on the other hand assigned all suburbs to Bucharest resulting into a single city, with one major, one council, creating a city with a lot of (political) influence.
Nevertheless many of the inhabitant of Athenian suburbians will consider themselves and their town part of Athens.
The issue is now: Is Bucharest (1.9 mil + 0 suburbs) or Athens (0.8 mil + 2.2 mil suburbs) the larger city.
I hope this example illustrates how political decisions by individual member states influences these counts, regardless of what is occurring in practice; but it is a complex issue; and I would not mind getting it out of here, as it confuses rather than clarifies. Arnoutf 16:12, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I have cut down the demographic waffle about admin etc to a simple phrase of listing the four largest cities alphabeticaly. They are just the four that appear at the top of the table. Are there any objections to moving the table out to the demographics page? - J Logan t: 10:17, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the table should not be here, it would make the article have more of an overview, rather than a table which shows detailed figures. Rossenglish 10:28, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, no comments so I've removing it, unless someone challenges it. - J Logan t: 19:00, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps replace by an image like this, if we have a fair use one, to show the dense population; rather than a single city. Arnoutf 19:24, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting point, we would have to make a direct ref to it in the text of course, but it being the highest density in the world is certainly a good point to make with an image - more relevant. All I can find this this, which I think is good as it is a comparison to the world. What do you think? - J Logan t: 20:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
It is already mentioned in that section With its large population (7.3% of the world's population) living on just 3% of the land surface, the EU is one of the most densely populated regions of the world., but may need some expansion. The map holds a lot of information, a night time satellite image gives a better 'feeling' of what it means to be that densely populated. Both could work Arnoutf 20:37, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, however I've looked and can't find an image yet. So I'm putting up the map until we do, then maybe we put that image up instead. I think NASA images can be used, we should check their archives, do you know the copyright from ESA? - J Logan t: 11:05, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

What is the source of the 112/km2 population density figure?- J Logan t: 11:14, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

If you use the figures from the infobox, then the population density is 494,070,000 / 4,324,782 = 114 people/km2. Rossenglish 11:36, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I've updated it. However, what is the source of out area figure? The ref just talks about what is included. We can used an sum of Wikipedia's national data as we are can't cite Wikipedia. The figure is also diff. from the CIA figure. Do we go with the CIA, which also gives us a different population figure (is it wise to pick like that?) or shall we find sources for each country and add them up, showing our workings in the footnote so it can be easily updated and checked? - J Logan t: 13:06, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

South American Country?

Why is a little part of South America green in the map of the EU in the world?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:13, 17 August 2007

It is French Guiana. It is not independent, it is an overseas department of France, an intergral part of the country. As an intergral part of France, it is also an intergral part of the EU. Hence it is EU territory. See Special member state territories and the European Union. - J Logan t: 20:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

New structure

The structure much better now, however I'm not sure about the "Intergovernmental cooperation" heading. Both "Justice, freedom and security" and "Foreign relations" have significant supra-national/Community elements, and moreover are significant enough to have sections in their own right.Caveat lector 16:39, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree, I wasn't satisfied with it but I couldn't come up with anything better to be honest. Any better ideas? We need something to cover those elements while being understandable to the average reader. - J Logan t: 18:57, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Unless we just split off JFS as its own section, which is what I was planning before. It would be better for Foreign Relations as the title would be simpler however JFS would be a very shot section, and I don't think it belongs under politics or governance. - J Logan t: 09:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
it is now split as part of my efforts to take into account Lear's changes. Idea still rejected so please contribute new thoughts. Merge into politics for now? - J Logan t: 12:15, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Governance sentence

While reading the Governance section, I found this sentence very hard to fathom:

"The Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice extended the EU's powers, in particular the Community and its Parliament with Justice and Home Affairs saw powers moved away from it towards the Community and being renamed Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters"

I tried to think how to reword it, but I don't quite get its meaning, so I'd like to ask someone who does know to have a look at it. Rossenglish 22:27, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your work, I tend to make a lot of errors when typing this stuff out! I've changed it to this; "The Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice saw a number of changes. The Parliament's power increased with the extension of codecision procedure and powers were transferred from Justice and Home Affairs to the European Community (the former now renamed Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. The Proposed Reform Treaty would abolish the pillar system, although the intergovernmental style in those areas will largely remain." - Is that better? - J Logan t: 06:23, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I can easily get the meaning of that bit now. Don't worry about making loads of errors - the main thing is that the content and layout have been sorted. I make similar mistakes all the time - I find it best just to make changes first, then read through and sort out the mistakes =) I've finished reading through the article myself now - its amazing what new stuff you learn! I probably missed several errors though - you know what its like. Rossenglish 10:48, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm also trying to fathom what Lear is doing at the moment - the amount he edited is very hard to follow. Rossenglish 10:48, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Good lord he is back. Sorry for reverting your stuff but he made too many changes. This goes against the long discussion we have been having which no doubt he has not even read. I hate going through this again, thought we were past it. - J Logan t: 10:59, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh it kept them, never mind. Anyway, I'm trying to put back Lear stuff in a way that fits, don't know why on earth he bothered to put back all the right tags. Its no big problem but it is confusing why it is so important. But anyway, we need to find a better image to put under law. I had Rome as a temp but Lear still wants that in History. If we have Barroso in there we need to mention him but we would just be duplicating info in gov. Any ideas what we can use? Still working on rest... - J Logan t: 11:17, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The new images that have been added really do help with the understanding of each section. I don't know much about EU law, so I don't know what to suggest for the law section.
Apologies for adding more to the plate, but I would like to say though that the Image:Old Trafford 1992 (box).JPG in the sports section is a bit hard to see (with the very light and dark areas). If you agree, may I suggest we use another picture of Old Trafford, perhaps one which shows which stadium it is, something like Image:Old_Trafford_inside_20060726_1.jpg ? If not maybe there is another relevant picture that could be used? Rossenglish 12:33, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Changes - Lear

Okay, quick round up of reverted changes;

  • Religion was cut as it is not important, as was the cities table. These really are not important enough to have on the EU page and are examples of why we are moving away from the country template. In addition, demo was moved under member states as it relates to them, as geography. I'm willing to compromise on that point if others are but the removed areas were removed for a reason.
  • A few images:
    • why did you change the coastline image? The new one shows more coast, beyond just a beach with a rock, and human impact upon it. And if you read my note on that it is not a lake in Austria, read the info for it first.
    • Why did you remove the protest image? Granted we could talk more about the opposition beyond just the liberalisation but I'm sencing a censorship desire here.
    • I agree Rome should be under history but Barroso is not a subsitute as he is not mentioned. To mention him would duplicate material. I'm open to other suggestions though - perhaps if we can find an image of another treaty or something relating to a mentioned court case?

I think I've taken into account all the other changes or put them back as is. - J Logan t: 11:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

a) The section Demographics is a single encyclopedia entry for this type of article. See country or city articles which are comparable. Religion and Largest Cities are equally standard sections not only within engl. Wiki articles (country) but also in several other languages and media. These sections complete a comprehensive understanding on the EU countries as a combined entity. b) The Barroso image should be maintained. There are several sections possible to present this image. Having images without direct written explanation in the section is not a mistake. The common practise in Wiki articles is tolerating such illustration. The completeness of all images makes good article, not the sections one by one. c) The section heading 'Justice, freedom and security' is no standalone section and has to be integrated somewhere. It has to be rephrased as well. d) Critic of the new layout: The three pillar structure is not clearly visible anymore. Lear 21 11:58, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Demo: A table of largest cities and urban areas isn't in so many others. We already have a prose referece which replaced the table mentioning the largest cities. It does not help understanding the EU by stating which is the 7th largest urban area within the EU. The more relevant info, about the number and density of cities, is in the prose which serves the pourpose you have stated. Religion may be standard for countries but the EU isn't a country, there is very little connection or impact between the two so why would we devote text to it. It was removed in favour of expanding into areas such as CAP - far more important. Religion has no real role.
Barroso: Its bad practice to include images that don't illustrate the text, when writing any academic material the images need to have a pourpose. As I said, I'm fine with an image if it is relevant or made relevant. I'm sure we can find something, perhaps if you flicked through AVS - we could do with an interior shot of the court maybe? I know there is an image or Orban swearing his oath at the ECJ - the fair use doesn't cover that us here but we could get a different image, one showing the judges together? Wouldn't that be far better?
JFS section: JFS alone doesn't quite work I agree, but I was trying to take into account your own edits with that. By combining the top you made FP a subsection on police and justice. It also does not fit well with role of the politics section - but we could put it in there pending a better idea maybe? There is a discussion above on this I think.
Structure: the idea is not to show it off really, the pillars aren't so defined as they once were as politics have changed. The EC is dominant over most of the article. PJC has a lot of EC input now from the EC, Frontex for example is a PJC domain but is an EC agency. Splitting them makes no sence. Same for FP, a lot of external realtions such as aid is outside the CFSP, yet why would we split external relations topics up, makes sence to talk about them in prose. I'll also remind you the structure - and move away from the old system - was backed by all members who participated above. - J Logan t: 12:13, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Response a) We have a agreed there is no other such typo of article as we agreed to use the country template only very freely. Furthermore, nobody suggested to remove the demogrpahic information
b) While I would not mind the Barroso picture, I object adding it to a section where it is not discussed. As we want this article to achieve (at least) Good Article status we should not settle for toleration but for really, really good
c) I agree that in its current form that section is not satisfactory.
d) As far as I was involved this has been a conscious decision to make the 3 pillar structure less explicit. It is stil there though with section 5 (justice) addressing the pillar 3 issues, section 6 adressing pillar 2, and sections 7 and 8 covering pillar 1 (which is just too large to capture under a single header). Arnoutf 12:17, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
And he has reverted it all again. Including the things he didn't even discuss. What is witht he "lake-like" thing, does it matter if it looks like a lake, it is a coast! Small point but he could at least justify why he keeps changing it, I have. Same for protest image, relevant to text and he doesn't even justify its removal. Note on new image: Okay if you can provide a ref for the claim so I can put it into the text. - J Logan t: 12:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

EU is not its policies alone

As an highly integrated entity (EU as political body) and also as culturally interconnected territory the EU article has to provide more than the directives from Brussels. This is reflected by the country like section headings and its content like Religion and largest cities. The introduction states that the combined economy is the largest of the world. Where is that generated?, where are the decision centers in terms of politcs and economy. The largest cities answer this question. The new image in Economy as well. Plus: The JLogan Geography image fails to examplify a coastline (this is more than obvious), because there are several landmass features to be seen. It looks rather like a lakeside. Lear 21 12:48, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Switzerland and Norway are equally culturally interconnected, but no EU members. We have to draw the line between EU and Europe. Religion and a lot of culture is in my opinion a Europe not an EU issue
Largest cities is not very relevant, as the differences in history and politics between the countries make up for both urbanisation and how municipalities are constructed to govern city life between the member states differ wildly. Going into that issue overly complicates the matter and is more deserving of its own article.
I agree that the economy section should come back to the combined economy being the largest. Good call.
The largest cities far from answer the issues of political and economical decision as neither Brussels, Strasbourg (the political centers), Frankfurt, (the economical center) nor The Hague (de facto judicial capital) are listed there.
I do not care that much about the image. I tend to agree with Lear21 though, that the image of JLogan is a less stereotypical coast compared to the other one. As we want to depict a stereotypical coastline. But this is IMHO a minor detail compared to all else. Arnoutf 13:00, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your reasoning, I disagree but as you have now given a reason I will not push it. Just an image. But I think we should look around for a better image than current, I don't think it depicts a coast very well given its angle.
Yes, I totally agree it is more than policies, however there is national culture and European culture - not an EU culture. I'd suggest you develop the Culture of Europe article and similar for that. I would love to write about European culture but I can't find anything that says there is a separate culture from Europe and nations, the fact the EU is enlarging buggers that one up. Hence, while we now have an article for it, it is not so major that it should take a section on the main page. We do have a section talking about culture btw, this is just religion and it has little impact on Europe. The cities however are different, as the information you are talking about are mentioned in the prose already. It is too much detail to list so many along with loads of images for them.
How about if we expanded the prose further though? (avoiding the gov't problem A mentioned) We could include a few more names and relate them to things in the city: for example the large stock exchanges? (we can also mention Frankfurt then, as A pointed out) That way we are making best use of the space along the very lines you are talking about. It is not the city, but what is in the city so to speak. If you're okay with that idea, I'll give way on Religion if the others are okay with it also.
On the economy image, as I said, fine if you give me a citation. If I have that then the fact is okay and I can include it into the text. - J Logan t: 13:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

There is hardly a line between what we call European culture and the EU27. The sheer size of all EU countries empodies these values. Only one big European country is not an EU member - Russia. In terms of western standards and ideology only the 3EFTA - states inherit the European/Western culture. Anyway, I´m not advocating an expansion of the Culture section. The Largest Cities exemplify many aspects : The political capitals of the most influential member states, the Economic power houses shaping the progress and innovation, cultural centers and most of all they are demographic examples. The section is a standard feature of all big country articles including a table as well. The EU is home of many global cities which leads to an extended table. Lear 21 13:58, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

A list though doesn't really add much. I take your point of the value of the cities, but I reckon they ought to be put into prose, then we can talk about their importance. The list doesn't really do your idea justice now does it. If we instead just have a small bit of into on each of the global cities, what they hold, why they are important.
On culture, the fact sill remains that the EU is not the whole of Europe, there are loads of states outside the EU, this information should be on the European pages. We link to that from here and talk about the relationship between culture and the EU, we won't add much by talking about religions in the bloc. It was already outlined in the GA review as a spurious area. But if we could deal with the cities details first. - J Logan t: 14:25, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I misread your reasoning wrong Lear, I thought you meant the politically important cities in the EU government, apparently you meant the political powers with an own power base operating within the EU. We could do something in a prose section detailing the relative smallness of the EU political ECB Court of Justice cities compared to the huge capitals of the larger member states. I would prefer to do something like that in prose, rather than in tables though as tables will exclude the small but important EU cities (like Luxembourg) in favor of relatively unimportant (excuse me for those we disagree) but hugely populated cities like Bukarest.
I really think we should not overdress this article with the spurious Europe - EU things. The article is long enough as it is, and like GA review critised this I think we have to have a very good reason to expand the EU to Europe in this way. Arnoutf 14:35, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about going into institutions too much, I fear we will duplicate the capital information above. I think we also need some kind of guidelines to keep the data down. In terms of which cities, only a) those currently in the table, b) current global cities, c) a state capital or d) those hosting an institution. In terms of what data, I'd suggest one sentence with just a key fact or two. For example: London is fast taking over as the world financial capital, hosting large corporations and the London Stock Exchange. [1]. Alternatives would be say Luxembourg and its instituions or wealth, Milan being a fashion/design capital and so on.- J Logan t: 15:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
That would add a lot of context nice idea. Need the refs indeed though. Arnoutf 17:14, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

The EU population already covers around 70% of the continent Europe. In terms of relevance in a cultural, political, economical and in general historical sense the EU27 countries cover probably almost 90% of what we call Europe. That said, it is no mistake to transfer 'Europe' content to EU content. The section Religion is needed to explain the EU countries´ heritage, it is a standard section in articles about comparable content and not dispensable. The largest cities table is also needed to visualize the high number of population (figure is mentioned in intro and deserves representation). There is no overrepresentation of locations (Barcelona, Berlin, London...) as argued. The article presents a broad variety of countries or personnel dealing with EU issues (Luxemburg, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Poland). The Jlogan suggestion about the key sentences... is not suitable in Demographics. This section can only cover data about the population. Lear 21 22:41, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Lear21 concerning the table of cities. It was a rash move to remove that list, a list which can't be found anywhere on Wikipedia now. As usual, the content of Wikipedia is being decided by a few individuals who step in and decide to erase large parts of articles single-handedly (leaving a note on the talk page and then deleting large swathes of the article because nobody replied to the note on the talk page within two days [2], I don't call that consensus). Keizuko 01:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with you Lear that having a 70% population means that you can equal Europe to EU. Europe as a continent has been developing over thousands of years, the EU only for about 50. If we follow your suggestion to the extreme we would say that the works of Russian authors and composers from the 19th century are an essential part of EU culture; I think you will agree that would be ridiculous. This example means we have to draw the line somewhere between EU and Europe. For reasons of caution and verifiability my strong preference is to be very, very careful and rather conservative, drawing a pretty tight border around EU and leaving much out of it and assign it to Europe. Obviously you (Lear) have a different opinion, but I hope you agree a line between EU and Europe has to be drawn somewhere (if you agree with that we can discuss where the line should be drawn).
While I agree with the need to show population/urbanisation figures, I think the table is a less powerful instrument for that compared to the map put up by JLogan, truly I do not see why the presence of seceral large cities is illustrative for an overal dense population while some of the most densly populated member states such as the Netherlands and Belgium are not in there. In other words, at this stage I do not agree with your reasoning about the necessity of the table. Can you illumniate your arguments further.
In my opinion the table is complicating rather than illuminating the issue, because of the necessity to list three different measures. Also your the reason for including Brussles etc into the text lines is because of your own argument that the political centers of the EU are illuminated by the largest city table. But I think if you drop that argument as a necessaity for the table, we can leave those out.
At Keizuko, the list can still be found at Geography of the European Union which is duly referred to in the section, so your claim it cannot be found anywhere is untrue. Please check your sources before making such harsh statements. You might have also read up on the ongoing debate how to progress with this page which has been going for months. That some things are deleted with the approval of three editors that all have been involved for a long time in this article in favour can hardly be called either stepping in (as the editors have all been involved for at least some months) nor single handed (as more people agreed). Even if it where so, it would (IMHO) be an example of being bold in trying to improve the article. Arnoutf 08:03, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
we have to draw the line somewhere between EU and Europe - there is something called Council of Europe, too. That institution, if anything can be equalled with Europe. RCS 11:04, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree to mention large urbanized areas such as Randstad. This information has been deleted and should be reinstated. On the other hand cities as single entities are still the most important locations of mass population. They have to be identified with images and figures within a table making them comparable. There are 3 indicators to measure city population. One gives the figure within the administrative territory, one measures the built up /urban area, and one (the metro area) includes a population from satellite cities. In this respect the table covers all relevant figures. A table is needed for quick access and comparison, not only among EU cities but also to compare with other cities on different continents/ countries. Lear 21 09:30, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

The in-text suggestion of JLogan would much better facilitate the Randstad issue compared to a table. Also please give a comprehensive argument WHY they need to be comparable and why with a table and images. While we all agree the table gave the infomration on city size, the why the city sizes in such a way are so important has not yet been made convincingly. Other supranational organisations such as e.g. OPEC, OECD or NATO do not mention any cities of their members. Arnoutf 11:25, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Please don´t ask me seriously to explain the very advanced degree of integration on endless policies and innumerable occasions in every day life for almost every citizen in every member states. The degree is unparalleled compared to other organizations and leads to an almost state / country like entity (which is not a nation!). Even more, the EU is lead by its member states and their elected governments, (unlike a common believe that Brussels makes its own policies). Put this in account and you have an EU article not only deriving from a Brussels perspective, but reviews the EU27 in its combined entirety. Cities are part of everyday reality and a central aspect of the civilization we call European Union. Listing them is convenient and efficient, visualizing them identifies the location, like in any other section where images are used. Lear 21 12:59, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

First I'd just like to thank Keizuko for that contribution, I'm glad we are getting more people here now. Just to note on it being removed, I think it can be found under the largest cities lists, and if not I took care to copy all information to the demographics talk page so editors familiar with the page could feed it in. If that doesn't happen I'll go back and do it myself.
On cities again, I understand your point on what is suitable for demographics (as I was elaborating in my notes I thought it might be better to have such data as I mentioned on London under economy), but I feel we need to elaborate on the importance of said cities. It does not say much by just having their sizes - as A has stated, there has not been much of an argument on that. However, what if we improved the table with more information? Say we listed them by city, then gave the population data along side GDP and other such information? We could perhaps do something similar for states incorporating the religious data?
On religion. It would be a mistake to mix the EU and Europe. Keep them separate and we have a clear scope for the articles on Wikipedia. Merge and we will only start duplicating information on Europe. The EU is also very new, it doesn't have much of a historical state claim. I've brought in EU links in Culture and Sport which I think is a good compromise on what we are trying to say, religion is different though as it is headed under demographics - therefore we have to be presenting demographic information. However, I reckon I could link some outside data close enough to the demographic information for it to just squeeze through. I'll come back when I've got something sorted. Mean time, can you give opinion in above table idea. Thanks. - J Logan t: 13:42, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
To be honest, I am a bit confused what you exactly propose to do with the table. Do you propose to keep the old - three sizes of city table and add some information on the importance of each e.g. by adding the GDP of the relevant country, or do you even mean the city? If so how would you get this information? I would not mind to expand the table to for example London - xx mil - xx milj - xx milj - Local importance: Country capital - International importance: Host of worlds xth largest Stock Exchange, etc.
If we do that we might want to replace the images section though, for example the London one with a view on its stock exchange. Does that make sense?
About religion, I would not spend a full paragraph to it, but would not mind if in the demogr. section a reference is made to the different beliefs; might even be interesting - R. Catholic (xx%) mainly in Spain, France ..... Anglican (xx%) mainly in UK, Orthodox Catholic (xx%) mainly in Greece Romania etc various protestant churches (xx%) mainly in Netherlands Germany etc. This way we would also show potential religious disagreements within the union. Is that an idea? Arnoutf 17:02, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
With the table, I was just thinking about new data we could include. We could get rid of the pictures to give more space. Just population doesn't say much, but if we talk about the wealth of the city, rich-poor divide and so on. We would have to find the data of course but I'm sure its around. With that we could say a lot more about the cities.
On religion, it seems to me that the type of religion isn't that important. Catholic and protestant countries don't vote together. The only trend I can see is where there is a level of faith (hence the eurostat survey in there now) as the more religious a country the more conservative it is: for example where abortion or gay rights are concerned. That is where the disagreements arise, as we have seen with Poland and Italy for example. - J Logan t: 17:26, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand the religious Spain has actually introduced Same Sex Marriage as one of only 3 EU countries (Netherlands and Belgium) so that is not all there is to it.
I think the type of religion may be important. For example the views of the pope (not an EU leader but the leader of a non-EU country) is more likely to influence the view of R-Catholic compared to non-R-Catholic governments. Arnoutf 17:54, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Idea for religion section, demographics with heavy EU links User:JLogan/Sandbox.- J Logan t: 17:36, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Good start but will need some work. In relation to demographics some numbers on the different main religions are needed. Do we have these anywhere?? Arnoutf 18:11, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

If we do I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. % of people in religions are notoriously inaccurate. - J Logan t: 18:28, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Good point. Forget my previous suggestion. Arnoutf 18:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I tend to like the new city table inserted by Ssolbergj, it is much shorter than the old one, and still has more information in it. I would like to tinker with the layout/formatting a bit though; will try some stuff out here before changing it. Arnoutf 20:13, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Please stop the proposals for unrelated extra data in the cities table. It is still the Demographics section and there is no room for economical data. Despite the abilities of user Ssolbergj the new table is not of convincing design. It saves only minimal vertical space and wastes horizontal spaces while killing lots of data including images. The readability of the table is also not improved. / Religion has to clearly show evangelical, orthodox, r. catholic traditions. Same sex attitudes can´t be included in this section, they are unrelated to religious denominations. Lear 21 22:05, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Please do not be dogmatic. I agree the main importance of the table should be about number of inhabitants - pop density. One or two extra remarks would not hurt (IMHO) but are also not essential. I agree the new table's layout can use some improvement (see my remark above), however, by giving the data of each city in one row (by adding the rank columns) and the pop-desnity I think the content has improved. I do not agree with the waste of horizontal space, as the old table had to repeat the city name 3 times (in that way wasting a lot of horizontal space). I am not sure what data got removed, as in my view there is now more (inclusion of density). There are only 5 instead of 10 cities listed, I'll grant you that, but the number of cities is arbitrary. We could also have decided only to list cities with a city proper >2 million (however many that were), or adopted any other criterion. The images did not give much information because of their very small size. I could only recognise Paris because of its view on the Eiffel tower, all other cities looked just like a big city, so I am not sure the previous collection of images did give any information (note the difference between illustration and information).
My mentioning of same sex marriages was to refute JLogans points stating that % religious per country would predict policies of that country. The example in my text above was meant as an arguement for this discussion only, not to be put in the mainspace article.
Thinking about it, I think same sex marriages should be included in the demographics section, as % of marriage is typically one of the demographic identifiers I think it actually should be mentioned in demographics (albeit possible not under religion).Arnoutf 07:12, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that SSJs table works a lot better, we are not repeating names, makes best use of space and includes more data. I think perhaps it migth be good to have a wikitable so they can be reordered according to the data you want. And on the point of GDP, I understand it sounds un-demographic but if you take it per capita then it is showing the wealth of the people in the city - that would be demographic wouldn't it.
On SSM notes, that reference is made in relation to the Vaticans comments and it goes into no detail. If you look at religious debates in Europe SSM and abortion are the two most important points right now. This is reflected in gov't policy and hence shows the divide - you yourself want to point out the religious division of poltics in the EU. Just so happens the division is not the branch of Christianity - unless you can provide some soild evidence?
On Arnoutf note of including SSM as a seperate part of demographics, I was wondering if we should have a section on human rights? Conisdering we have the charter which is mentioned a bit under JFS we might be able to expand data on it - it is an important area (albeit lacking in real activity at EU level). Another problem is I think rights and religion are very much intwined, as I said above the SSM is made in reference to the Vaticans call. - J Logan t: 07:34, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Largest City Table

I´m going to reinsert the stable version tommorrow. The latest proposals for renewal are not convincing in many respects, notably readability, layout quality, completeness. Also: Because of the multicentered nature of the EU many images are needed to exemplify this fact. The well established table is not bigger or aestethically worse designed than for instance the Member states section. I also remind users who have been part of previous discussions dealing with the issue, that I´m not inclined to repeat every argument for this table, which evolved under a complicated long process. Lear 21 12:23, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Your comment implies that you are not willing to live by the spirit of the 3RR rule, although you follow the letter.
As repeatedly stated, layout/readability can be discussed and changed, so please do not use that argument.
The other table listing 10 cities is equally incomplete; whether we list 5, 10, 15, or even 200 the number is arbitrary. Can we discuss this number in an objective way. Personally I would suggest to make a list of all cities (proper) larger than 2 million. That would come out somewhere between 5 and 10.
The well established table is vertically longer and lacks density information. So it is bigger. Aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder.
While I would not mind to insert several (but not necessarily a predetermined fixed number) images; I think we have to discuss what these should examplify. For example, do we put up images showing the similarity between European large cities to show EU unity (most of the current pictures would do), or do we want to put up pictures that show specific icons of their cities to show the variety within the EU (for example the Eiffel tower in Paris; Chaging of the guard for London). I think by fairly discussing WHAT it is exactly what we want to show with this pictures we will get a much stronger series than the currently (haphazardly) compiled set.
This table indeed evolved under a long process about a year ago. However, since then the article has also evolved, so we should be willing to carefully reconsider whether the table still fits the new structure. (cf Dinosaurs who evolved in a long process would not fit well in modern society).
In brief to questions I need an answer to
  • How many cities / how large needs a city be to be included in the list?
  • What do we want to show with the images - similarity within EU - variety in EU - something else? Arnoutf 12:34, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
On the second point, what we would like to show, I would err on the side of diversity - my point being (this is only my view though) that if we show unity in the similarities of cities, several images would not show comparatively more than one or two images. If diversity is illustrated, then each successive image would show successively more. I would argue that diversity is what characterises the EU, some would say more than other areas of the world. If the consensus is to show similarity, then I wouldn't mind, as there are arguments for showing unity too. Rossenglish 13:22, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, unity?! We are talking about demographics, about population, density and so on. We are not meant to be getting across some idea of unity of cities, or showing tourist attractions (they don't pay you, I got 20 people to go to Iceland because of my photos and the cheque still hasn't come through from the tourism bureau!). No, we are writing an encyclopaedia, the images illustrate the text. Illustrate density or a city that is fine, but we are doing it because we are illustrating the prose, not showing similarity/variety/unity.
In case it wasn't clear, that was the second point! :). In terms of city size, a top 5 seems to be a common number, arbitrary as any number is for this but I think it is enough. It would also set a limit on images, no arguments about which ones as we can only have five cities listed. If there is a problem on arranging them, maybe 4 or 6.
On the design, the new one is better. On the horizontal space argument, I just put it to the right set into the text so we don't have that problem. We've lost the images of course but we are just dealing with figures, and we can continue talking anyway. I think if we do go back to the old design, we should take onboard the new structure. i.e. one list of names with lists of numbers - rather than the three lists of names. But SSJ's works absolutely fine for me, I see no problems with it. Has all the right data in the right places and is easy to read.
Final note to King Lear, I remind you that ideas here do not need royal assent. - J Logan t: 17:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Last min thought, can we have an expandable table? - J Logan t: 17:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Some explanation of my second point. If we put up a gallery of images there should be some reason for that gallery. If we want to show the population density we can pick whatever high rise suburb anywhere in the EU. So why should we put up more than one image. If we however could show that although equally densly populated say Madrid's suburbs are very different from those of London, or Berlin (ie variety) there would be a reason to put up more than one picture. On the other hand if we want to show that all EU suburbs are very comparable, we should find image of London and Paris that show a very similar view. Just randomly putting together some images makes no sense.
To expandable table: No we should not. The general consensus is that in the main text of an article no essential information should be hidden. The collapsible tables within the overall EU infobox are already very close to that line, but just acceptable as the essential information is given, and the infobox can be considered outside of the bodytext. Putting up a completely collapsed table within the bodytext would not give the essential information Arnoutf 18:04, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I see your point, though the idea was to have like a top five, which could be expanded into more detail, a top 15 maybe.
On the gallery, ah I understand. However on the example you gave we do not talk about either. So perhaps images that are random are good - in the sense that we are not putting similar images together but they all show the same theme (e.g. suburbs). That way the similarity and diversity is shown to whatever extent and the view draws conclusions on if they are similar or varied. - J Logan t: 18:35, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah top 5 expanded to more could be acceptable, don't know how to program that though. On the other hand much of that information is already in other articles.
I agree that we may settle on a theme for the images (e.g suburb, central city life, or another) and see what happens. Arnoutf 18:44, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Considering we are dealing with desnity in the prose, the images ought to be something along those lines perhaps? I know I know, it is a city, its not exactly sparse whatever image, my point is we do not need a gallery of tourist attractions or beautiful vistas. Perhaps if we all wander round Wikipedia's city articles and see what images we come up with and discuss what we find, might get some new ideas. - J Logan t: 19:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

@ Jlogan and Arnoutf: The last proposals are of minor relevance (suburbs images, density). By now both of you developed a record of focusing 2. or 3. level priority while deleting major relevant issues and images. Without an intervention (royal assessment, haha) of your edits over the last weeks the article wouldnt have Images of: Barroso, Euro currency, RomeTreaty in History, Mandelson. The article would have declined in illustration quality and had probably third and fourth level subsection chaos. The last approach in Demographics is the latest evidence of an unoriented focus. The issue:

The new table is of less quality because:

a) Pop. Density is of minor relevance, especially without extra data of area in qm2 b) a table is read from top the bottom - 2. & 3. column is chaotic because of mixed up ranks. c) ranks are not needed and misleading, because different measures are taken to estimate the city size. d) 5 cities are not enough to represent the multinational/centered nature of the EU e) the current design appears to be squashed in the section

The old established table including 6 images had the following qualities:

a) in general, it represents the centers of mass population within the EU and is a vital standard aspect of Demographics b) it acknowledges the different types of city size estimation among EU countries, without ranking b) every column is sorted from highest to lowest for easy access and readability c) 10 entries represent the multicentered and hugely populated EU (500 million) more than 5 d) images are included to visualize and to identify the locations like in any other section e) The historically multinational nature of EU lead to several urban areas of importance and are represented in more than only 2-3 pictures. f) the 6 cities shown are by several measures combined the largest urban areas, and are justified on a purely statistical base g) as a side effect the presented cities are also centers of politics, economy and culture and are influential in several aspects of EU policies (the member states and their capitals decide EU politics - EU council) h) 2. side effect is a visual representation of a diverse, multinational, multicentered EU throughout these images which enhances the comprehensive understanding of the article, which tends to be Brussels centered otherwise Annex) of course the images show the most recognizable features of every city making them identifiable Lear 21 09:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree we are going into the details. We do this mainly to find a justification for features you (Lear21) insist on maintinag (e.g the table and the images). In other words either we sort out the details, or we delete these altogether.
At your new table comments
(a) I agree, density is not of main importance (nobody ever said so), however it is worthwhile extra information, perhaps move it to column 4 instead of 2, after all it is about the city proper (that's probably why Paris scores so high, a small city proper with all suburbs being independent municipalties)
(b) I honestly do not know what you mean with top to bottom, the largest city (london is on top) - yes column 2 and 3 are 'mixed', but on the other hand if I want to know all the number for London in the other format, these are mixed there. And even worse, the numbers for Rome are incomplete in the other table. Each of these tables introduces its own mixing (either ranks or city name) so there is no straightforward argument. We might consider adding the sortable option to the new table.
(c) By ordering them on size you implicitly also assign ranks, whether ranks are implicit or explicit does not matter, either we rank, or we don't (and I think for such a table we should).
(d) Your own remark 5 cities are not enough to represent the multinational/centered nature of the EU is (IMHO) an example what JLogan means with Royal assessment. There is no argument WHY 5 is not enough, nor why 10 is enough. Bascially that has been the question I have repeatedly asked here: How many, of how large a city must be to be listed and why (no answer yet). Without argument it is just your opinion and not a fact, by phrasing a personal opinion as a fact you put in a royal assessment.
At the old table.
(a) no argument has been made why the 10 cities listed there do that any better than the 5 in the new table.
(b) while every column is sorted highest to lowest, each row is a mixed combination of different cites, which makes it very difficult to understand the stats of a city (again there has been no convincing argument why column sorting has preference over row sorting).
(c) Obivously 10 cities are a more complete representation of the EU cities; but then again 100 cities would be 10 times better even. In the context of the larger EU article we should be both concise (ie short) and sufficiently complete. 10 entries is obvioulsy less short compared to 5, there has been no arguement why 5 is not sufficiently complete.
(d) Images. Why fewer images than cities. Anyway, we want to say something about EU population through the table, so the images should relate to that (and no other) message. As we are not talking skyline, or tourist attractions (IMHO) the images should not show that. This shows that the image discussion is not such a minor point
(e) Again, that depends on what we want to say with the images. If we want to state that EU cities are densely populated we need only one or two. If we want to show that although equally densily populated the feel and looks of EU cities varies a lot, we should add more. Again showing the importance of the discussion.
(f) Basically this is an argument to limit the table to 6 entries. There should be a match between table and images, why are there only 6 images for a 10 entry table. The other way around (as you use the argument) it does no fly, if we manage to capture the idea of the whole table in a few (1, 2, or indeed 6) images that is fine, but than we should look at the meaning of the table as a whole, not of the ranking.
(g) Yes the five cities in the new table are all influential capitals. Those in the old table are not (e.g. Milan has no improtant govt agency, nor a EU institution). This would be an argument for the short instead of the long table.
(h) I thin we all agree that if we put up more images it should show the diversity, however as JLogan argued we should not give touristic images. I can imagine showing an image of French eating in the streets near Gare du Nord (and similar images for other cities) still to be very recongnisable while giving a much better view how living in the cities is (it is after all the demographics and not the tourism or architecture section).
Summarising, in my opinion you have given no convincing arguments that favour the old table over the new one. With the questions explicitly posed either unanswered or answered with a personal opinion stated as a fact. Can you please elaborate on these issues, if you want to pursue this discussion. Arnoutf 10:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I really can´t deal with your style of discussion. You are proposing nothing and instead keep questioning without an end and aim. Lear 21 12:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Where as you make SO many NEW proposals. And now you know how we feel having to deal with your idea of an argument. This is itself a new proposal, we are working through the ideas and you are the one who has not proposed anything that might serve as a compromise. And on your comment of decreasing illustrative quality, well quantity does not equal quality.
But to the point at hand, how about if we had a larger table, with the number of cities as the old, but using the organisation system of the new table? That way we have the better order myself and A are seeking, while having the number of cities you are seeking. For the ranks, we could get rid of them in favour of being able to reorder the list as the Member states of the European Union list can be. Then the number of pictures would depend upon what horzontal space is remaining. What the pictures would be of would be the leading city proper cities (something typical of the city yet not necessarily a skyline or of a single building). How about that? - J Logan t: 13:06, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Actualy, what if we did go for the diversity with the pictures (just on that topic again for a second). Having six images of skylines or whatever isn't that useful, but what if for each image we displayed a different area. That way we actualy show off city life in Europe. For example, Paris skyline, Milan Street, London Tube, Milan plaza and so on? - J Logan t: 16:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Lear, on your note 'cities should be identifiable when you reverted the suggestions I put up, I'd like to point out that Madrid and Barcelona are not very identifiable from their images. Berlin and Milan also for someone who doesn't know the landmarks. - J Logan t: 17:27, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I put up the sortable table. I am willing to discuss expanding the number of entries, and accept placement of multiple images (i.e. work towards a compromise) if there is some serious effort from all involved editors to give up a bit and arive at a mutually acceptable version. If no suggestions are made how to get at such a compromise I will revert to my original point of view which is: No table, all information in text. No images. Basically Lear it is time for you to give some ground or chase me back to my original position. Arnoutf 19:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

@ Jlogan: If you can provide high resolution pics with a clear focus and enough light, I´m fine. The current pics are the best available. Barcelona is known for being flat, Madrid is showing Gran Via (equally well known), Milan presents the opera (what else) and Berlin presents 3 major icons( Reichstag, TV tower & Brandenburg Gate... what more?) @Arnoutf: 2 major specifics dealing with the table should be maintained: 10 entries and 6 images (including Barcelona) everything else is flexible. Lear 21 00:05, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

The number of pictures would depend upon how much space there is. If we can fit 6 in, I'd be happy but we shouldn't cram a fixed amount in. Logical isn't it? In regards to pictures, I'll go hunting around Commons and make up a small gallery of possible images (the cities at the top of the proper city list) - J Logan t: 07:35, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Lear, do you have to revert a new suggestion? It isn't exactly final, it is something to work on. You said you were flexible on the others. Why don't we take A's suggested form then build on it.
On my picture hunt, I am aiming for images that show people, as we are talking about population it makes sence. After all, it is the people who are the city, not the buildings, what is a city without its people. Anyhoo, I found images in London. Hard finding things that are "typical" but I've got a few that I think are right from when I was living there. Others are harder though, started to get some from Madrid and Rome but I don't know what is typical to the people there. So I'm dropping notes on their project pages asking for comments. But perhaps you Lear would like to come up with a small gallery for Berlin? Gallery so far: User:JLogan/Gallery. - J Logan t: 09:01, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Lear can you at least say what you think about the principle of the last version of the new table (User:Arnoutf/sandbox. Personally I think layout and usuability has improved substantially since the first version by Ssolberg but my effort to do so has not been acknowledged anywhere. When I said number and images can be discussed I meant we should work on this table and try to get them in. I would have liked an argument in the discussion though rather than a statement (10, 6 that's it).
JLogan. I like this idea of streetviews of the different cities. That gives a very good overview of life in the EU. Arnoutf 09:49, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Lear, just because it is not convincing to you does not mean to you get rid of it. There are others here. You should try to adapt it or at least make suggestions to do so if you are not capable. We move nowhere if you always revert. In terms of space, its very simple we add pictures onto the right. As before. That way you get your images and we get the improved layout.
Arnoutf, if you check the gallery I've added the first repsonce for Madrid. Slight misunderstanding (I'm not sure how representative the first is of modern Madrid) but the last image in particular is interesting, I think we should consider how close we want to get to the people because it would be interesting to have shots like that. - J Logan t: 12:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

The section is one of many, many sections. The table is one detail of many details within the article. There is no problem to acknowledge an almost perfectionized part of the article. Change for the sake of change is not convincing. The established table is in many aspects logic, easy to read and presents itself in a compact design without wasting space or appearing bulky. A new table can be proposed but the last one (Arnoutfsandbox) has not Barcelona & Milan included which are by 2 indicators 4th to 6th biggest locations. The long 7 digit numbers are also annoying. Note that new images should be recognizable as the image size is already small. New images must be of high quality in terms of brightness, clear focus, asthetics, high resolution and featured content. I tend to prefer City images with recognizable icons or panorama skylines. Streets or people are hardly recognizable in this small gallery. There must be an end of this discussion. Especially with the attendance of Arnoutf who has read all these arguments and problems months ago. Lear 21 16:01, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Nothing is perfect and the idea of it is subjective. I see many flaws in it. Numbers can also be shortened so I'm not sure how you intend to argue that point. On images, they are appearing as thumbnails so the don't need to be the highest quality, and as for recognising them, I think the word "Paris" under the picture might help a bit. The aim is to show something of the real city. Just having a random panorama doesn't actually say much, looks nice but it is not the real city. Now as it is just one small section, can you try to be constructive and look at our arguments and come up with a compromise? If you did maybe this discussion would end but every compromise idea we have put forward you have rejected. So you come up with something then. This isn't going to go away just because you wish it. - J Logan t: 16:12, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Perfection is unachievable, if alone because nobody in the whole world would suggest changes to a perfect section (if anyone would suggest change that in itself is already evidence it is not perfect) Following the rationale by Lear, the importance of the cities in the "large-city-table" lies in part in their political influence. Neither Milan nor Barcelona have important EU institutes, neither is a national capital, hence I do not agree that their inclusion in the table is essential. I could agree with a remark in the text that some urban areas go beyond those of the cities in the table. Arnoutf 16:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I have now built in a space for images in the table and by adding the right command have overcome the text wrapping problem (see User:Arnoutf/sandbox). If this (barring minor changes) is not acceptable; all tables will have to go. Arnoutf 17:12, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Following the new table the 6 images would be London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Paris and Bucharest. I think that is very nice set as it gives a N-W EU city (London), a central EU city (Berlin), a western city (Paris), two diff mediteranean cities (Rome, Madrid) and an eastern city/new member state (Bucharest). I think that gives a nice overview of life in EU streets. Images from my sandbox may change, but I think this street-approach gives a good feel of what it is living in the EU (ie fits demographics nicely).
BTW - before the comment comes along, I agree the layout needs some work, feel free to tinker on my sandbox page. If anyone knows how to get rid of the borders in this nested table, please do. Another afterthough; do we want the caption with the images to be the city alone (as it is now) or we want to add the location; e.g. "London", or "London - Hyde park". Arnoutf 18:28, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Great work, I do like the clean look. Images are good, real life feel to them, esp. the Berlin one. I reckon if we take the second one and just make the borders 0 with no padding so we keep the order but have the style of the first. On captions, it might be a bit much maybe? Not sure, its not a very important detail but wouldn't hurt I suppose. - J Logan t: 18:38, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
From here on I need a bit of help with the technical solution. About border and other things, the cleaner the better; feel free to play around untill we are satisfied, it is harmless in the sandbox. I liked the Berlin one myself as well, pulled it from the Berlin article. If we could similar ones for the other cities but still with the city feel that would be great. I did not spend too much time looking for the images yet, so I am sure improvements can be found Arnoutf 18:45, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Summary city table

There are currently 4 options for the city table:

  1. Keep the current table. 10 rows. Columns sorted on indicator (city-proper; metro area; LUZ); rows report on different cities depending on rank on the indicators. 6 images
  2. The condensed table (after some cosmetics) proposed Ssolberg. 5 rows. Rows report different indicators for a single city (city-proper; pop density; metro area; LUZ); columns report different order of ranking, depending on where the city stands on each of the indicators. No images
  3. Outright removal of this table.
  4. A compromise between 1&2 (somthing like proposed in my sandbox). More cities, and carefully selected thematic images. Rows report different indicators for a single city (city-proper; pop density; metro area; LUZ); columns report different order of ranking - (sorting option allows re-ordering) depending on where the city stands on each of the indicators.

My personal preference is for option 2, although I am willing to adopt some of the content from option 4. I would not mind if the table is removed altogether (option 3) Arnoutf 11:17, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I would say No.3 as there is no need for such a table, but No.2 (SSJ's) is just as fine, it has the basic details of the largest cities in a simple form without taking over a huge amount of space (with the others the table is just as big as our prose!). No.4 is okay as a compromise if we can work on it and agree the images but No.1 is just doesn't work very well. It is hard to see how each city ranks as the names are split between three lists and the dominance of the images are way out of proportion. - J Logan t: 13:19, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I would prefer option number 2, as the briefest summary is really all the main EU article needs, but as a compromise I wouldn't mind things to be added similar to option number 4, as long as it remains in the context of the EU. Rossenglish 13:49, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to add complexity, I'd say a variation on number 2. The variation is to add an extra column that captures the information in the paragraph immediately preceding it (large metropolitan areas). I like the pictures, but they don't seem relevant here. If someone wants to get an idea of how Paris looks, they should go to the Paris article. Also, there's the question of which 6 pictures to include. It doesn't seem to me (based off the table) that Barcelona and Milan belong as much as Rome and Ruhr. However, even if this question could be settled, I don't feel that such small pictures really help convey much information. I do like Arnoutf's sandbox version (number 4), but the (only) problem I see there is which cities to include — the top 10 based off city population, the top 10 based off urban area population, or the top 10 based off urban zone population? Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 14:08, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I would say that the condensed table is the best option. The table as it stands, with images to the right, is too wide for some browser resolutions and thus is at odds with manual of style guidelines. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 14:59, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I for my part would actually keep the current table (option n° 1) but with only four images : London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid. Whatever Italians, Poles, Hungarians, Swedes, Austrians, Portuguese etc. may object, these are currently the four main, i.e. busiest and most cosmopolitan cities in the EU. RCS 15:57, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I haven't been following the discussion very intently , but if this is a survey of opinion, I would prefer outright removal of the table and the images. The whole thing is much too cluttered, with a variety of sorted lists, about 40 links and 6 images and is, in my opinion a waste of bandwidth. I'm not that bothered, though, as I think the information overload would cause most readers to skip over it. If an image is needed to illustrate demographics, I think I would prefer some sort of graphic illustrating population structure and the aging population --Boson 19:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Number 2 the way it is now; either aligned to the right or with a single (standard wikithumb) image of London explaining that Paris and London are the biggest settlements overall. - S. Solberg J. 20:54, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Comment It would appear that your ranking based on Urban Area is off. Either that, or the current table is wrong. (There is no #1 ranked city in that column.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:08, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

There has been a detailed discussion above with multiple serious arguments stated for No.1. A table with only 5 cities (2) can´t represent a multinational entity with 500 mil people. One image alone (London) is insufficient, because Paris has a larger urban area and the multinational EU developed several metropolitan locations. Removal (3) is not an option, as this table is a standard feature in many comparable articles, and most importantly it makes sense to list cities in a Demographics section. (4) is not even a finished version and lacks of multiple requiremnts. The kind-of-proposal-table is too big, with inferior design quality and the city images are not recognizable. Lear 21 21:17, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't matter how many times you have repeated your arguments above; this is obviously a vote to reach a final consensus. The 300 million nation of the USA is doing fine with their minimalistic city table mentioning 5 cities. This is the main EU article, we use its subpages for lengthy lists. I just explained that Paris should be mentioned along with London as the biggest settlements overall - if we decide to include a picture of London (which ranks higher than Paris in total). - S. Solberg J. 21:26, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Please state your preference as an opinion. Your "arguments", which are not facts at all but your personal opinion, however you phrase them, have been repeated endlessly above. It is clear you prefer option 1; could you accept a version of 2 or 4 as well as the majority seems to think these are acceptable? Arnoutf 07:38, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Number 4. In thinking about it some more, I like number 4 — but without the pictures (which should also address Lear's complaint about it). I agree with Lear that 5 cities is probably too few, and I like the ability to sort them off any column. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:22, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Lear, I'd like to point out that the "detailed discussion above with multiple serious arguments stated for No.1 " was just your arguments and that everything is an option if people support it. As for your comment on No.4, you can't dismiss it because it is not finished, it can be finished with adaptions to suit people's tastes. Or would you go to the Sagrada Família and say, "Ah its not finished. Tear it down and use another one instead".
Looking above, the main support seems to be for 2 or 4, usualy with adjustments. So how can we develop those to fit with most peoples ideas? There appears to be little support for images and few comments in regards to numbers - going either way. - J Logan t: 07:14, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Summary of the above

Of the nine commenting editors

  • 2 have given their preference in favour of option 1
  • 4 have stated a preference for option 2
  • 2 prefer option 3; but another editor states he would not mind
  • 1 prefers option 4; and 2 other state that would be acceptable as well.

This means there is a small preference for option 2 - of 4 out of 9.
Both option 3 (removal) and 4 (long table but based on version 2 principles) are seen as preferred or acceptable by 3 out of 9.
As there is no clear majority for a single option, there are basically two approaches. Put the favourite (version 2) to the vote (oppose/support). Or figure out which option has the least radical oponents (ie people who vote this option should NOT be used whatever). In the light of compromise and consesnsus I think the second would lead to the least hurt feelings all around Arnoutf 08:00, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Although that is supporting my pref. Wikipedia is not a democracy so we can't base this on votes alone (especily if we are using FPTP to get No.2). Which is why I suggets we take the leading proposals and try to make them acceptable to others enough for it have some kind of consensus. Asking what people wouldn't accept at all would help a bit also though, considering 3 and 4 have the same support. We should be taking into account the full comments when doing so. - J Logan t: 08:10, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

The preceding discussion including its arguments is equally decisive. Note that votings are not the the prefered type of decision making in Wikipedia - ( Wikipedia is not a democracy). User:Keizuko expressed complaint about the removal of the table. @JLogan : of course the No.4 can be be dismissed as long it is unclear what the proposal is like. The Sagrada Família lacks useful comparison. If you vote for a candidate in election and afterwards someone else steps in, you were fooled. If you choose a meal from a picture menue in a restaurant and get something else, what is the menue for ??? Lear 21 08:36, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Number 4 in itself is basically a compromise between number 1 and 2, that may need some work. But if you want to dismiss that one out of hand the choice becomes easier i.e. the short table or no table at all. Arnoutf 11:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Three separate issues

Instead of talking about options 1-4, perhaps we could first look at the sub-issues, which I've taken the liberty of dividing into separate categories. This might actually allow us to arrive at an almost-consensus. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Good idea, but I've added another as that is the diff between the old and the two proposed versions. - J Logan t: 14:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I've noticed there's a fifth (minor) concern in this increasingly ill-named section.


Should pictures be included or not? If so, how many?

  • No pictures. Difficult to decide which cities to include, and they are too small to see detail anyway. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No pictures and no table wider than can be displayed on an 800x600 resolution display without having to scroll horizontally. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 13:27, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Four pictures, London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid. RCS 13:35, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No pictures, no need to show images of cities for a population table. If the are shown then it should be one, or at max two. - J Logan t: 14:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No pictures, at least not in the table. Maximum one or two as an illustration of EU urban line elsewhere in the section is fine with me. Arnoutf 14:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No pictures - S. Solberg J. 15:34, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Six pictures- There is no reason stated why the current version (on the article for more than 6 months) should be removed. 2 editors (Arnoutf & Ssolbergj) have been part of a similar discussion before and tolerated or supported the table with images. Images in general enhance every articles quality. Nothing wrong to present them here as well. The current design is compact. Lear 21 16:31, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Comment Yes I have been part of that discussion, and have been forced by a single stubborn editor to either go to edit war - or tolerate a bad format; which is not nearly as compact as the alternatives discussed here....... Arnoutf 17:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No pictures They add no relevant information. People who want to look at pictures of a particular city can go to the appropriate article. If we think an image would be good for reasons of layout or aesthetics, we can include a population graphic.--Boson 19:39, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No pictures are necessary. —Nightstallion 22:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Number of Cities

Should there be 5 cities or 10 in the list?

  • 10. The EU is quite large and diverse. Even an American would have to admit that. ;) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Any number - as long as each city has a row on the table, it doesn't matter how many there are. Adding or removing cities should not, then, be problematic, as long as we drop the idea that the cities must be ranked. This isn't a competition. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 13:29, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Ten - just as Ben Hocking says. RCS 13:36, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Five are all that is needed, for more we have three seperate lists of cities on other articles. (also happy to discuss a fixed criterion, rather than a random high number) - J Logan t: 14:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Five is enough. Hamburg as 2nd German city appears at no7, from there on the list will only show dominance of large countries; i.e. show less rather than more variety. But I am happy to discuss another criterion (e.g. city size with a lower limit at 2 or 1 million) Arnoutf 14:26, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Five - S. Solberg J. 15:35, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 10 - to include cities like Milan & Barcelona. 500 mil. in EU population need more than 5.Lear 21 16:38, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment Milan and Barcelona would add a second city in respectively Italy and Spain each; again showing less rather than more variety in Europe. Arnoutf 19:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 10 - Even better would be all cities with a population exceeding 1 million (18?). If there is a consensus for 10, we should then "vote" on size-based criteria, since this was not offered as a choice. No table at all would be better still.--Boson 20:00, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 10 cities or a fixed size criterion as a cut-off point. —Nightstallion 22:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


Should the list be sortable (with the top X by city population shown) or pre-sorted (with the top X in each column shown)?

  • Sortable. However, I don't feel strongly about this. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sortable would be excellent. By default, the table should sort the cities by name, since that's a neutral criterion. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 13:29, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Pre-sorted, so there will be less interference once it is done. RCS 13:41, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sortable but it is not that important, it does remove any need for rank numbers on the other cols though. - J Logan t: 14:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sortable as it removes the need for rank numbers on the different columns. Don't feel strongly about it though. Arnoutf 14:27, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Not sortable - S. Solberg J. 15:36, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Not sortable - but can be discussed. minor relevance. Lear 21 16:43, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sortable If we are going to have a table it should be sortable on any column.--Boson 20:02, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sortable, no reason not to add that functionality when it's easily available. —Nightstallion 22:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


Should the list be organised by city, with its data displayed in subsequent columns? Or should it be three separate lists showing how cities rank on the different parameters (as current)?

  • Rank by city makes more sence as then we have just one row for a city with its data following it. Ranking according to area uses up more space and makes it harder to compare. - J Logan t: 14:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Rank by city rather than separately for each parameter. Makes comparison within a city easier, saves a lot of horizontal space. Combined with the sorting function this gives the same functionality as the current organisation. So additional functionality (easy within city comparison) without information loss; and with space saving Arnoutf 14:33, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Rank by city — if sortable, the initial sorting isn't at all important, but deciding which cities belong in the top X still is. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 14:35, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Rank by city As Arnoutf said, as there's no loss of info in ranking by city. Rossenglish 14:52, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Organised by city, with its data displayed in subsequent columns, provided it is sortable by any column.--Boson 20:06, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Rank by city per common sense. —Nightstallion 22:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Population density

Should population density be included in it's own column, combined with city limits (as it is derived from city area and popluation), or omitted?

  • Combined with city limits It doesn't make sense outside of that context. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 15:04, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Combined with city limits is best, so long as the formatting works. It is connected to that data and shouldn't really look like it is relevant to the others. Data should be included though, gives an idea about the city. - J Logan t: 15:17, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Combined with city limits - S. Solberg J. 15:37, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No Population density - this figure is understood only with area in km2. Because of massively differing city definitions throughout EU member states (Paris 100 km2 / London 1700 km2, but Paris remains larger in urban area population). It would be misleading/ incomplete data. Lear 21 16:50, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Comment. The massively differing city definitions and discrepancy between Paris and London's area is the exact reason why I (as an American) find this information so helpful. It helps explain why London has so many more people than Paris. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:01, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Combined with city limits but preferably also combined with the sorting option. Arnoutf 17:17, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No population density - Misleading in context.--Boson 20:41, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Combined with city limits, but not too important in my book. —Nightstallion 22:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Comments on above

Looking at it right now;

  • All votes are for it to be ranked by city - which automatically excludes the table as it is. So there is to be some redesign at least.
  • There are 6/8 votes for no images (1 for four and 1 for six).
  • Cities is less conclusive with 4-3 to a ten member list. One vote for any. however there are also 3 votes across that allowing for size-based criteria.
  • Population density - none for its own col, it is split 4-2 in favour of inclusion.
  • 5/3 on sortability, but as most comments state this is a minor point.

So if I were to take a general overview we are looking at a new table ranked by cities with no images. There would be 10 cities listed including density figures and it would be sortable. On the basis of the splits though, cities and density should be discussed further. Images could be discussed if there are new ideas which could gain a total consensus and sortability is a final issue. The ranking poll is quite clear it seems. - J Logan t: 20:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

To be honest I would no go that far. We seem to have consensus on the ranking by city; but the other important issues are too close to call it even a large majority; let alone consensus. Perhaps we can discuss the open issues case by case (rather than voting alone). That would be for the images: How many and should they be part of the table. For number of inclusions: How many and why; how large a city. Where do number and city size come together and can we arrive at a consensus there. Population density, let's just see how different ways of putting this in the table works out in practice and decide on that; sortability, basically the same, lets compare a verions with and without to see its use in practice. That way I think we may arrive at consensus rather than makig decisions based on marginal majorities. Arnoutf 20:55, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
To clarify, that was a general overview, not stating we should do that (and did not state it was a consensus). I did state that those areas where there was no consensus should be discussed further (all except the city ranking). I highlighted the cities and density first as they had the least agreement thus needed most discussion. - J Logan t: 21:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if the goal is to decide one at a time, I think we might look at importance and dependencies. For example, whether or not we include images might influence how many cities people want and whether we want the list to be sortable or to include density (the latter because it increases width), so I'd probably tackle the images issue first. (So now we're onto a meta-consensus issue — in what order do we try to achieve consensus!) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 23:04, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Good idea. Well we have the ranking. I think the two major points after are how many cities and how many images. I think images may flow from cities and we have a new idea on how to deal with that. So we start with cities? - J Logan t: 07:18, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The several city images in the established version have to be maintained. The city images are an important visual representation of a diverse, multinational, multicentered EU. These images enhance the comprehensive understanding of the article, which tends to be Brussels centered otherwise. The cities are centers of politics, economy and culture and are influential in several aspects of EU policies (the member states and their capitals decide EU politics - EU council). The six cities currently presented are by 3 indicators the largest and part of the article for more than half a year, there is no need to remove them. Alterations to the table can be proposed. The inclusion of Rome and Bucharest instead of Milan and Barcelona can be considered. Lear 21 07:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Lear, readin you feels like listening to a broken record; it is just repetition of statements.
I think BenHocking raises an important issue, how to fit in the images. The number of images is a bit of a difficult issue, as (just as with the cities) I would prefer the number not to be arbitrary (which 6 definitely is). IMHO there are several options.
1) Add an image of each city in the table. This is only doable with a very condensed table
2) Add one or two images in the section, but outside the table, to give a very simple example of life in a EU city
3) Add no images whatsoever
4) Think of a palette or theme we want to illustrate and decide how many images are needed to illustrate that theme.
5) Add an arbitrary number of images, for example 6, 13, or 3. (Needless to say I do not like this)Arnoutf 07:51, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

If the music is forgotten, the record has to be repeated ... haha. Lear 21 08:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

If the music is out of tune, the record should be forgotten; it may have become clear to you by now, by the neglect of your statements that many editors think your reasoning to sound false..... Arnoutf 09:46, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid I've been away for a while and have missed all of this. I would have have voted for deletion. I agree with Lear that a table of only 5 cities "can´t represent a multinational entity with 500 mil people". However I don't think a table of 10 or 15 cities would have any hope of doing so either. Which cities do we include? Why just the bigger ones? The figures mostly represent arbitary local government boundaries and aren't very informative. Providing better figures would involve too many revision wars, footnotes etc... This is an article on the EU, not the populations of European cities. It is better to include none rather than all. Even if (actually quite impressive) javascript can be used to hide entries, it would still be too clunkly and rather complicated for an already crowed article.
Lear's argument that city lists are "a standard feature in many comparable articles", appears to be just a recycled version of the standard country template argument used above. I think we should think about what's best for this article. We describe the EU as a sui-generis organisation. Why then compare this article to country or other international organisation articles?
Notwithstanding all of this, the consensus appears to be having:
  • a sortable table of 8 cities (a compromise between 10 and 5; near the adverage of the votes cast),
  • one including the cities' population densities combined their city limits,
  • without any pictures, and
  • ranked by city.
And I'll go along with that. Caveat lector 09:55, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
On Lear's comment. Well he seems intent on outdoing himself, but there is nothing I can say which I have not said before, so I'm just going to concentrate on the useful contributions here.
Thanks for your comments CA. I agree five can't represent 500 million people - but isn't this a table showing the largest cities? Do we need to try to represent the whole of the EU in a table saying what metropolitan areas have most residents? I think that is a job for the rest of the article.
On the idea of 8, a compromise inbetween doesn't always mean it is acceptable to both sides. But we can discuss that of course. On sized based criteria, here are the numbers for the city proper limits;
        • +3 million = 3
        • +2 million = 5
        • +1.7 million = 8
        • +1.5 million = 11
        • +1.2 million = 14
        • +1 million = 16
Number increase a lot after that. Thoughts?
On the number of images, most seem to say none but if we are going to go for some why don't we see how much space we have left beside the table so we can base a figure on what we have room for, then see what people think.- J Logan t: 12:19, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
My preference would be 2 million - the really really big ones, that this coincides with 5, well I have to live with that ;-) In between levels like 1.7 and 1.2 are a bit too arbitrary to my taste (1.5 would be marginally ok, as would 1 mil although the last would increase the length of the table a bit too much). A scientific way would be to add .7 and .5 and make a screeplot (ie to read when we can no longer speak about the largest cities is when we pass the elbow - but that maybe over the top ;-)Arnoutf 12:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
(A) Just because some of us don't want pictures in the table, it doesn't mean that those pictures can't be elsewhere (different debate). So, Lear, don't think that just because they won't be in the table they'll be thrown away. (Also, are these pictures in their respective country/city articles? If not, why not?) (B) Just to make things more confusing, I think that 6 is not that bad of a number (countries in the list, not pictures). If I've followed correctly, at 7 we begin to "repeat countries". Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:47, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting idea. Its arbitrary but you have a good point. I'd be fine with that if others agree -but I'd prefer some more meaning behind the choice of figure. And quite right on the pictures, its not like they aren't else where. And also note that they are all over the city list articles. - J Logan t: 13:00, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I like the idea of BenHocking, the list would than be limted to "the list of largest cities from different EU countries". In my opinion, this seems the least arbitrary reason for choice of number that I have seen so far. Arnoutf 14:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The current table derives from a subsection called 'Largest cities'. Its purpose is to identify the centers of mass population within The EU (section Demographics). The currently presented 6 images are the largest by 3 indicators (not considering agglomerations like Randstad or Ruhr). The new table : has anybody seen a table with 6, 7 or 8 entries in any media, I haven´t. Top 10 is very well known. Without images a table would create a massively unused white space. There is nothing wrong to fill it with established images. They are not arbitrary, because they are based purely on statistics, no matter of a double presence of one country (Spain among images, Germany among City proper list). Because this is a reasonable argumentation, all involved editors will probably enjoy to hear this more often ... all the best Lear 21 07:48, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

"has anybody seen a table with 6, 7 or 8 entries in any media, I haven´t": top 6 [3] [4] top 7: [5] [6] and top 8: [7] [8]
On the empty space point, there are a number of ways we can deal with that, align right into the text, put the density image next to it etc. Needless to say, data in an encyclopaedia should not be judged on how attractive it would make the rest of the article look. - J Logan t: 08:35, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Needless to say that the cited blogger examples are of no credible value. Next time I start citing Myspace userpages or my grandma ... Lear 21 09:06, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

If we're interested in filling white space (and I agree with JLogan that we needn't be too concerned about it), there are better ways than pictures. (Speaking of how often do you see a "top 6", how often do you see pictures in a table?) For example, we could add density information for the other two columns, assuming that we had that information somewhere. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:34, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the white space suggestions by Jlogan and Benhocking, by outlining the article we can cure that, and otherwise there is more useful content conceivalbe than images. Another reason not to make it too wide is that it allows people to have their browser narrower than full screen. Note that we should not "market" it as a "top 6" table, but as a table of "largest cities from different EU countries". Arnoutf 15:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

(c break one)

Reading the discussion, I see people now want to "rank by city". I'm not sure what is meant by that. If people mean that we should rank the cities by population within administrative city limits, this is possibly the worst solution, because administrative city limits are completely artificial and vary from country to country. Such a ranking would produce crazy results, such as ranking Rome above Paris, or the "mighty" Bucarest above Milan. I understand people want to see the three figures (city proper, urban area and LUZ) on the same line for each city, then in that case the best solution would simply be to rank the cities in alphabetical order. A second best solution would be to rank the cities by population within the urban area, which reflects better the actual size of the cities than some artificial administrative limits. Keizuko 17:29, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, well if we have it sortable, we could have it alphabetical by defult perhaps. That might solve the problem. The whole city size thing is why the table is a bad idea in the first place but I'm sure we can get something going.
A, I agree on adding density info for the others, however I am not sure where the existing data is coming from -let alone finding more. Not sure about the title of different EU countries, that might sound like it has been changed to show the largest cities from certain countries, not the EU as a whole. - J Logan t: 16:27, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Rank by city means that the information of a single city is in one row; indeed how you interpreted it.
I think ranking by name defeats the whole purpose of the table. As an extreme example this would mean that a city like Aachen would rank way above Paris and London. We might consider to rank on another indicator than city proper as that seems to be the most contested number. Making the table sortable would allow a reader to re-order the table to his/her wishes.
I agree density would in principle be nice, but the current number do not seem to be well sourced.
About the title - fair enough; but we will have to justify why we chose 6 (rather than 4 or 7) cities in the list. Arnoutf 16:53, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
I can't think of a good wording, do we have to say it out loud so to speak? Editors agreement that is why but in the article just have it as a list?
And by sort alphabeticaly, that would just be defult - I don't think anyone would see Achen as bigger than London and it is a neutral setting for it before it is sorted. Just an idea though, detail once we have an agreement on numbers. - J Logan t: 17:35, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the suggestion by J Logan above is the best, i.e. sortable table with alphabetical default ranking. That way if people want to see the ranking by population within city proper they can click on the arrow in the city proper column, and if they want to see the ranking by population within urban area they can click on the arrow in the urban area column. If people press no arrows the cities appear in alphabetical order, which is the most neutral. Keizuko 09:50, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

IMHO this would only be acceptable if we agree on a short (5 or 6 entry) table; where the range of sizes is not too large and hence the order only marginally informative. If we make a much longer table (e.g. a 20 item table) it is no longer obvious in a glance which cities are listed and quick readers will tend to register only the top few; which will be cities starting with A or B (Aachen, Amsterdam, Athens, Bastogne, Berlin, etc.). So yes to alphabet default sorting under the condition we limit the table total to 5. For longer tables: against. Arnoutf 11:30, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
How about if we had a long table but the top ranking cities (2 or 3 at most) were in bold? That way we could have a long lost by alpha but the largest would stand out from the rest overcoming the problem of registering only those starting with A and B? - J Logan t: 13:49, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Such patching up would only underline the weakness of the idea (IMHO). Arnoutf 16:57, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, well lets get the numbers first shall we. I'll drop notes around asking for opinions so I'll just do a litter summery (if I miss something, feel free to edit what I have said below);
  • 0 = no table 3
  • 3 = +3 million
  • 5 = +2 million (old option) 0 1 2 1
  • 6 = Until countries are repeated 1 0 1
  • 8 = +1.7 million (compromise) 0 0 2 1
  • 10 = old option 0 1 0 1
  • 11 = +1.5 million 0 1 1
  • 14 = +1.2 million
  • 16 = +1 million 1 1

(option, 1st pref votes, 2nd 3rd 4th)

Preferences? - J Logan t: 07:08, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

  • 6 - followed by 10, then 8, then 5. Have fun psychoanalyzing that. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:11, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
That's easy, following Freud this is probably symptomatic of an Oedipus complex ;-) Arnoutf 16:35, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Following Freud, *EVERYTHING* is symptomatic of an Ödipus complex... ;)Nightstallion 17:19, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Yup, that is why I came to this conclusion ;-)Arnoutf 17:32, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  • 16, then 11, then 8. —Nightstallion 17:19, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  • zero, if we have a table after all, 5 then 6 then 10 Arnoutf 17:32, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  • zero, then 16, then 5 --Boson 20:46, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  • funny, funny, to see the answers, I need a brainsurgery after that.... Lear 21 20:55, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you could come back afterwards and explain what the problem was.--Boson 23:56, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Lear's problem seems to be (see a lot of older discussion) that there can only be one correct answer (10), and that no justification or reason has to be given for that; and that no compromise or discussion is possible about this issue. Arnoutf 08:21, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
  • 0, 5, 11, 8 as I'd prefer the fixed criteria. I've rejigged the table to show the current votes, after a time we can try to use the preferences to figure out which one has most support. - J Logan t: 08:15, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

How about 9.5 or 8.2 ? @ Arnoutf: A very extensive, detailed and logic reasoning has been taken place to justify the well established version. Now and almost half a year ago! Now and then with your attendance! Lear 21 10:10, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Now and then with you providing your opinion as facts and you not accepting any argument but your own. Arnoutf 13:29, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

(c break two)

Okay, it has been left a while. Interestingly we have 3 of the five stating no table as their first option. However I'll stick my neck out here and guess that Lear might have voted against that idea, and I think have discussed that (correct me if I'm wrong) so at least it is even. So of the remainders, 3 and 14 had no backing. So I'm removing those, and those who voted for 0 first I am moving their votes up one so their 2nd are now first. That produces this, in order of support;

  • 5 = +2 million (old option) 2 2
  • 16 = +1 million 2
  • 6 = Until countries are repeated 1 1
  • 10 = old option 0 1 1
  • 11 = +1.5 million 0 2
  • 8 = +1.7 million (compromise) 0 0 3

This would place 5 at the top, but it is not a majority and we are discounting the votes for 0. Thoughts on next move? - J Logan t: 16:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Another way of looking at this is which option beats which. I'll assume that (a) unstated options are equally tied at last except for 0 which I'm assuming is absolute last place for those who didn't state 0 as first place, and that Lear prefers 10 > all else(tied) > 0.

Net difference between options (prefer column - prefer row)
. 0 5 6 8 10 11 16
0 N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 0 N/A -2 -1 -1 -1 0
6 0 2 N/A 0 -1 0 0
8 0 1 0 N/A 1 1 0
10 0 1 1 -1 N/A 0 0
11 0 1 0 -1 0 N/A 1
16 0 0 0 0 0 -1 N/A

So, the strongest difference is that 5 is preferred over 6. 5 is also preferred over 8, 10, and 11, and nothing is preferred over 5. That said, 5 is tied with 0 and 16, and nothing is preferred over 0 or 16, either (under my assumptions above, of course). Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry but I think you are moving ahead to quickly. First of all, there was no option to vote against, so Lear's feelings about the 0 option cannot count.
Secondly, I interpret the outcome more or less as follows. Most unique votes are against a table whatsoever. However many people both in favour of long and in favour of the no-table option are willing to compromise. Hence you will find relatively large votes in the small length tables (5 and 6); and that is what you found.
So basically 5 and 6 are seen as compromise acceptable to almost all. I think at this time Lear has to say whether he can live with a 5 or 6 entry option (I am sure we can decide between those), if he does not then we have a conflict. Arnoutf 17:18, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't really trying to interpret the outcome as much as help interpret my table (because I realize my table is a little odd). The table was meant merely as one more way of examining the information. You're right that my assumptions about Lear were quite speculative. It's not something I feel strongly about, in any case. My impression (and this could be wrong) is that you, JLogan, and Lear have the strongest feelings about this, which is also something that no table can capture. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:38, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I was primarily addressing JLogan, and his suggestion to disregard the 0 option. Your table is helpful, and bascially shows the same as my 'softer' interpretation. The issue is now how will Lear21 react to this. I hope he accepts there is a majority for a shorter table. (Personally I would prefer to remove it altogehter, but I am willing to talk to get to a solution, I can however not talk to someone who repeats a personal opinion as dogmatic fact and is not willing to listen). Arnoutf 17:43, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Ow, brain is starting to hurt. Need more tea. Em, just like to say I don't so much have strong feelings about a particular number, more that the choice is taken by consensus rather than a single editors stubboness, I do however support a shorter, more logical, table if backed by others. We all seem to br taking the interpretation that the 5 area is winning out. However we did all support such an area so our interpretation may be skewed. However another vote would probably not be productive given the complex nature of the options so the decision will have to be concluded in discussion - as it should be on Wikipedia.
To this end, I put forward the argument that a listing of 5 shows off enough cities with a clear criteria of both being the top five and the cities over 2 million. Any less would be displaying too few considering how close they are. Near numbers do not have the same clear criteria and higher figures make the list too long for the EU page, all this data is on other pages. The problem with city sizes of course remains in any table form, yet there is clearly still a demand, even if a minority one, to include a table.
Perhaps though, inorder to take into account of the urban zone situation, we could include in the list all Urban/Metro zones over 5 million. That would ensure their representation and would enlarge the list to include others while maintaining reason behind the numbers? - J Logan t: 18:32, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I supported 10, initially, then went with 6. 5 was the last of the options that I put a comment on. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:41, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Quick check: Adding Urban Zone would only add the RuhrArea. Not a city, and likely to create a lot of confusion in the future; so I am fairly hesitant there
Assuming Lear wants a table; 50% of the voters is against a table, 50% in favour of one sort of table. It would be fair if everyone reconsidered their opinion to some extent. 5 (or 6) seems a fair compromise acceptable to all according to me.
I suggest we wait a reasonable time with any actions to wait if Lear21 comments on this as he clearly has an opinion, and we should not rush to prevent him talking as that would be unfair.Arnoutf 18:43, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh Ruhr, that might actually be a reason for keeping it down to 5 actually. On reconsidering, I am willing to shift my position if it would help result in a consensus on this, it is hard getting the others involved however. I hope Lear does not waste the opportunity here however. - J Logan t: 18:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Enlargement information

This has been copied from my talk page (User talk:JLogan)
Not sure about you removing the table of EU expansion, you're right it is covered in history but I think the table is useful as a quick reference on who joined when. Plus I am having viewing issues with it (tad too wide). But I am not saying it needs to be brought back as it was, I think we can look at a simpler and smaller way of presenting it. - J Logan t: 14:43, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
About removing the table, it just seemed that the article repeated the enlargement info 4 times. In the history section, in the member states section, in the table and in the image used to illustrate enlargement. Perhaps we could have some kind of table/image with javascript to show the respective enlargements. Just a thought. Caveat lector 20:29, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree it shouldn't be repeated in both sections, and you were right to remove the text, however I think a table helps illustrate it and is something we ought to have, possibly in the history. Granted I am not quite sure how to work this, and the two maps together illustrate most of it unless you want to get into detail in which case you can go to the main article for it. I'll copy this to the EU page incase anyone else has a thought on it. - J Logan t: 07:08, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Capital city

Could we leave Brussels as the 'Capital' of the European Union? It may not be constitutionally recognised as such, but nor are many other capital cities, including London for the United Kingdom. Brussels is the political heart of the Union's governing structures; it is the home of the Council and the Commission, and indeed, increasingly, the Parliament. Given that decisions are now taken there that can have greater import than those taken in Member State capitals, it seems objective and accurate to call Brussels the EU's capital city. 'Commission seat' is not reflective of the city's importance; and 'Institutional centre' is merely calling a capital city the same by another name... Ouip: 00.56, 8th September 2007 (GMT)

I think the problem is that it is not accepted politically as the capital and that constitutionally Strasbourg is the official seat of parliament. I see some support for "administrative capital", but even then I would add a footnote "Seat of the European Commission". Wars have probably been fought over less, and the lack of consensus on making Brussels the official seat of the institutions has been repeatedly noted by the powers that be.--Boson 00:21, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree, we cannot call capital because it is not accepted as such. I agree that in practice it serves as such but there isn't even one city so we have to use another designation. Previous consensus was Commission seat, which I agree sucks big time but even adding the term defacto on the end didn't get total support, and that might well be the most accurate. This is why I proposed institutional centre, because it does serve as the term capital while avoiding the problem of the term "capital". - J Logan t: 07:48, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree, Brussels cannot be listed as capital. Among others because no international organisations have capitals. The current consensus is a carefully thought out compromis and I see no reason to change. Arnoutf 07:53, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

It is not even an Institutional centre. Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Luxemburg and even The Hague are home to important institutions. Not mentioning the rotating presidencies taking place in their respective countries... 'Commission seat' hasn´t been questioned for a very long time. Lear 21 09:52, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I overread the actual term JLogan put in. I agree with Lear here. Commission seat is clear, to the point, and not disputed. Can we have that back please? Arnoutf 09:54, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree, institutional centre was a suggestion but Commission seat is established and has the support of a consensus. - J Logan t: 15:51, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

'Commission seat' is simply not good enough. The Commission is merely a civil service, and is not even the most important part of the Union. What matters is the Council of the European Union. This is the legislative authority. The Council is based in Brussels, as are the Commission and for most part the Parliament. The points about other institutions being in other cities is also a non-starter. The UK has several institutions of government located all around the country, but this doesn't mean that London is not the British capital. Equally, the European Union is not just another 'international organisation', so the point about international organisations not having capitals is irrelevant. But if 'Capital' is deemed inappropriate, then so must 'Commission seat'. I propose 'Administrative city' instead. This is accurate, does not impose trappings of capital status, and get around the inadequacies of 'Commission seat' or 'Institutional centre'. Ouip: 00.17, 9th September 2007 (GMT)

Sorry but every city with for example a tax-office is an administrative city. Yes it is accurate for Brussels, but it is equally so for Fort William, Scotland; hardly worthy of mention in the overall infobox. The text needs to be specific besides accurate.
Also the Council only has its official seat in Brussles but meets 3 months in Luxembourg.
At this stage the 'Brussels is captial' is just too far ahead.
In any case do not change existing consensus (Commission seat) before a new consensus has emerged. In other words wait with this obviously contested edit for at least some days. Arnoutf 23:25, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
FWIW (not much), I agree with JLogan and Arnoutf. OTOH, I didn't even realize that London wasn't the official capital of the UK. (Just so y'all don't think I'm too much the "daft American", I did know the difference between England and the UK.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 23:30, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Ouip. "Commission seat" is misleading. It draws attention to only one dimension of the EU, and ignores others also based in Brussels, which are equally as important. I think "Administrative centre" is more accurate than "Administrative city", to take the points of Arnoutf. I will change it to "Administrative centre", and hope this reflects a new consensus. Imperium Europeum, 9th September 2007. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Imperium Europeum (talkcontribs) 23:39, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

No it will not. I changed it back immediately. The new consensus has to emerge HERE FIRST before it should be changed. You are free to discuss your idea but do not make changes before other involved editors have had their opportunity to respond. Arnoutf 23:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
So is Arnouft the censor of consensus? This has to be changed because "Commission seat" is completely misleading. It may not be false, because Brussels is of course home to the European Commission. But it is also the official home of the European Council and increasingly the European Parliament. I agree that "Capital" may be too far ahead, but "Commission seat" is inaccurate. "Administrative Centre" accurately depicts the nature of Brussels in relation to the European Union. Imperium Europeum 23:49, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Convince us here and I will not object. But until then leave it up as it is. Arnoutf 23:51, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, who decides? And when? The fact of that matter is that Encyclopaedia entries are supposed to be accurate and not economical or misleading with the truth. They are also meant to reflect more than just "consensus". And, as it stands, "Commission seat" is inaccurate.Imperium Europeum 00:01, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
The community is the arbiter of consensus, and a few days' worth of discussion almost always makes that consensus clear. Let the discussion run its course, in the meantime there is little harm in leaving the text as is, in accordance with previous consensus, until the discussion runs its natural course. In any event, a give-and-take discussion of the various terms is useful. edit-warring and meta-discussion of the process is a waste of time. --Clubjuggle 00:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

(unindented)Thanks, that brings me back to the issue, I'll try not to get carried away again. Just to summarise there seem to be three options.

  • Commission seat (currently mentioned)
  • Capital (put in sometimes many people object)
  • Administrative centre (newly proposed)

In my opinion administrative city has been superseded by adminstrative centre (but if you disagree I would agree listing it as 4th). A fifth option: Institutional centre has been dropped by its original creator above (but again if people think it should be considered I am happy to involve it in the discussion).
The question now is. How should we call Brussels in the infobox?
Commission seat, is accurate, it is the seat of the commission, one of the three most important EU bodies. It is also specific as the commission only has a seat in Brussels and not in Luxembrug (council) or Strassbourg (parliament). However, it lacks comprehensiveness as Brussels is more then only the seat of the commission.
In my opinion, capital is not accurate, it may well be that with further EU integration Brussles will be the true capital, but I think we are not there (yet)
Administrative centre, is (IMHO) not such a bad term. Much of the work in Brussels is administrative, it includes the work of council, commission and parliament. It is also specific; if there is a single centre of administration in the EU it is Brussels (a lot of paper goes there ;-). So perhaps the term "administrative centre" is indeed an improvement.
Let's wait for some more people to make their preference known and see what happens. Arnoutf 00:18, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Okay, well, I'm relatively new to this! In any case, "Commission seat" is inadequate. I would like to propose 'Administrative centre" instead of "Commission seat", which does not do sufficient justice to Brussels' role in the European Union. Just to re-capsulate: As Arnoutf states, Brussels is the official home of the European Commission (partial executive), but it is also the official home of the Council of the European Union (and vitally, its General Secretariat) (legislature). It is also home to the European Parliament, at least for lengthy periods of the year. This, I hope most will agree, is sufficient for the name to be changed to "Administrative centre", which accurately and clearly depicts Brussels' role, removes undue emphasis only on the Commission, gets rid of the trappings of capital city status, and ends the inadequacies of "Institutional centre", given that there are other EU institutions elsewhere. Imperium Europeum 00:28, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with the idea of "Administrative center", but to what degree my this be considered synthesis? Presumably, there'd have to be one or more reliable sources calling it this, right? Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 00:43, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Administrative centre is equaly misleading (and Commission seat is not inaccurate, it just doesn't do it justice). The Commission does some administration but you all the major decisions are also taken in the city. The Commission is also a political body, with the Council of Ministers and European Parliament doing a lot of their political work in the city (yes they are also outside, but their presence in Brussels attracts more attention). Then there is also the European Council which is now based there which is far from an administrative body. Administrative is far from the correct word for such political activity. I think we have to start from the bottom with few basic questions: What is Brussels to the European Union? What seperates Brussels from Strasbourg and Luxembourg? What common wording best fits such a role? - J Logan t: 08:39, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

The Brussels entry within the infobox alone emphasizes its importance. There are no other locations mentioned. 'Administrative center' sounds reasonable to me. It acknowledges the multipurpose character of Brussels. The Largest City entry has to go. There is no standardized data set available which can proof a decent ranking (Paris has probably the larger urban area compared to London) Lear 21 10:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I suppose anything is a bit of a compromise. What are the alternatives?

  • Commission seat: This is actually correct, so I think it should stay if we can't reach a different consensus. However, for stylistic reasons, I would prefer Seat of the Commission.
  • Administrative centre: I don't think this does Brussels justice, as it can be interpreted as an administrative centre, rather than the administrative centre.
  • Institutional centre: I think this is worse than "administrative centre". Since Brussels is not the seat of all institutions, it even more obviously has to be read as a centre, not the centre.
  • Capital: I don't think just capital can be used as long as the Treaty specifically names Strasbourg as the seat of the parliament, and the French will obviously have to be given much more as a quid pro quo before they give up Strasbourg.
  • Administrative capital: This does not seem to be under consideration so far. It does qualify "capital", which might make it acceptable, and it is mainly the administration that is concentrated in Brussels. I don' t think Brussels can, as yet, be called the capital from the point of view of the judiciary or the legislature. Administrative capital also seems to be accepted within the European establishment, at least to the extent that it appears on EU Web sites (
  • Political and administrative capital: In particular, the report Brussels, Capital of Europe, a report on deliberations on "the needs of a European capital and how Brussels could best express them" says: "The political and administrative capital of the EU is already in Brussels, taking decisions and wielding power". The report discusses many of the relevant issues and discusses what is meant by "capital".

At the moment I think I would go for Political and administrative capital, and omit the "political and" if space is a consideration.--Boson 11:06, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I think "Administrative capital" could work, but presumably "Administrative centre" says much the same. "Centre" means the core, the most important, and cities like London and Paris are often called the centres of Britain and France respectively. So it does imply quite clearly that Brussels is the governing centre of Europe. Interestingly, I found this on the Europe page of the Brussels-Capital region's website, which calls the city the EU's 'capital'. See Brussels, the capital region. Imperium Europeum 14:28, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I am still a bit hesitant about capital even with the added administrative. I think the term "centre" althouh not perfect does in the context give Brussels as the (only/main) centre of the EU. In that way it is a more complete description on the importance of its function in the EU. So my support would go to "Administrative centre" of all options mentioned so far. Arnoutf 16:05, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we should put just administrative, it is still narrow as Commission is. It is also the major political centre. But perhaps as everything is not in Brussels that ought to be reflected. Just have something like Institutional centres and list Brussels Luxembourg and Strasbourg. - J Logan t: 08:30, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
How about 'Political centre' then? Surely that reflects Brussels nature? Alternatively, we could use 'Political centres' and then list Brussels, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg accordingly? Imperium Europeum 01:34, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Just FYI, Imperium, the "Brussels-Capital Region" name is the name of the Brussels region within Belgium, and does not actually represent any kind of official capital status for Brussels within the EU. —Nightstallion 11:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I do realise that! If you actually take the time to read the reference, you might actually see what it says. It calls Brussels the 'capital' of Europe. Imperium Europeum 18:44, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Hardly neutral though. I am pretty sure there are more cities who call themselves "capital of Europe","capital of the World", or even "capital of the universe" ;-) Arnoutf 18:47, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, Imperium, my bad. —Nightstallion 15:25, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Dear all: I have been thinking for some time about the 'Commission Seat' problem, and have come up with a new section of the side box. I have tried to include all the points as far as possible above, and hope that what we now have is more accurate. I hope it is also clear for readers. The only remaining issue is whether or not to call the 'admin_center_type' 'Political Centres' or something else. If 'Political Centres' is inappropriate, perhaps 'Headquarters' would work? Finally, maybe we should have a footnote explaining that during April, June and October the Council meets in Luxembourg? However, the 1992 Edinburgh EC stated that Brussels would be the official seat. These two issues aside, I really do hope this is an improvement on what we had previously. Imperium Europeum 00:10, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

How about "executive seat"? That would imply both the political and admin sides, avoiding the capital reference, and the executive organs have no seat outside Brussels avoiding the seat footnote. I am of course counting the executive powers of the Council of Ministers as belonging to the European Council, as defacto they are and will be when the European Council becomes and institution. I am also discounting the unofficial extraordinary meetings of the European Council outside Brussels - it is officially based there now. - J Logan t: 07:45, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Do you mean putting '(Executive seat)' next to Brussels instead of '(Council, Comm.)', '(Legislature)' next to Strasbourg rather than '(Parliament)' and '(Judiciary)' next to Luxembourg City instead of '(Court)'. I did think of that when I did it, although there is still the problem of Brussels being the seat of the Council, which is a legislature (and probably one of the most powerful in the world). What do you think? I thought 'Political Centres' accurately reflects better than 'Capital' or 'Administrative Centre': Indeed, the Wikipedia entry on Institutions of the European Union also calls the Council, Commission and Parliament 'political institutions'. Imperium Europeum 12:55, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, just Brussels to keep it simple, due to the problems of the Council being legislature etc. So you would only have "Executive seat: Brussels". On your changes for having all three under political centres, that also works however I think we should avoid putting which institutions are there as it clutters, over simplifies and produces needless footnotes. - J Logan t: 15:18, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'm happy with that: I'll remove the Institutional affiliation to each. I'll link Brussels to Brussels and the European Union, Strasbourg to European Parliament and Luxembourg City to European Court of Justice. This will make it less cluttered. I think we should keep 'Political' instead of 'Executive', although I'm happy with 'Political Seats' instead of 'Centres' if you think we would be better going with that? Imperium Europeum 15:54, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with the links, they should link to the cities, that is their function. Could we link -whatever name we settle on for capital- to Location of European Union institutions? That should provide the information. Not sure about 'Political seats', doesn't sound right. Political centres work better than that. - J Logan t: 16:42, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Right: All the cities now link to the Wikipedia city pages, and 'Political centres' now links to Location of European Union institutions! Imperium Europeum 20:03, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Looks good, so long as everyone else is okay with it it should work fine. - J Logan t: 14:34, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine with it. —Nightstallion 15:26, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

History section

The history has been trimmed recently. Some useless POV information has gone, that is good. Important facts have been deleted as well. Schuman declaration, Fall of the Iron Curtain and the introduction of the EURO currency are essentials in this section and have to be reinstalled. Lear 21 11:08, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Note that there is a larger History of EU article; where these are mentioned, so we should not reintroduce too much detail. As I read the current version Euro is explicitly mentioned, so I miss your point there. The Schuman declaration and the fall of the wall are implied in the section. As they are not essential EU history events (but outside events co-shaping the EU) I am not sure they need to be mentioned explicitly. However you are free to disagree (but please please please do not put down your personal opinion as a fact again, as you did in above line). Arnoutf 07:38, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree, reading through the basics are there, everything else can be found in the main pages (although they do need major expansion) - J Logan t: 15:58, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I've just put in a clearer reference to the iron curtain as it occurred to me that German reunification is essentially stated anyway. On the point of the Schuman declaration, the article actually quoted from this! Not enough? Caveat lector 02:19, 16 September 2007 (UTC)