Template talk:Sovereign states of Europe

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Would it be possible to remove the footnotes from this template? I mean, the purpose of this template is to provide navigational aid. Not to give a detailed definition of what Europe really is. I think it is totally irrelevant to inform the reader of the Sweden article that Norway has dependencies or similar territories outside Europe. That kind of information is better provided in prose in the relevant articles, and not in this navigational template. By removing these footnotes, this template get neater and uses less space. I think it would be an improvement. --Kildor (talk) 18:51, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Some of the footnotes can be relevant even on navigational bases. And I don't see why a short explanation why certain countries that aren't always defined as European are in here. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 07:56, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit request: Update footnote[edit]

{{editprotect}} Could someone change footnote 5 currently reading: Declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008 and is recognised by 44 countries.. These number changed. It is now either 45 or 46 (if you count Taiwan as a country). See International reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence. Cheers Gugganij (talk) 13:39, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Not done for now: - no way am I going to make the call over whether to put 45 or 46 :D. Find me a consensus for one number or the other. Happymelon 19:45, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} I think that for NPOV the footnote 5 should read: Declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008 and is recognised by 45 UN member states. That would remove the need for debate whether Taiwan is a country or not. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 09:15, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Done That'll do. Happymelon 13:50, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Merge of this, CoE and EU templates[edit]

Nearly all European countries are in the Council of Europe, and now most CoE countries are members of the European Union. So, rather than having three separate templates: Template:Countries of Europe, Template:Council of Europe and Template:Members of the European Union (EU), why not merge them but simply better organise the entries so it is not one long confusing list; LINK REMOVED - JLogant: 16:07, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I have no strong opinion, but these are my concerns:

- SSJ  19:23, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough. I do admit that CIS etc would be a problem, I was thinking about people adding EU candidates, potential candidates etc etc but I figured that given the level of protection over this template already, agreed lines could be enforced. As for an argument for EU / CoE: they have a dominant membership. We could just do a CoE & Europe template, which would also get around the MOS point on the EU member page. As for other templates, I don't think it would add any coherence, it can be done on a case by case basis.- JLogant: 20:28, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


Georgia is not part of Europe, even if it is member state of the Council of Europe (also the US are member of the Council of Europe, with observer status). Geographically, Georgia is in Asia. --Bachforelle (talk) 18:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

It is transcontinental, and hence it is in both. And it is a full member, US is observer as non-european countries can only be observers.- J.Logan`t: 18:42, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Please look at this map showing the border, and note the valid geographical (not political or cultural) definition since Philip Johan von Strahlenberg. --Bachforelle (talk) 06:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry but that map just doesn't seem to depict all the POVs of the border between Europe and Asia. See Map of Europe for yet another view. It is widely accepted that the Bosporus and the watershed at the Ural Mountains and Ural river are definite borders. As of the border between Black Sea and the Caspian Sea there are many competing definition, of which no one certain correct one has been established. One of the more widely accepted definitions is the watershed of Caucasus Mountains. That would put Azerbaijan and Georgia partially into Europe. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 07:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I can find many Google hits underlying your position, but no scientific literature. --Bachforelle (talk) 07:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I have no quick access to actual scientific literature concerning the subject. In Wikipedia articles List of countries spanning more than one continent and Borders of the continents the most widely used western definition is stated to be the Greater Caucasus watershed. In Botc articles it is also mentioned that in German speaking and Slavic countries a more northern definition is used more often. I cannot, at least quickly, find any concrete scientific research to back the view I share with e.g. European Union, Oxford Reference Online, BBC, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and National Geographic Society. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 08:37, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking the NGS is scientific... point is, it is commonly held that these are the geographical borders of Europe, and it is stated that they are partly in Asia. politically, Georgia is seen as European, albeit in on the edge. It is accepted by the Council of Europe (which seems to to now be the modern political authority on the boundaries of Europe (and as we are dealing with states....), and similar international bodies. It also has a certain amount of self identity with Europe which is important from the cultural connections. Besides, why are you so bothered by this?- J.Logan`t: 10:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
NGS is a publisher of popular magazines etc., not exactly a scientific resource. I am concerned, because WP should not push non-established theories. Why are we always quoting websites, politicians etc, rather than a simple undergraduate textbook? --Bachforelle (talk) 12:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
This is hardly non-established, and even if this were disputed there is nothing wrong in choosing the wider theory for the purposes of inclusion. As I have said we are dealing with states so we need to look at the political reality. Furthermore, National Geographic Society is hardly just a publisher! It is an extremely respected institution and authority that has simply made use of media outlets. - J.Logan`t: 12:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
This "extremely respected institution and authority" claims that Gibraltar is an island ... (National Geographic Desk Reference, p. 660) --Bachforelle (talk) 08:32, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Also according to CNN, it is in Asia [1] --Bachforelle (talk) 12:28, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
And according to to these sources, it is:European Union [2], the Council of Europe [3], British Foreign and Commonwealth Office [4], World Health Organization [5], World Tourism Organization [6], UNESCO [7], UNICEF [8], UNHCR [9],European Civil Aviation Conference [10], Euronews [11], BBC [12], NATO [13], Russian Foreign Ministry [14], the World Bank [15], Assembly of European Regions [16], International Air Transport Association [17],Oxford Reference Online, OSCE [18], ICRC [19], Salvation Army [20], International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [21],Council on Foreign Relations [22], United States European Command [23], Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary [24] and www.worldatlas.com.

Footnote update[edit]

Kosovo footnote (5) should be updated as Malta recognized Kosovo making it 46 UN member states.

Source?  Sandstein  21:27, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Malta recognizes Kosovo as an independent State (Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Gugganij (talk) 01:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Malta was the 46th state. May I refer you to International reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, where all recognitions are referenced with a source. Gugganij (talk) 10:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Please update the sandbox and then re-enable the editprotected request so that the changes can more easily be synced. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:41, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I changed the figure from 45 to 46 in the sandbox. Gugganij (talk) 09:12, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Updated in the template. Thanks. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:13, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Abkhazia and South Ossetia[edit]

{{editprotected}} As Russia now has officially recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia, they should be added to this template, like Kosovo. -- (talk) 13:41, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

If we are to list territories recognized by only one country, then Northern Cyprus should be included as well (as long as the geographically Asian Cyprus is). But on the other hand, there's Template:Non-sovereign territories of Europe for this kind of entity. That's not to say I don't see the obvious problem with including Kosovo (recognized by 46 UN members) as a country but not Abkhazia (recognized by 1 UN member). Where are we drawing the line? Wherever we draw it, it will come off as OR. -- Jao (talk) 14:13, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
We could have drawn the line at recognition by >50% of UN member states as have been proposed, as it makes some sense. That would disqualify Kosovo though.
Drawing the line at recognition from 5, 20 or 40 UN member states is just unacceptably ad hoc, so if Kosovo should be on this template then Abkhazia and South Ossetia should as well. -- (talk) 14:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
There is no choice, really: we now must include Abkhazia and South Ossetia among the Wikipedia list of European countries. International law cares only about the existence of diplomatic links, regardless of their quantity. Kosovo is recognized by 46 UN members and not recognized by 146; therefore, it has partial international recognition. Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Northern Cyprus are recognized by one State each, and this also qualifies as partial international recognition. There is absolutely no legal difference between these four European countries. It's also the case of Taiwan (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Countries_of_Asia ), another country which is not a member of the United Nations. (talk) 14:59, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I quite agree, one recognition is equal to 50 or 100. We either have Kosovo with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Northern Cyprus or do not include any country that is not recognised by every single UN member.- J.Logan`t: 15:08, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Then we do not include the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg and People's Republic of China. Colchicum (talk) 21:28, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
You mean Liechtenstein? -- (talk) 22:17, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
It's not the same thing at all. South Ossetia/Abkhazia are now in exactly the same position as Northern Cyprus: recognized only by one country which has intervened militarily in their support, and which is in effect their patron and protector. Kosovo is currently in much the same position as some of the former Soviet and Yugoslav republics not long after their declarations of independence - recognized by a substantial number (but not a majority) of UN member states, including, importantly, the large majority of its peers in Europe. One recognition is certainly not equal to 50 or 100. As things stand, no other countries have even indicated that they will recognize the two breakaways - again, completely unlike Kosovo. The concept of recognition in international law is a fuzzy thing, but it requires multiple states and preferably the UN to do the recognizing, not a single state as in this case. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:38, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Actually it is quite clear that Russia is playing the Kosovo card. They do exactly what the West has done in Kosovo. I expect some more peripheral recognitions from Russian satellites and possibly China. The question is, where is the limit? I can agree with the >50% rule, which of course disqualifies Kosovo as well. EU or NATO countries do not have any moral superiority or whatever ChrisO might be inferring by using the word "importantly". --   Avg    19:46, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Exactly, Russia has its allies too. Kosovo was just backed by a power that could get more countries on board, the practical effect is the same, we can't go around drawing arbitrary lines.- J.Logan`t: 19:52, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I very much doubt that any other states will recognize the breakaways. It sets too much of a precedent for their own separatists and China certainly will not, given its hostility to what it calls "splittism". As I said before, there's a big difference between Russia and "the West" (not even an accurate term anyway, given that many non-Western countries have recognized Kosovo - see International reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence). In the case of Russia and South Ossetia/Abkhazia, as I said, you have a situation that is exactly parallel to that of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. No other country in the world has recognized NC. In the case of Kosovo, recognition was initially granted by seven countries (two of which are non-Western) on the same day, then 39 more to date. It wasn't simply a case of being "backed by a power that could get more countries on board" - Kosovo's backing by the US was influential but was certainly not determinative (after all, many US allies have still not recognized Kosovo). In other words, South Ossetia/Abkhazia are following precisely the example set by NC, but Kosovo is following a different path - there isn't a precise equivalent, but the example of Lithuania in 1991 is probably the closest comparison. A mechanistic approach such as a 50% cutoff simply isn't appropriate - as I said, the criteria for "international recognition" are fuzzy anyway. All we can really do is be pragmatic about it and list a state when it has attained a meaningful level of recognition, i.e. by a significant number of other states, not just by one or two. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:04, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Agree or alternatively add Kosovo, TRNC, Abkhazia etc. to a footnote. Even according to tge Russian TV news - fully fledged independence is gained only once the country is recognized by the UN. --Avala (talk) 20:09, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Would UN recognition be more meaningful then? It has been proposed here on Wiki quite a few times. I don't expect Kosovo or S.Ossetia/Abkhazia to pass that hurdle (or NC for that matter).--   Avg    20:12, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Well for a good reason. They are not independent countries. Kosovo independence was declared as "supervised independence" per Ahtisaari plan which is a contradicting phrase itself.--Avala (talk) 20:28, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Having one or two recognitions doesn't not make it a country Ijanderson (talk) 20:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
UN recognition is not determinative. You might be interested in having a look at International recognition and Declarative theory of statehood. It was very much a live issue during the Yugoslav breakup in 1991 - there was a substantial period between Slovenia and Croatia declaring independence and their receiving UN recognition. During the interim period a substantial number of mostly European states recognized their independence (somewhat controversially). The bottom line is that countries that have been recognized as independent by only one or two other countries are not, in a general sense, recognized internationally as bona fide independent states, particularly if those states happen to be wholly dependent on their recognizers - as in the case of TRNC, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, none of which would even exist if it wasn't for the economic and military support of their patrons. Obviously there is a degree of hypocrisy at work here (I accept that you could make some similar arguments for Kosovo) but the general rule is that recognition must involve more than a single or even a handful of states for it to "stick". -- ChrisO (talk) 20:27, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I repeat what I mentioned earlier. Kosovo independence is so called "supervised independence". It is at least to the US and EU (for Serbia it's not independence at all). So it means that per independence declaration Kosovo must have international presence and supervision.--Avala (talk) 20:31, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Are partially recognized countries allowed in this template or not? If they are then Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, and South Ossetia belong here. If no partially recognized countries are allowed then Kosovo needs to be removed immediately. --Tocino 20:22, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

We've discussed this before. In brief, it depends on how "partial" their recognition is. We only added Kosovo once a significant number of states (the figure currently stands at 47) had recognized it. TRNC has never featured on the template, given that only one country recognizes it. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Anything below 96 countries is the same whether it's 1 or 95. You can't become the president if you have 25 votes and your opponent has 75. The same goes for independence. If you don't even have the majority it's not much of an independence as the majority considers it not to be one. I stay with my footnote proposal for TRNC, Kosovo, Abkhazia and Ossetia.--Avala (talk) 20:28, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

ChrisO, you are definitely contradicting yourself. Considering Kosovo, and why Kosovo should be included on this template, you said this:
"I suggest that the most equitable solution would be to add a new line to this template underneath the main list, titled "Partially recognised states of Europe". The criteria for inclusion in this category should be (1) full control of its claimed territory (i.e. not a virtual state); (2) a formal declaration of independence; (3) recognition by at least one UN member state. This would be a clear and stable set of criteria." (this was copied from here: Template_talk:Countries_of_Europe/Archive_4#What_to_do_about_Kosovo.3F)
Quite remarkable. -- (talk) 20:28, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree to that plan whenever it was made.--Avala (talk) 20:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree with it, as I would prefer only states beyond question when it comes to international recognition in this list, but he should at least follow his own policy. -- (talk) 20:36, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
We dig a hole for the future if we try to set limits. Personally, I think we should just decide to either include states with any recognition, or, limit it only to UN members (hence de facto widely recognised by int. community). That woiuld be the only legitimate division.- J.Logan`t: 21:20, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
People seem to be approaching this from a binary point of view - recognised vs non-recognised. In fact, there's a spectrum of recognition - from none at all (e.g. Transnistria) to minimal (TRNC, South Ossetia, Abkhazia) to partial (Kosovo, Taiwan) and finally to full (any country that has UN recognition). In addition a few entities have a special diplomatic status even though they aren't generally recognised internationally (Palestine, Western Sahara). As a general rule, though, the international community does not accept the legitimacy of states with a minimal level of recognition. It didn't in the case of TRNC and it won't in the case of South Ossetia and Abkhazia because of the TRNC precedent. Likewise, as we've followed the general approach of the international community in not listing TRNC as a "country of Europe" since this template was created over four years ago, we should continue that approach now. If South Ossetia and Abkhazia gain anything more than minimal recognition - i.e. more than a handful of recognitions - then we can of course revisit the issue, but it's premature to list them at the moment. -- ChrisO (talk) 15:04, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
This is incredible hypocrisy. A few questions:
1) Was your earlier post considering Kosovo not to be taken seriously?
2) Who are the international community that decide which states that are legitimate or not? You seem to consider the international community to consist out of the EU and USA.
3) Exactly how many recognitions are a handful of recognitions? Don't you think this a-handful-of-recognitions-criteria is a bit ad hoc? -- (talk) 15:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
1) Silly question, doesn't deserve a response.
2) It's a vague term, but it's generally taken to mean a consensus of the UN's member states - not just particular power blocs. "The West" was not the international community by itself, nor was the old Warsaw Pact when it existed. The UN position has always been that TRNC is an illegal state and it has refused to recognise it on that basis.
3) Not really - we've always taken the approach that states with minimal recognition don't qualify for listing here (hence the omission of TRNC, which has been the case from the date this template was created). States with partial recognition do get listed in country templates: Kosovo in this one, Western Sahara in Template:Countries of Africa, Taiwan in Template:Countries of Asia. I don't think that it's necessarily helpful to define cut-off points between the various levels of recognition. Let's just see how many countries end up recognising the breakaways. -- ChrisO (talk) 15:56, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
1) Let me clarify: I want to know why your three point criteria for inclusion on this template, that was applicated on Kosovo, was suddenly obsolete when Abkhazia and South Ossetia was recognised by Russia.
2) So, your earlier point was that the 23 UN member states that recognise RoC or the 46 that recognise Kosovo are more than the single one that recognises Abkhazia and South Ossetia? I can see that as well. But there are 146 and 169 UN member states that does not recognise Kosovo and RoC respectively, and in the case of Kosovo quite a few of them have expressed that they consider the statelet downright illegitimate. Do you include them when talking of the views of the international community?
3) I believe there is great value in policy - it lessens arbitrary rule. Would you mind explaining in what span a handful of states are? 5, 10, 25? -- (talk) 04:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
1) I see what you're saying now. I proposed originally that there should be a "partially recognised states" subsection, but that suggestion didn't get widespread support, so I abandoned the idea. It's not that it's "obsolete", it's simply that people didn't feel it was workable.
2) Obviously the international community is substantially divided over Kosovo, less so over RoC. (Bear in mind that the two are not directly analogous. Recognising RoC necessarily means not recognising PRC, and vice-versa; recognising Kosovo has no implications for recognising Serbia, which is in any case a far less important country than China). On the other hand, there's an overwhelming consensus on TRNC and currently at least the same is true for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. If that consensus breaks down and more countries start to recognise the breakaways, that potentially changes the situation as far as we're concerned. Don't think that I'm dogmatically opposed to adding them to the template - it would certainly be appropriate if they receive more than minimal recognition. It's just that they haven't reached that point yet, and there's no sign so far that they will.
3) As I already said, I don't think specific numbers are particularly useful. But I think that if the number of recognitions gets into double figures, that will be significant. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:26, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

N Edit declined, no consensus yet. Please use {{editprotected}} only after consensus is achieved.  Sandstein  21:28, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Update: it seems like Belarus is about to regonise both republics too, according to Swedish national radio[25]. Plus, both republics recognise each other. -- (talk) 22:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Abkhazia and South Ossetia, part 2[edit]

With the recent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Nicaragua (which is hardly their "patron", to employ the term used by ChrisO), these two Caucasian States now have more than "minimal recognition". The above discussion is therefore moot. Now there is absolutely no legal difference between the standings of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Kosovo, Taiwan and Western Sahara, all of which are non members of the United Nations with partial (albeit minority) international recognition. On these grounds, I would like to call for the inclusion of the two aforementioned post-Georgian republics on this Wikipedia list. (talk) 16:21, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I'd say we should wait a bit more before editing this template. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 19:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree. It's still minimal recognition. Kosovo and Western Sahara have 46 recognisers and Taiwan has 23; that's a different league from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Western Sahara is not a state, it is a territory. It is the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic which claims the land of Western Sahara. The republic is recognised by 43 states but is not included in the countries of Africa template. -- (talk) 11:35, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Umm, yes it is - both as Western Sahara (look at the North Africa line of Template:Countries of Africa) and as the SADR at the bottom of the template. -- ChrisO (talk) 11:48, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Replied in the following section. -- (talk) 12:29, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
See Template_talk:Africa_topic#Removing_Puntland_.2F_Listing_Somaliland. The question of whether or not and how to incorperate partial or fully unrecognized states was resolved. Wikipedia was to remain neutral by including them, but under a seperate section. The finding there needs to be reflected here, with Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the TRNC, Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
A request has been made to change the template to the consensus made at that template talk - see this section below. Outback the Koala (talk) 00:30, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


Hmmm. I can't comment on the discussion above, but Kosovo clearly doesn't belong in the template. All of the rest are UN member states (or observers - Vatican). A couple are UN member states which are not recognised by a small number of countries, but UN nevertheless. The List of unrecognized countries gives a good breakdown. There's a reason we haven't included Northern Cyprus (and why there is no consensus for South Ossetia and Abkhazia) and it's the same reason why we shouldn't have Kosovo. I suspect that Kosovo sneaked through without full discussion. Perhaps the inclusion of Kosovo should be reviewed and included if a consensus is supportive? PolScribe (talk) 20:31, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Against inclusion. A partially-recognised state with de facto and not de jure independence, not a UN member state. Inclusion would open up a can of worms and undermine the very good case for not including every partially-recognised bit of land which some superpower would like to see independent. PolScribe (talk) 20:31, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Believe me, it has had extensive discussion (check out Template talk:Sovereign states of Europe/Archive 4). I should point out that there isn't really such a thing as "de jure" independence - the predominate declarative theory of statehood holds that statehood is independent of recognition by other states, per the Montevideo Convention of 1933. States may or may not choose to recognise a self-declared state; that doesn't in itself make the self-declared state a legal or illegal entity. International law in this instance effectively amounts to what other countries say it is. In the case of partially-recognised states, we do already list some of these in our country templates - see Template:Countries of Africa (which lists Western Sahara) and Template:Countries of Asia (which lists Taiwan) - so your Rubicon has already been crossed. As you'll see from the discussion about the Georgian breakaway regions, I've argued that we should list only partially recognised states with a significant degree of recognition. Kosovo actually has considerably more recognition (46 states) than Taiwan (23) and about the same level as Western Sahara (~45 or so). The Georgian breakaways only have a minimal level of recognition, with only 2 states recognising them. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:12, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
The various theories of statehood aren't really relevant here. Kosovo is a state, just as the UK or Abkhazia (all three having population, territory, government and international relations). States of the World 101. This is a question of classification amongst those various states. Does Kosovo belong in the set of states in Europe which we would like to include in this template, or does it belong in a group of states which we are going to exclude. The critical question is: what is the deciding factor? I am proposing membership of the United Nations as the cut-off for this European template; you are proposing a 'significant degree of recognition'. My cut-off has the benefit of being objective and yielding a set of states which is uncontroversial; your cut-off is subjective ('Significant'? Is 42 the ultimate answer?! Whose votes count more - surely the Western and NATO votes should count double?) and leads to justified claims of inconsistency and bias. You yourself assert immediately above that two states have recognised South Ossetia - ergo you think Abkhazia and Transdnestria are states, and round and round we go again. Of course, you do have a deep knowledge of Kosovo having been a very regular contributor to debates on the various Kosovo pages, so perhaps you have some deeper insight for us which reveals Kosovo to be a special case: if in doubt, claim your subject to be sui generis! It is very clear that Kosovo does not belong in this group, or that if Kosovo stays in, so too must South Ossetia and Northern Cyprus. Check out the List of unrecognized countries for a very useful breakdown, fitting my cut-off, which yields a clear and unbiased split. PolScribe (talk) 21:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a useful compromise: a state is included if it recognised by at least half of UN member states. This is not as objective as my solution, but it yields an uncontroversial outcome and is in keeping with international law. If we are going to pick a magic number (I don't think we should, but hey) then that number should not be 46 but 98, half of the number of UN member states. This then also supports your contention on 'minimal recognition': by definition, any state only recognised by only a minority of UN member states is minimally recognised. Kosovo and South Ossetia stay out and everybody's happy. Do you have a good reason to choose 46 over 98? PolScribe (talk) 21:52, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
As I pointed out, though, we already list partially recognised states with significant levels of recognition in other country templates. Listing Kosovo is merely following the precedent set a long time ago with the inclusion of Western Sahara and Taiwan. A UN recognition criterion doesn't work because, first, UN admission is not really determinative of anything (would you have excluded the People's Republic of China prior to 1971?); second, a substantial amount of time may elapse between international recognition and UN admission - in the case of the western Yugoslav republics there was a delay of about a year, likewise with the Baltic states; third, it doesn't reflect political realities - in the case of Kosovo, the majority of its immediate peers, the other states of Europe, accept Kosovo as a fellow state. As for the degree of recognition, as I argued above with regard to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, I don't think numerical cutoffs are useful. What matters is the extent of recognition. Nobody recognises Transnistria; Northern Cyprus is recognised by only one country (representing 0.5% of UN member states); the Georgian breakaways by two countries (1% of UN member states); Taiwan is recognised by 11% of member states; Kosovo and Western Sahara by about 24%. 11%, 24% and your 50% are all arbitrary numbers, but they represent a significant number of recognitions. 0.5% and 1%, by contrast, are insignificant by any description. The criterion for inclusion should therefore be that they are recognised by a significant number of UN member states. Don't forget, this template isn't a "Template:States recognised by the UN", in which case your criteria would be appropriate. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:27, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree fully with Chris0. Removing Kosovo from this template would require us also to remove Republic of China from {{Countries of Asia}}, which would just start another edit war. And adding states with only minimal recognition wouldn't work, because next all the non-recognized states would want to be included. Significant recognition should be good enough criteria. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 04:20, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
The real problem here is that you're defining minimal and significant recognition for your own purposes. Subjective limits allow POV to creep into the selection of states (as seems to have happened here) and gives rise to inconsistency. Kosovo, South Ossetia and Taiwan all have only minority recognition (minority being an objective not a subjective number: less than half of UN member states). As Chris O makes clear, you need to look at how statehood is treated. One recognition by a UN member is enough to consider a state recognised, or else we have to treat all of those minimally-recognised (i.e. less than half of states) equally. Less than half is not somehow 'significant'; it is minimal. Where is you boundary? 10? 15? 22? Who gets to decide this number? An arbitrary and objective view that the number of states recognising Kosovo is somehow 'significant', whereas some other number is not, is poor practice. We need to work on verifiable and broadly-accepted facts: the number of UN states recognising, and whether or not that number is more or less than a majority of UN members. Anything else is open to POV pushing, as has been the case with Kosovo. PolScribe (talk) 17:05, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
And just for emphasis, Kosovo is the only state in the entire template which is only de facto independent. All of the rest are accepted as de jure independent states, not claimed by any other state. Kosovo is a glaring exception. You need consistent treatment, or else you're presenting a biased Point of View on the status of other, comparable states. PolScribe (talk) 17:09, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
And, to treat Kosovo and South Ossetia differently is to be inconsistent with both List of European countries and List of unrecognized countries, which put both in the same category (and rightly so). I don't notice you argue there that Kosovo should be moved to some other category (and I see you're active in those pages). Please address directly why we should include a state with minority recognition, and only de facto independence, when not including others, and in conflict with standards on other established Wikipedia articles. You'll need a stronger argument than 'we've decided it's significant' to justify inclusion. PolScribe (talk) 17:21, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
There is already a precedent set in the {{Countries of Asia}}, where Republic of China (23 recognitions) is included and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (1 recognition) is not included. So by that precedent Kosovo definitely should be on this template. Although that precedent is no longer fully valid with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, they are still much closer to TRNC situation than to ROC situation, which is why I would oppose them being in here. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 18:11, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
There is no precedent set for states with two recognitions. Kosovo was added to the template with fewer than ten recognitions. -- (talk) 11:26, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Once again, the question of Western Sahara serves only as a precedent to why Kosovo should NOT be included in this template. Western Sahara is not a state - it is a territory claimed by both Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is recognised by about the same number of states as Kosovo, but is not included in the Countries of Africa template. -- (talk) 11:47, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes it is - see the bottom of Template:Countries of Africa - and Western Sahara is also listed under "North Africa" in the same template. -- ChrisO (talk) 11:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
It's included in the template as an unrecognised state, yes. And it is put together with Puntland and Somaliland, both lacking international recognition. So we should either put Kosovo in a section for partial- and unrecognised states on this template, together with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria, or remove it. -- (talk) 12:19, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

{{editprotected}} Please change the Kosovo text I created {{Kosovorecognition}} to fix problems with syncing up numbers of recognition across articles, so please change:

"[[2008 Kosovo declaration of independence|Declared independence]] from Serbia on [[February 17]], [[2008]] and is recognised by 46 [[UN member states]]."


"[[2008 Kosovo declaration of independence|Declared independence]] from Serbia on February 17, 2008 and is recognised by {{Kosovorecogition}} [[United Nations member states]]."

Note that I also de-linked dates per WP:DATE and avoided a redirect. Thanks. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 22:40, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Huntster (t@c) 10:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


Non UN members belong in their own section or not in it at all. Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia and South Ossetia all share the same status in the world. the UN recognized owner does not control it, it is not a UN member and is recognised by at least 1 member state of the UN. Outside Europe, Taiwan and SADR do not control in full the territory they claim. This thing must be consistent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:04, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Since when has Spain has part of its territory outside Europe?? It may have dependencies outside Europe but then it should be listed under the footnote of 3, which states part of that country's territory is outside Europe, not 1 where it has dependecies. It should not even have a footnote, I would edit it myself but it is protected. - RoyalMate1 02:51, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Wow, I feel stupid; I forgot about the Canary Islands, but are they a dependency or territory or any of that? RoyalMate1 02:55, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Canary Islands is one of the Autonomous Communities of Spain, so in administrational divisions it is equal to e.g. Andalusia, Catalonia and Murcia. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 12:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi all

It has been brought to my attention that Cyprus has been incorrectly listed as "2 Entirely in West Asia but having socio-political connections with Europe."

I am concerned that this statement is not correct. Cyprus is partly in Asia, and partly on the European continent.

I am proposing that this is discussed and the correction made by striking that footnote.

First consider this from the Cyprus university. [Geology of Cyprus]

Secondly this from the Cyprus geological unit cyprus geological unit

Thirdly this book - "Encyclopedia of European and Asian Regional Geology" by Eldridge M. Moores, Rhodes Whitmore Fairbridge pp 160-170

All three clearly state that Cyprus was formed when the African plate collided with the European plate and pushed Cyprus up from the seabed and then continued to push it against the Asian plate after turning it through 90%

These state that Cyprus is on the European plate from the Southern edge of the island to the middle of the Kyrenia mountains, and from there northwards it is the Asian plate.

thanks--Chaosdruid (talk) 04:55, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


Greece has part of its territory outside Europe. --Kirov Airship (talk) 01:19, 19 April 2009 (UTC) Do you think that this island is in Europe? --Kirov Airship (talk) 01:24, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Link fixes[edit]

{{editprotect}} Some minor link fixes need to be made please (link fixes are allowed as an exemption to the guideline):

|title = [[List of European countries|Countries]] of [[Europe]]
<sup>2</sup> Entirely in [[Western Asia]] but having socio-political connections with Europe. 
[[List of United Nations member states|United Nations member states]].

Thank you. TJ Spyke 04:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Done, cheers,  Skomorokh, barbarian  08:01, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Kazakhstan is "part of Europe"?[edit]

Central Asia is not Europe. Please, be real. Jimtaip (talk) 09:19, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Almost regardless of the definition of Europe used, the north western corner of Kazakhstan lies in Europe. That's why Kazakhstan is included in this template with a note that only a part of its territory lies in Europe. See List of countries spanning more than one continent#Asia and Europe --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 11:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Ditto. It is transcontinental by geography, even if culturally and politically it is central asia.- J.Logan`t: 21:52, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
As Kazakhstan#Geography says, "While located primarily in Asia, a small portion of Kazakhstan is also located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe." The Urals are traditionally considered to be the eastern border of Europe. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:01, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Centralised discussion[edit]

A discussion is taking place here on how best to incorporate unrecognised states into a navigation template listing sovereign states and other entities. Some editors have suggested that including such states at all is pushing an imbalanced point of view. Others have made the same argument for not including them. Various conciliatory methods have been proposed, but have not acheived consensus. Editors should note that the outcome of this discussion will most likely have implications on this template aswell. For more information, please have a look at this casefile, or see the before-mentioned discussion page. Night w (talk) 04:06, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Including States with limited recognition as on the Europe topic[edit]

{{editrequest}} For consistency, could we please make the change. It would be modeled like on the Template:Countries of Africa. Thanks! Outback the koala (talk) 06:11, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

this was per the discussion afore mention directly above. Outback the koala (talk) 06:13, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I guess I forgot to include the edit request, sorry. Consensus was formed at the above discussion. Please contact me on my talk page if anything is unclear. Outback the Koala (talk) 00:27, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Could you please make the necessary changes to the /sandbox copy and then replace the request? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:28, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Sure. I might have to do it after Easter though. busy, busy... Outback the Koala (talk) 08:32, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

{{editrequest}} Yes check.svg Done made all changes to the /sandbox copy, and is ready to be moved in. Outback the koala (talk) 00:02, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

deployed —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:22, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Netherlands vs Kingdom of the Netherlands[edit]

Is it correct the link to the KoN page from this template? It sounds strange. The kingdom is also composed by semi-sovereign states and this page is like a double page of Netherlands. I don't think it's necessary a page with a link from this template from pages, in KoN-style, about the United Kingdom of the British Isles and the Commonwealth or Republic of France and the TOM. Regards -- (talk) 13:38, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Unlike the Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state. The Netherlands is apart of the KoN as an administrative division(one of three countries within the KoN), similar to England's relation within the Untied Kingdom. Outback the koala (talk) 21:37, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Brambo, 1 July 2010[edit]

{{editprotected}} "Nagorno-Karabakh" should be changed to "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" (the article for the actual country)

Brambo (talk) 09:06, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thank you. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 09:43, 1 July 2010 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} Should have the 3 footnote as well (New Caledonia, Mayotte et al aren't overseas departments like French Guiana or Martinique). VEO15 (talk) 08:16, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I concur strongly. However, note that footnote one should not be removed. Outback the koala (talk) 01:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:49, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

You appear to have given France footnote "13" rather than 1 and 3. Note that there is a minute dot between the numbers for all the other countries with multiple qualifiers. --erachima talk 11:11, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Indeed there is, almost invisible. Fixed Perhaps a comma would be clearer? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:35, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales[edit]

I assume there must be a good reason why the countries that comprise the United Kingdom are not noted in this template, as they are all verifiably countries. So, rather than simply adding England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, I though it best to discover why they aren't there. Has there been any previous discussion about their exclusion? Daicaregos (talk) 14:09, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

They are included, in the form of United Kingdom. As for seperate appearance, my guess 'cuz they aren't independant. GoodDay (talk) 14:28, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Quite a lot of countries would be included if you deleted them and just added European Union. But what would be the point of a template called 'Countries of Europe' that didn't include the Countries of Europe? As for "'cuz they aren't independant:" - if the template were called 'Independent Countries of Europe', Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England would have no place here, but it isn't. The template is called 'Countries of Europe' and Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England are all verifiably countries and the are in Europe. So, is there any WP:NPOV reason why they should not be included? Daicaregos (talk) 15:01, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm merely speculating as to why they're excluded. Such exclusions in the past on other related articles, have followed the same pattern (not independant). GoodDay (talk) 15:13, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Daicaregos, 11 October 2010[edit]

{{edit protected}} Please add Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England to the template. All are verified as countries by many reliable sources, some of which are noted on this page. Please note that no cogent argument has been made against their inclusion on the template talk page. Many thanks. Daicaregos (talk) 08:15, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Not done: This has been discussed at great length, for instance at Talk:List of sovereign states (check the archives). In that list, the constituent countries are listed as part of the United Kingdom list item. This template doesn't have room for that level of detail, so Scotland et al. are left out. Favonian (talk) 09:30, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. I do not agree with your decision. This is not a template of sovereign states. It is a template of countries. It is not our place to decide whether we think of these places as countries or not. The fact is that England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are all verified as countries by reliable sources. Including areas of Europe, which are reliably sourced as countries, on the countries of Europe template conforms to the fundamental principle of Wikipedia of NPOV. Not including these countries here is a demonstrating a POV that they are not countries. Daicaregos (talk) 10:14, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Favonian's response seems to be irrelevant. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England are not sovereign states, but they are countries, according to some definitions, including those used within the UK. If this template covers sovereign states, it should be named Sovereign states of Europe. If it is named Countries of Europe, it should include Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:38, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
E/S/W/NI aren't equal to the UK. If you wish to include them? you'll have to put them under the UK entry. GoodDay (talk) 16:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I have seen no suggestion, by anyone, that they are "equal to the UK". But, they are countries. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:58, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Ghmyrtle if they appear simply in alphabetical order with France and the United Kingdom then the template will be suggesting they are equal. If they appear in brackets after the UK like my example below, then they get mentioned and the template does not mislead people about their status. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:03, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
They are verified as countries by many reliable sources. An editor's opinion on some perceived level of quality is worthless. They are countries,which are in Europe: they belong on a template showing countries in Europe. If there is any Wikipedia policy superseding Verify and NPOV please provide it here. Daicaregos (talk) 06:51, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I strongly oppose their inclusion in alphabetical order on this template. If they are to be added it should be after the United Kingdom in brackets, I have seen a template that does it that way which atleast includes them on the list, but makes clear they are part of the UK still which is vital. One moment whilst i hunt for the template example BritishWatcher (talk) 10:44, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I cant find the template ive seen that does it for the UK countries, but here is an example.. Template:Countries of North America. The way parts of France/Netherlands is handled is how England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland should be shown in the template if at all. When this was last discussed centrally, it was agreed that just because a title has country in it does not mean it must include every entity in the world some may describe as countries. To many people the definition of country is a sovereign state. As i say, im fine with them appearing in brackets after the UK and i think thats how we could handle this issue on many templates and in some articles. But it is absolutely not appropriate for England to be in line with France and the United Kingdom. It will simply cause more confusion. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:52, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't personally think they need to be included at all. As separate historical entities, they have many of the hallmarks of "countries" and it is not entirely wrong to call them such, but they have no place in an overall list of world or European countries. In modern political terms, E/S/W/NI have less autonomy than a great many other subentities of nation states so I personally think it would be silly to include them.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Amakuru (talkcontribs) 12:14, 12 October 2010

Really good that editors feel able to share their personal opinions about what is or isn't a 'proper' country (even those who prefer to remain anonymousbot signed now), thanks. I ask that any further discussion trying to justify the exclusion of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England from a template of European countries be policy-based, and contain reasons why it is acceptable to ignore Neutral point of view, which (just in case they prefer not to follow the link) says: "Neutral point of view (NPOV) is a fundamental Wikimedia principle and a cornerstone of Wikipedia. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. This means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors." Daicaregos (talk) 12:37, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Policy and rules are not a matter of point of view but the application and interpretation of those rules inevitably is. An analagous situation is the constitution and laws of the United States, which are clearly written and not subject to opinion. However, the application and interpretation of those rules is down to personal opinion, hence why there are nine supreme court justices who do not always agree on every decision. So that's why I tagged the above comments with a "personally" - others may not agree with me.
Regarding the issue at hand, you can quote as many Wikipedia policies as you like, but (and again, this is my interpretation of the rules) it does not seem in the spirit of NPOV to make an exception of one nation state within Europe by listing its subnational entities, just because for historical reasons those entities happen to be called countries. If the Polish government carved the country into 1 km square blocks and called each one a "country" would you include those in the list as well? Anyway, let me sign this time. Apolgies for forgetting this earlier:  — Amakuru (talk) 13:04, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
We could always do what has been done a few times when this annoying little problem comes up thanks to the UKs internal politics which causes trouble for the rest of the world. Rename the template to Sovereign states in the same way List of countries was simply redirected to the sovereign states page, when the problem came up there. That way there is no confusion about what exactly is being listed or not. Same thing was recently done at List of European countries which was moved to List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe. The definition of "country" has different meanings, it is sadly a very weak term these days. I am sorry it is usually always sparked by a UK issue, these are very troubled times. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I asked that editors discuss how this relates to policy. Whatever our view of "country" may be is irrelevant. They are verified as countries by many reliable sources. Please read Neutral point of view then discuss why you think does not apply in this case. Daicaregos (talk) 13:08, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
It would not be neutral to give England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the same WP:Weight as other entities. Yes there are sources that describe these entities as countries, but as has been shown on many occasions, international listings do not always state every entity under the sun that can be called a country. There is a HUGE difference between France and England. We should not mislead or confuse people by having in a single table or template England, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, United Kingdom. You know this is a highly controversial issue and has led to huge problems in the past, resulting in many long discussions about why they can not be treated the same way. I am happy to support this template name being changed, that would take the template in line with "country" articles that have already had to be moved thanks to this very issue. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:22, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
You appear to be confusing sovereign state and country (I have linked them for your convenience). With respect to country: There is a HUGE difference between the USA and Andorra, and between San Marino and China, but they are each verified by reliable sources as countries, so they are rightly shown on this template. Daicaregos (talk) 13:30, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Andorra, USA, China and San Marino are all sovereign countries and members of the United Nations. Something England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not as they are part of another country already in the list, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As has already been pointed out, these "countries" have less autonomy than American states. England does not even have a government lol. As i said before, when this was last discussed centrally, when we invited people from all over wikipedia (over 100 lists / wikiprojects were canvassed), it was clear there was no support for the position that any entity known as a country MUST be listed. It would be misleading and confusing for England / Scotland / Wales / Northern Ireland / France / United Kingdom to be in line. If you are concerned about this then we should rename the template, something that was suggested the last time this came up here. And would take this template into line with the articles, which have already been changed. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:38, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Arguing that Andorra, USA, China and San Marino are all sovereign countries and members of the United Nations is irrelevant (yet again), as this is not a template of sovereign countries and members of the United Nations of Europe. And 'lol'ing that England has no government and comparing its autonomy would only be relevant if you were either attempting to define a country (rather than the NPOV way by using reliable sources) or soapboxing. Please do neither. It is a country; it is in Europe; it should be on a template of Countries of Europe. Daicaregos (talk) 14:12, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
It is your opinion they belong in this template, others feel differently. As i said im prepared to support their inclusion provided it is done like.... United Kingdom (England · Northern Ireland · Scotland · Wales). But for the sake of stability and to keep the template in line with articles which have already been changed to deal with this problem. Country has different definitions, lets change it to sovereign states to avoid any confusion. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
It is only my opinion that we should use reliable sources to verify the term ... and they do. Daicaregos (talk) 14:39, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
No it is your opinion that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be added to this template. That insertion if not done in the way i suggested would result in misleading and confusing many people when they see United Kingdom, Wales, Scotland, France, England and Northern Ireland all in line together as equals. They are in no way equals. France and the United Kingdom are equal. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are only equal to each other not to all the other countries on the list. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Of course they should be added to this template: reliable sources verify they are countries, and they are in Europe. It is called WP:NPOV on Wikipedia, which has a lot to recommend it. There can be no NPOV reason to exclude these countries. There is no reason for people to be confused. This is an encyclopaedia, people should expect to discover things they weren't aware of previously. That is why they come here: to be informed. Daicaregos (talk) 06:43, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

IMHO (which isn't worth much, I suppose) E/W/S/NI don't belong on this article or any simliar articles. However, at this point, I'm more anxious for consistancy across these articles, templates etc etc (whether that be inclusion or exclusion). So please, let's try & work this out at WP:COUNTRIES. GoodDay (talk) 15:08, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree, it isn't. Editor (any editor) opinion is not what is required, especially when the editor does not even bother to provide a reason for that 'HO'. Should you get around to giving reasons, please also explain why you think Neutral point of view, a fundamental Wikimedia principle and a cornerstone of Wikipedia, should be ignored. Daicaregos (talk) 07:47, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
If we want consistency, we should certainly rename this template "Sovereign states in Europe". In line with the other country pages that have been renamed or redirected for this very same reason. BritishWatcher (talk) 16:41, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
No argument here. GoodDay (talk) 21:34, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


I left a note at that WikiProject. GoodDay (talk) 16:14, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Please see discussion at WikiProject, we need to make a choice on all these related articles & templates. GoodDay (talk) 15:05, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


This template has been unprotected. It is contrary to our policies to restrict editing privileges to admins on a permanent basis. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:48, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
If someone is bold and places England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland as countries in line with France and Germany, they should be reverted. Whilst this debate is ongoing they should not be added at all. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:55, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Renaming this template[edit]

There appears to be a lot of editors prepared to support the renaming of this template to

. This would take the template in line with List of countries and List of European countries, both of which now either redirect or have been moved to a title with sovereign state in. It would also bring it into line with the other template {{Non-sovereign territories of Europe}} and of course would resolve the issue of what is or is not a country and what does or does not belong on this template.

What exactly do we have to do to get a template moved, does it require a standard RM? There seems to be support here and over at WP:Countries for this change to be made. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:45, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

It should be submitted to Wikipedia:Requested moves. Though the proposal has received support over the last day or so, it's my experience that there is no such thing as an uncontroversial move when countries/nations are involved. Favonian (talk) 10:52, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Done. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:24, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved to Template:Sovereign states of Europe Peter Karlsen (talk) 21:46, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Template:Countries of EuropeTemplate:Sovereign states of Europe — For the following reasons:

  • Takes the template in line with List of countries and List of European countries, both of which now either redirect or have been moved to a title with sovereign state in instead of country because of this very issue and are more stable since.
  • Brings the template into line with {{Non-sovereign territories of Europe}} which covers sovereignty in the title.
  • Resolves the issue of what type of countries belong in this template and ensures that only sovereign states are listed, so non sovereign countries are not misleadingly placed in line with them which would cause huge confusion for people when they see Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and United Kingdom all in line with each other as equals. They are not equals. Four of them are Countries of the United Kingdom, only the United Kingdom is equal to France, Germany etc. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:22, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. "Sovereign state" is the primary meaning of "country". There is also a second meaning that allows us to speak of the four constituent "countries" of the UK, the Basque country, and probably many others that I can't think of right now. There is a clear semantic overlap: Such "countries" normally were sovereign states at some point in the past. On a list of "countries" most readers expect to find only sovereign states. That's why Hong Kong and Tibet are not on the corresponding template for Asia, for example. It makes no sense to change this template, which was clearly set up for sovereign states. But to avoid the confusion stemming from editors trying to add their non-sovereign "countries" to the template, it's better to rename it. No change to the template's actual text is necessary. The most natural way of saying "sovereign state", in almost every context, is still to say "country". Hans Adler 11:56, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I failed to understand that this is a package deal of move + heading change. Will have to think about this. Hans Adler 11:41, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Exactly how many reliable sources did you find saying that the "Basque Country is a country" before making your decision to support this proposal? There are none (a couple of blogs, an internet post and a 'one man and his dog' self-published website). And what if there were; and it turned out that the Spanish government described the Basque Country as a country? Why would you choose to suppress that information? The whole point of Neutral point of view is to represent fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. Not just representing the view that Hans Adler, say, happens to agree with. Daicaregos (talk) 14:12, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I wonder, would you mind answering the questions please? 1. Did you find any reliable sources saying that the "Basque Country is a country"]? and 2. If the Spanish government described the Basque Country as a country, why would you choose to suppress that information? Thank you. Daicaregos (talk) 18:29, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
On point (1), for what it's worth (I am not proposing that we include the Basque country here):
  • "…Secondly, because the Basque Country, like Wales, is a country with a high valuation on community, the ministries and SPRI can pursue a policy of seeking to secure a future for indigenous private and co-operative industry, in accordance with democratic targets embodied in the economic strategy." (Graham Day, Regions, Nations and European Integration)
  • "With respect to educational variables, the Basque case study is truly rich, in large part because it is a country within a country (Spain)." (Jasone Ceno, Towards Multilingual Education)
  • "Data from a recent study show that the Basque Autonomous Community is a country with a very strong and very plural identity." (Ramón Zallo, Basques, Today)
  • "The Basque country is a country within a country, or a nation within a state (the semantics are much debated, even today) with a language of its own: Euskera." (Spain '96: The Complete Guide including Mallorca, the Canary Islands and Morocco)
(And not the forget the Victor Hugo quote: "The Basque language is a country, almost a religion.")
On point (2), the Spanish government does not refer to the Basque Country as a country as far as I know. But, if the UK government called the constituent parts of the UK something other than "country", why would you "suppress" that information? (Such as your approach to the lead on the Northern Ireland article.) --RA (talk) 20:33, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for answering my first question. Which led on to the second (still unanswered) "If the Spanish government described the Basque Country as a country, why would you choose to suppress that information?" As for my stance at Northern Ireland (though why you should ask here is known only unto you) it is that the primary WP:RS references define Northern Ireland as a country. While other descriptions exist (province appears to be a favoured description, but Ireland has four provinces and Northern Ireland is not one of them), they are too indistinct for the intro, but are fine within the body of the text, where they can be discussed in depth – and they do need detailed discussion. All (?) countries can be described in more than one way: nation; country; state; sovereign state; republic; principality; monarchy, but most use a primary descriptor in their lead sentence (USA an obvious exception: “federal constitutional republic”). Hope that clears it up for you. Please now be good enough to answer the second part of my question. Daicaregos (talk) 10:45, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I've replied to your post on my talk. --RA (talk) 16:56, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Does this mean you're against the RM request? GoodDay (talk) 15:17, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
When I choose to !vote you'll know about it. At the moment I am listening to argument before deciding. You should try it sometime. Daicaregos (talk) 09:15, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
the argument is, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England are not equal to proper countries on the list like France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It would be misleading and confusing to place them all in line as equals when they quite clearly are not. For many people when they think of the word country they think of sovereign states. They dont think of every entity in the world that someone has decided to call a country. By rights we do not even need to rename this template, but it is a solution that will bring about stability quicker and be in line with the solutions taken on other articles to deal with this very same annoying little problem. Which strangely usually seems to come up by someone from Wales or Scotland demanding their inclusion, and most of the time ive seen it happen the one to raise it has been editors who feel these countries should be fully independent which of course would give them the right to appear in these lists and templates. A complete coincidence i am sure but a strange trend which can not be ignored. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Daicaregos and BritishWatcher, please could we try to keep the conversation on the topic at hand without resorting to sarcasm, political arguments and borderline personal attacks? Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 11:41, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, will wait for close of this before commenting again here. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:25, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Alright Dai, I can wait. GoodDay (talk) 14:35, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support for clarity and consistency, as the term "country" has alternative definitions. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:24, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support so to clear up any doubts about which country is included & which is excluded. GoodDay (talk) 15:00, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Reluctant support - I don't really think this is necessary, as the template is fine as it is, but this move would make the list crystal clear and potentially avoid argument and edit wars.  — Amakuru (talk) 20:19, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, agreeing with Amakuru. This should be a listing of sovereign, independent states; if this rename helps avoid disputes about whether the Basque Country is a country and whether Northern Ireland is one, it's a good thing. Ucucha 23:54, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support upon reconsideration "country" can be easily misunderstood in this context (e.g. Scotland). --Born2cycle (talk) 04:12, 15 October 2010 (UTC) Strong Oppose. Don't see a compelling reason to go against WP:COMMONNAME, a naming criteria that applies to all articles in Wikipedia (except when there is a good reason to make an exception - I don't see one here). Yes, "country", like many words, has multiple uses and meanings, but it's quite clear that the sovereign state meaning is intended in this context.

    There are better ways to resolve disputes like this than violating important naming criteria. Like an RFC, or ANI if disruptive behavior does not stop. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:11, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

    • Are you aware that we are discussing a change of the template's internal name rather than anything visible to readers? Hans Adler 18:54, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Sorry, I had misunderstood the proposal. It wasn't made clear enough that it's a package deal consisting of a move and a change of heading. With this knowledge I actually agree with your pre-mind-change opinion now. Hans Adler 11:41, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, in response (not necessarily favorable) to a request by Born2cycle; WP:COMMONNAME doesn't necessarily apply when the common name is misleading. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:43, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Hi Arthur. I agree in general but just don't see how "country" is misleading in this case. I can see how someone might intentionally misinterpret it to suit his or her POV, but that's disruptive behavior that should be addressed directly, not by capitulating like this.

      Security bars on the windows of homes might be required for protection against vandals in some neighborhoods, but we try to avoid allowing neighborhoods from getting to that point for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that the bars are an unsightly compromise and do not address the root problem, but sometimes it's the only practical choice. I don't see that we're at that point here. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:54, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

      • Two things: 1. WP:COMMONNAME does not apply to template names. Obviously not. Very obviously not. 2. I agree with your opinion that the problem is intentional misunderstandings by nationalist POV pushers. I don't think that's a good reason not to rename this template, since it will happen in the interest of full clarity. While the disruptive nationalists have a chance to hide behind something that masquerades as a rational argument we are not going to get them blocked. The situation will change if they persist after the renaming. Hans Adler 17:05, 14 October 2010 (UTC) See my clarification below. Hans Adler 09:31, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Hans, please strike the above. You have been provided with evidence as to the definition of a country from various sources. I find it incredible that you are unable to handle a sensible discussion without name calling. --Snowded TALK 18:36, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
AGF is not a suicide pact. Hans Adler 18:51, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Correct, but it is a requirement, No editor has exhibited any behaviour or made any statement which justifies your nonsensical attack. If you think your comments are justified then please specify which editors you are referring to and provide diffs.to support your alternatives. If you can't do that strike, and if you have any integrity, apologise. --Snowded TALK 19:30, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Good try. If I named anyone that would be improper because AGF holds for every single editor. Every single editor who has a Welsh flag on their user page and tries to push Wales into a context that is obviously reserved to sovereign countries has plausible deniability on their side and may in fact suffer from an inability to understand the nuances of what "country" means in different contexts. That does not mean that anyone is obliged to overlook the general pattern or assume collective good faith. I have seen a lot of such editors recently, and I am currently acting under the hypothesis that they are not all sockpuppets of each other. Hans Adler 19:55, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Since Snowded is still concerned: I am explicitly not accusing any particular individual editor of bad faith. I am addressing the problem that a relatively large number of editors is specifically trying to push Wales into one of several contexts that are reserved to sovereign states and appears not to understand that that's what most people mean by "country" outside specific contexts such as Commonwealth sports events or specifically the constituent parts of the UK. (Even then it's not without problems, as the example of Northern Ireland clearly shows. It is uncontroversially "one of the four constituent countries of the UK", but saying it is a "country" is extremely contentious.) For every single one of them I am assuming good faith. However, I find it very hard to assume good faith for all of them collectively, and the fact that this only happens with Wales is astonishing. But my real point, which maybe got a bit obscured, is that regardless of intentions this behaviour is disruptive and must stop. The move request is an attempt to prevent this behaviour for this specific template. Hans Adler 09:30, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Snowded remains concerned to be honest Hans. On the issue of fact a lot of work was put in by a lot of editors, with mediation looking at the evidence and the use of country to describe Wales, England & Scotland is valid and common (not just in the UK by the way, also the White House and others). Aside from the content issue I monitor most of these pages and I am not aware of any large number of Welsh editors engaged, just a few. So its difficult to believe your remarks were not targeted at them. Phrases like "intentional misunderstandings by nationalist POV pushers" and "disruptive nationalists have a chance to hide behind something that masquerades as a rational argument we are not going to get them blocked" are unacceptable if applied to editors who are addressing content issues in accordance with WIkipedia rules. You can disagree with them but you should not blast our accusations such as these. I would like your assurance that you are not applying those comments to any editor engaged in this discussion. If you are not prepared to give that assurance then you should provide diffs to support the accusations. If you want to strike the whole thing that is fine and you can strike my comments at the same time. --Snowded TALK 18:13, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
The other cases were recent and had nothing to do with templates. I apologise for not having made this clear enough from the beginning. On the other hand I am not going to set up explicit pointers between the two problems as a service to Welsh nationalists. Sorry. This thing just had the misfortune to come up at a time when I was very unhappy about the lack of reason and adequate prioritisation between encyclopedicity and national pride that certain editors had persistently been showing elsewhere. Since you did not know this you must obviously have felt that I was unusually grumpy for no good reason. Hans Adler 18:29, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support This subject comes up from time to time on various articles. If the intent of an article is only cover sovereign states then that is what it should say. Born2Cycle, that is an over the top reaction and your metaphor a clear failure to assume good faith. I can't see any disruptive behaviour above --Snowded TALK 17:49, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Consistency across the project is key. And the definition of country, in the political sense, is clear on the project. Outback the koala (talk) 19:38, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Reluctant support I don't like the idea of indirectly legitimising the spurious arguments or the approach to RS that I have seen (both here and in my related experience given below). And I don't think the correct way to address these issues is to "cut them off at the pass", so to speak, by swapping vocabulary. However, since on face value the proposal is merely a change of words, there is no reason to oppose.

    (The following is mainly a comment on my experience of this issue.) I encountered this issue on Northern Ireland where some vocal contributors to this debate are also vocal (and - recurrently - so am I). It is particularly problematic there because other RS contradict the vocabulary used (more so in the past), use other terms (including the UK govt.) and those that discuss the question of what Northern Ireland is explain that there is no definitive answer. The issue is mixed up with the nationalist politics of Great Britain (particularly Scotland and Wales from what I can see). These are politics that I am personally supportive of but which appear to have clouded the judgement of otherwise rational contributors to this project. A recurring theme is the basing of assertions on a limited set of favourable sources, an approach that can be summed up as being, Sources exist to support view X therefore it doesn't matter what other sources say. That approach to sources is the very opposite of what is meant on Wikipedia by an NPOV. On this matter it also shows a distinct disregard for the manner in which readers may interpret the words we used. On Northern Ireland too, I find the approach to consensus on this matter particularly grating, which is seemingly interpreted as a kind of veto rather than something to be entered into in a spirit of collaboration. --RA (talk) 20:19, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Support A very inexpensive way of avoiding conflict. If the template's called 'country', then it looks like Scotland, Wales and England should be added, but this is not the case if it says 'sovereign state'. In the United Kingdom (or elsewhere, frankly) it is not controversial or nationalistic to call England, Scotland and Wales 'countries' ... the usage pre-dates the concept of sovereign state and is as alive as ever. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:11, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, with "country" being too ambiguous in this context. Nightw 05:37, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support – with the poviso that the template's heading is changed to 'Sovereign states of Europe' to reflect the page move. Daicaregos (talk) 08:49, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
    • That's not what this discussion is about. Unless a lot of editors have been confused, we have a strong consensus for renaming the template without changing its heading. If you want the heading changed, you will have to start a separate discussion and find a consensus for that. Since that will be visible in article space there are completely different things to be considered, such as cross-article/cross-template consistency. Hans Adler 11:02, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
      • The heading of this section says "It has been proposed in this section that Template:Countries of Europe be renamed and moved." Is there some aspect of the word "renamed" that I am missing? --Snowded TALK 11:13, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
        • It also has a reference to our "article title policy", which is explicitly only about article titles and clearly does not make much sense for templates. This is just the standard wording of Template:movereq, which is tailored primarily to articles. Many templates don't even have title-like headings. I am not aware of any guidelines that address template headings directly. The closest to an applicable guideline seems to be WP:LAYOUT, and it certainly doesn't say that a template's heading, if it has one, must in any way be correlated to its file name. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that in some areas we have many (differently named) templates that all have the same heading.
        But now that I have re-read BritishWatcher's proposal more closely, he does make arguments that imply he wants to change the heading as well. So it appears it's me who was confused. Obviously now some of my arguments above no longer apply. With this new knowledge I tend to agree with Born2cycle's initial !vote. I certainly don't want to support cleansing "country" with its natural meaning as a short way of referring to sovereign states from the content part of the encyclopedia. I will have to think about how this affects my !vote. Thanks! Hans Adler 11:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
        • Seems like a pointless fight to me ... why annoy and confuse people when we can avoid it by being precise? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:06, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
      • The section heading is to be moved, along with the article title itself. If a consensus is reached, of course. GoodDay (talk) 22:30, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support to avoid further conflictsPenom (talk) 11:35, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.



It appears to me that Svalbard is considered an integral part of Norway, and thus shouldn't be set apart as a dependency. --Golbez (talk) 19:20, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

No complaints, going to edit it. --Golbez (talk) 14:44, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't see this before. Svalbard's an interesting legal area. While Norway claims Svalbard is fully a part of Europe, the other signatories of the Svalbard treaty have access and rights which lay out of Norway's jurisdiction. This is especially true with the rights to the Svalbard continental shelf. That's why I had it placed as an "other territory", aiming for a fairly inclusive criteria (this template is for navigation and not for politics etc.), and places like the CIA list it as a dependency. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 19:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
True, but according to Svalbard Treaty, it makes it plainly clear that the island is part - not owned by, but part - of Norway. There are restrictions upon it per treaty, but that happens from time to time. Maybe the problem is combining 'dependencies' with 'other territories', since Svalbard and Aland aren't quite the same as the other territories mentioned. --Golbez (talk) 19:46, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
The combination was an (misguided?) attempt to simplify it. I wouldn't know how to exactly categorise it otherwise, and I doubt there's actually a term for whatever situation it is in. Dependent territory is a rather meaningless term in itself I suppose. Aland and Svalbard aren't easy to put together anyway, while Svalbard has rights for other states not in the power of Norway, Aland has rights for itself not in the power of Finland. Do we ignore the CIA source? Another category (international treaty)? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 20:20, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
We can ignore a source when it is demonstrably wrong; if Svalbard is fundamentally part of Norway then it cannot possibly be a territory thereof. And it appears that it is, it's just that uses are limited via treaty (which is not unusual; there is, IIRC, a railroad that runs between mainland Russia and Kaliningrad through other countries. The land belongs to those other countries but they have treatied to allow Russian access; the Baikonur cosmodrome is another possible example; etc). I wouldn't mind throwing in Svalbard and Aland as 'other areas' (territories was a poor choice, considering. :P) --Golbez (talk) 02:57, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, I personally feel that Svalbard is in a far more unusual position than, say, Finnmark. It's not part of the usual administrative structure of Norway, which is a count against it being fundamentally a part of it. For example, New Caledonia and French Polynesia etc., fundamentally a part of France, are often listed as dependencies. The Faroes and Greenland are fundamentally a part of Denmark too. However, these are often listed as dependencies. I don't like to put too much weight into the term 'territory', for me it just means a piece of land. Perhaps 'other areas' with a hidden note saying any additions must be discussed? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 08:59, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I always understood French Polynesia and New Caledonia as being possessions, not part, of France. But, like many things when it comes to this, it's more complicated than that. Why can't you keep things simple, France? Sigh. Maybe it's the whole 'country vs. kingdom' thing? Aruba isn't part of the Netherlands, but it's part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Greenland isn't part of Denmark, but it's part of the Kingdom of Denmark; maybe Svalbard isn't part of Norway, but it's part of the greater sphere? (Though it is part of Norway? :)) To be quite honest now I'm fine with putting Svalbard back, because this whole thing is starting to confuse me. :P --Golbez (talk) 13:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Legal status is never as simple as you want it to be. The whole country vs kingdom thing for example, is a semantic distinction made up by wikipedia editors. We have a state made up of multiple parts. One of the parts has no ready unique identification, and thus is granted the same name as the state (situation for Netherlands and Denmark). The Kingdom of the Netherlands is called the Netherlands in shorthand, ditto with Kingdom of Denmark/Denmark. Kingdom of Norway? Who knows. Put it back in where it was? The other territories there all differ in their own way :/ Chipmunkdavis (talk) 19:09, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Portions of countries[edit]

Similar to how things are done on Template:Countries of Africa, perhaps the portions of multicontinental countries that are in Europe should be specifically linked? So we would have "France (Metropolitan)", "Russia (European)" and "Turkey (East Thrace)"? Though, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure we don't have specific articles for European Spain, European Italy, and European Portugal... hrm. Though, worth a thought for the major cases of France, Russia, and Turkey. --Golbez (talk) 20:22, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Tricky. There could be a lot of problems stemming from that. European Georgia? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 19:42, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Tricky indeed. :P It could be looked at if there is a substantial disconnect between the two. European Georgia and Asian Georgia are obviously part of the same quite small mass, whereas Metropolitan France and the rest are not; Thrace is obviously separate from Asia Minor; and European Russia, while part of the same mass as Siberia, is clearly delineated both geographically and culturally. Conversely, the parts of Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy that are not in Europe are very small portions thereof (Though, due to the unexpected aspect of European countries being in Africa, they are mentioned in the African template, but the 'main' portions need not be specifically mentioned here). --Golbez (talk) 03:01, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

England, Scotland and Wales[edit]

This template has been re-named Countries of Europe, contrary to the Requested Move decision of 23 October 2010 (above), with no further discussion. If the template is to be called Countries of Europe, it should list all the countries of Europe, per WP:NPOV. I propose to add England, Scotland and Wales to the list. Any objections? Daicaregos (talk) 14:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I object, yes. First of all, to the characterization that this is demanded by NPOV. Maybe by factualness, but it has nothing to do with POV. Secondly, the name of the template doesn't really matter, since the description of the template is still the same. It could be renamed Template:kittens and not have cats in it. It's obvious what the template is aiming for, so instead of adding things that go against that, the effort should be focused on removing any reasonable ambiguity. "Reasonable" being the operative word. --Golbez (talk) 15:34, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Reasonable? Reasonable would be a template named 'Template:Countries of Europe' showing all the countries of Europe, rather than just some of them. Not including England, Scotland and Wales here is a demonstrating a POV that they are not countries. You seem to think this has nothing to do with POV; it has. Neutral point of view says: Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. This policy is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it. While it may be obvious to you what the template is aiming for, it may not be obvious to others. England, Scotland and Wales are all verified as countries by reliable sources. They should be included on this template. Daicaregos (talk) 17:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The way I see it, the only discussion that can be had is "What should the template be named", because there's no way the constituent countries are getting added to it. Instead of taking advantage of this move that you disagree with (and you very much are doing that, this is an opportunity to you, otherwise why not simply undo the move?), you could either undo it, or bring the matter of the renaming up. Anything else is simply not happening. --Golbez (talk) 20:09, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The UK isn't the only country whose subdivisions are also called "countries". The Kingdom of the Netherlands is composed of four "countries". The same terminology is sometimes also used for the Kingdom of Denmark, though not consistently. SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 20:15, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I wrote that before you changed your comment and removed the sentence that "the UK is the only nation-state that uses the terminology of "country" for its parts". SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 20:18, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I stand by it. The sovereign nation in these templates is "The Netherlands". Yes, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has four constituent countries, but we often only refer to one, The Netherlands, in these lists. The rest are considered dependencies. It would be an equivalent situation if we listed "United Kingdom" and "Kingdom of the Netherlands", or "England" and "The Netherlands", but as it is the situation is mixed. --Golbez (talk) 20:34, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It's true that Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are often considered dependencies of the Netherlands, though officially they are constituent countries within the Kingdom alongside the Netherlands. Confusingly, "Netherlands" is also the short-form name of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 21:56, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
For information - the change seems to have been made in this edit, last year, by User:Emmette Hernandez Coleman. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Though the title of the template is "Countries of Europe", the three subgroups are "Sovereign states", "States with limited recognition" and "Dependent territories". E,S,W&NI fit in none of these categories. If you think this template should contain all entities called "countries", would you include the Basque Country too? What about the states of Germany, called "Länder" in German, also literally meaning "countries"? SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 20:15, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, the move was to make this one match the other continent country templates. Most were named "Countries of X" and (in part because of WP:Local Consensus) thease outliers should not have differed unless there was some reasion for them to, and there wasn't. The move can not simply be reverted at this point, this has been the title for almost a year. If you want to rename this, you could start an mass RM for all of the continent country templates.
More importantly there are differing definitions of "country", and to quote Apteva "templates do not need to be as precisely named as articles - no one ever sees the name of the template - it could just as well use a random number for the name and shorter names are easier to use". The actual title is a mere technical tool met for ease of use by editors. The reader never sees it, it doesn't matter except for its ease of use by editors.
What does matter is the header, and the headers of all these continent navboxes (except the Antarctic one) say "Countries and territories of X". I wouldn't go so far as to call this an NPOV volition, but it is imprecise. If I remember correctly, the headers used to say "Sovereign states and dependent territories in X". I don't know why that was changed, but the parent article's titles use that wording. Unless there's some reason for for these navboxes headers to differ from their parent article's titles that's the probably the header we should use. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 21:10, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

@ Golbez: I didn't revert the move because it was made so long ago. Implying I have used underhand methods or devious motives is incorrect, unnecessary and quite disgraceful. Daicaregos (talk) 09:18, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

@ SiBr I do not propose including Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten on this template as they are not in Europe. I would prefer to see Netherlands replace Netherlands. Neither Basque Country nor the German Länder are commonly known as countries; England, Scotland and Wales are.

I have no view on the Template title. However, the template appears on articles as Countries and dependencies of Europe, which is what it should list. England, Scotland and Wales are verifiably countries and they are in Europe. As such, they should be on a list purporting to show Countries and dependencies of Europe. Daicaregos (talk) 09:18, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Minni ritchi is verifiably a type of bark, but it doesn't appear in this types of barking list. Words have multiple meanings. Our countries and dependent territories of Europe list was, at any rate, moved to List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe (along with all the other templates with it), precisely because of this semantic squabble. CMD (talk) 11:26, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
And now the List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe lists what it purports to list, which improves the encyclopaedic content of Wikipedia. Unless I misunderstood you, you seem to suggest it shouldn't; a bizarre position to take. The OED defines 'country' as: 3. The territory or land of a nation; usually an independent state, or a region once independent and still distinct in race, language, institutions, or historical memories, as England, Scotland, and Ireland, in the United Kingdom, etc. This is the precisely the context of 'country' used in this template. A template appearing on articles as Countries and dependencies of Europe should include England, Scotland and Wales. Daicaregos (talk) 12:15, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't have access to the OED, but under that definition, the Basque country and most of Germany would qualify. Much of Europe for that matter. CMD (talk) 13:23, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you could read country instead. As I said above, neither Basque Country nor the German Länder are commonly known as countries; England, Scotland and Wales are. Daicaregos (talk) 13:50, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
The article which mentions the German states, French regions, and British overseas territories, and which notes the term can sometimes be used only in reference to states? Yes, I've read it. Quite frankly, Basque Country, having the word country in it, seems a prime candidate for some sort of 'country status', if such a thing was to come up. The page you linked also mentions Northern Ireland, which is another issue this template really shouldn't have to deal with. CMD (talk) 13:58, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Bit of selective quoting there. If you want to restrict the template to Sovereign states and dependencies of Europe, then the template needs to be called that. England, Scotland and Wales are defined by numerous reliable sources as countries (as I'm sure you know). If Basque country, or any other place in Europe is defined similarly, by similar quality sources, it should be included too (although I don't believe it is). In other words, anywhere in Europe that is verifiably a country or dependency in Europe should be on a list, or template, of European countries. England, Scotland and Wales are, and should, therefore, be included on this template. Daicaregos (talk) 15:03, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
"I didn't revert the move because it was made so long ago. Implying I have used underhand methods or devious motives is incorrect, unnecessary and quite disgraceful." I apologize because I thought the move was recent, not so long ago. That said, I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from you claiming that this was required under NPOV, implying that people who disagree with you are somehow biased against Wales. That was the wrong hill to fight for. --Golbez (talk) 18:24, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Golbez. Thank you. As to citing WP:NPOV, I did not intend to imply that people who disagree with me are biased against Wales. I am sorry you inferred that. The part of NPOV relevant here has been quoted above. It is not directed at anyone in particular, but is a policy we must all follow. Daicaregos (talk) 08:46, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
@Daicaregos: I didn't say Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten should be added to this template; I replied to Golbez who claimed that "the UK is the only nation-state that uses the terminology of "country" for its parts". I think that {{Countries of Europe}} shoudn't include the UK's constituent countries, and that {{Countries of North America}} shouldn't include the Dutch Caribbean constituent countries either if they weren't so widely viewed as dependencies of the Netherlands.
@Emmette Hernandez Coleman: If "Template:Countries of Europe" is moved back to "Template:Sovereign states of Europe" and "Template:Countries of Europe" is kept as a redirect, pages using "Template:Countries of Europe" will still display the contents of "Template:Sovereign states of Europe"; see WP:Template redirects. Or have I misunderstood your reasoning behind the sentence "The move can not simply be reverted at this point, this has been the title for almost a year"? SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 19:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@SiBr4. Sorry, I misunderstood. Daicaregos (talk) 08:46, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

AFAICT, editors are contending that England, Scotland and Wales should not be included on this template because they are not sovereign states or dependencies, which, of course, they are not. But this template does not purport to list sovereign states and dependencies. Btw, please note that the title, as it displays on articles (Countries and dependencies of Europe), Wikilinks to List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, contrary the Manual of Style/Linking guideline. Currently, this template purports to list the Countries and dependencies of Europe. Again, AFAICT, no-one is contending that England, Scotland and Wales are not countries, or that they aren't in Europe. Consequently, a template purporting to list the Countries and dependencies of Europe should include them, per the “nonnegotiable” policy, NPOV, quoted above. If editors want to change the way the template displays its title on articles to reflect its content, please say that. But some changes need to be made. My preference is to keep its title (as it displays on articles) as Countries and dependencies of Europe and add the countries England, Scotland and Wales. Daicaregos (talk) 08:48, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Whether or not the British constituent parts are countries depends on your definition of a "country". IMO, England, Scotland and Wales are not countries (using the term to refer to a sovereign state), though they may arguably be countries in a non-political sense. The template doesn't need to be moved as the template's name is not visible to readers, though it may help to change the title above the navbox back to "Sovereign states and dependent territories of Europe" for clarity. Note that while the template was moved to "Template:Countries of Europe" in February 2013, the title was changed to "Countries and dependencies of Europe" only in September with this edit by Lfdder. SiBr4 (talk) 15:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I see no particular need to change the title or contents of this template, nor any benefit to the reader in doing so. There is nothing wrong with using the word "country" to mean sovereign state - it is one of the multiple standard meanings of the word. The phrase "sovereign state" is subject to exactly the same argument but on a larger scale (as every US state is formally sovereign). There are plenty of "countries" out there in Europe alone that also would need to be included by the same argument. The argument for the change - the same that has been made many times before - conflates two separate meanings of the word and is based on a POV that holds that being called a "country" gives the UK countries equal status to states such as France, Germany or the United States. Kahastok talk 18:56, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Governments, the ISO and numerous other reliable sources define, and refer to, England Scotland and Wales as countries. These are significant views and must be represented here. Editor opinion as to whether somewhere is a country or not is irrelevant. 'Country' and 'sovereign state' are not synonymous. I reiterate, Neutral point of view says: Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. The NPOV policy is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia that is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it. Daicaregos (talk) 15:31, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

So why aren't you? Your proposal that we suggest that Wales and France are equivalent in status - when they patently are not - is clearly non-neutral.
While "country" and "sovereign state" are not always synonymous, there certainly is a meaning of the word "country" that is the same thing as what you refer to as a "sovereign state". The fact that your argument relies on an insistence that words can only have one meaning demonstrates how flawed it is. Kahastok talk 16:28, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not saying countries are equal. That is not relevant. Please don't try to misrepresent me. Sovereign states are not necessarily 'equal'. Vatican City is not 'equal' to China and Monaco is not 'equal' to USA. Nevertheless, reliable sources define each of them as sovereign states ... and countries. But this template does not purport to show sovereign states. It purports to show countries. Not a selection of countries; countries. Some may be sovereign states and countries. Others countries, but not sovereign states. The fact that your argument relies on an insistence that words can only have one meaning demonstrates how flawed it is. Daicaregos (talk) 12:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
If England, Scotland and Wales are countries for this purpose, then so is the other constituent country of the UK - Northern Ireland. The Clyde Valley (talk)
Fine as it (i.e. referring to "countries" with no mention of England, Scotland and Wales). Like Kahastok says, the argument for their inclusion is based on the idea that words have one and only one meaning.
Including them, too, would begin a parade of horribles. Is all of Ireland a country, for example? I cannot find a single source that says it is not and plenty that say it is. But it's not the kind of country we mean here. --Tóraí (talk) 16:57, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Republic of Crimea[edit]

Given the recents events in Crimea, should the Republic of Crimea article be listed with the states with limited recognition?

--Jean Po (talk) 20:56, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

According to the discussion at Talk:List of states with limited recognition, Crimea may declare independence after the referendum next week, but hasn't done so yet. It's best to wait until it's clear whether Crimea will actually become independent before prematurely adding it to every single list of countries. SiBr4 (talk) 21:21, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Secession has been voted. Jean Po (talk) 20:13, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
And the vote specifically mentioned waiting for the results of the referendum. CMD (talk) 20:15, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Crimea has now been annexed by Russia, making the whole discussion moot. Jean Po (talk) 19:14, 28 March 2014 (UTC)