What are considered the Western countries of Europe?
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What are considered the Western countries of Europe?


Quick Answer

According to the United Nations geoscheme, there are nine countries in Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland. However, other definitions of Western Europe generally include more countries.

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Full Answer

The following countries are more generally considered to comprise Western Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Western European and Others Group, an unofficial voting bloc within the United Nations, consists of these countries and Malta. According to the United Nations geoscheme, many of these countries are officially part of Northern Europe or Southern Europe.

In addition to its geographic context, Western Europe also has a political context. This definition developed during the Cold War, and designated the countries affiliated with the Western European Union. This group was a defensive alliance of non-communist countries in Europe, formed in opposition of the countries that comprised the Eastern Bloc. The member countries of the Western European Union were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and the United Kingdom, with Greece, Portugal and Spain becoming members several decades after the group originally formed. The nations of Western Europe generally avoided cultural and political influences from the Soviet nations. Countries that were officially neutral during the Cold War were still considered part of Western Europe if their political and economic systems were more similar to the Western countries than the countries of the Eastern Bloc.

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