Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'd really like someone to define, definitively, "Europe," before we go making statements of that nature.  

Jerome's "opinion" is in no way is offensive to Russia.  Whether Russia is in Europe or not is an age old question and last I heard, no one has had the last word on it.  Not only do many Russians not consider Russia implicitly part of Europe, many Europeans would absolutely shudder at the thought of including Russia in the EU.  

So to be blunt, it is convenient to include Russia in "Europe" when attempting to de-ghettoize the former Communist nations of Europe (saying it is not correct to call it "Eastern Europe" which I think one can only find offense with due to the political and socio-economic implications of the label, not the geographic ones.)  But when it comes to accepting Russia with open arms into the European political club, suddenly we can all agree that Russia is it's own thing.  And I think, frankly, Russia would prefer to have it that way.  And I know they play the European card for adcancing their own intersts too.

It's just perverse that we would be asked to accept outright that Russia, any part of it, is de facto part of "Europe."

Is "Europe" geographical, political, cultural, what?  Not the topic of my diary but I do think the issue needs to be addressed.  If only to illustrate the problems with making such assertions.

To me, Europe is a goal, the EU is a governing entity, and everything else is up for debate.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sat Feb 11th, 2006 at 09:49:38 PM EST
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I never heard anyone doubt the geographical meaning of Europe. In geography, Europe is the continent delimited on the East by the Ural mountain and river, the Caspian Sea, and the Caucasus. (Check Wiki.) The cultural realm is another thing, but let me point at Turkey, another country mostly in Asia but partly in Europe, whose joining is also discussed.

The EU is yet another thing, where I must mention that the EU existed long enough on a much smaller part of Europe, and people in many of its members weren't exactly happy about some or all of the 'new members'. Furthermore, there are other international organisations - for example the Council for Europe, the OSCE, and of course the 'most important', UEFA (football) and Eurovision (silly song contest), both of which include both Turkey and Russia.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 12th, 2006 at 07:41:36 PM EST
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