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EUROPE, GEOGRAPHICAL AND POLITICAL

central Europe, central European nation:  This geographic designation is inexact but generally includes:
            Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary,
            and sometimes Switzerland and Slovenia.

While Europe was politically divided into Western Europe (non-Communist) and Eastern Europe (Communist), the term central Europe was not commonly used but is now regaining popularity.

Western Europe
:  Capitalize in a historical context when referring to the political entity of noncommunist Europe after World War II.  Geographically, that region is western and part of central Europe (western Europe).


Eastern Europe:  Capitalize in a historical context when referring to the political entity of communist Europe after World War II.  Geographically, the region is eastern and part of central Europe (eastern Europe).

            continent of Europe
            European continent
            the Continent
            northern Europe (geographic entity)

When the Maastricht Treaty on European Union went into effect November 1, 1993, what was known as the European Community became the European Union, or EU.

Capitalize the term union only when it is used in the full name:
            the European Union
            the union

For further information go to www.eurunion.org/infores/euindex.htm or www.europa.eu.