Template talk:Sovereign states of Europe

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Svalbard[edit]

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)