While there is no consensus on what exactly constitutes Western Europe, it is generally agreed that it is more of a political and cultural distinction than a geographical one. Consisting of the nations of the western and sometimes northern portion of Europe, on the Eurasian plate, it is a region steeped in history. With exception to the northern portion, much of the region shares history with the rise of the Roman Empire, the reign of Charlemagne, Viking invasion, the Catholic Church, and the Renaissance.
Today, Western Europe consists of Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway, San Marino, Sweden and Switzerland.
Language & Culture
Western Europe linguistically derives primarily either from Latin or the Germanic languages. Proto-Germanic languages from the Scandinavian region as well as Indo-European languages such as Celtic also make appearances throughout the region. Multilingualism is common in Western Europe, with citizens of most nations being able to speak several languages.
Stability & Development
Western Europe has experienced near constant conflict since the collapse of the Roman Empire, and separating itself from Eastern Europe in the East West Schism. However, leading in development through conquest, colonialism, the Renaissance, and Industrial Revolution – the region has maintained technological prowess and economic success throughout history.
Following the World Wars, Western Europe has achieved relative peace and stability while also commanding a powerful economy. The European Union is considered a crowning achievement in the region, unifying – to some extent – the many diverse nations. Today, Western Europe is one of the richest and most prosperous regions in the world.