We are a north-West European country.These are difficult concepts. You have to start the cultural notion. It is clear that we are culturally very akin to the Scandinavians and those countries are in northern Europe.
It is also clear that we are different from southern Europe.Choose where you want to lay the boundary.
To begin with, there is a religious definition for southern Europe: The South is the Catholic part of Europe.
There is also a historical definition: everything that was once Roman is southern Europe.But well, the Limes walked across the Netherlands and the whole of England was Roman. That definition does not work in the border areas.
Another definition is the wine border.Southern European countries have a full wine production and are rather wine-than beer countries. Then you will be with Germany, which has vast wine regions.
There is also a linguistic definition.The regions of the region are northern Europe and the Romanian-speaking regions of southern Europe.
Corruption is also sometimes used as a criterion.Northern European countries have little corruption and southern European relatively much. I have heard that on the basis of that definition, the Mediterranean area is actually starting under the great rivers in the Netherlands. Incidentally, it was a reformed businessman who told me that.
Let us insist that the Netherlands is culturally a northern European country, which lies in the western part of Europe.But the whole of Europe, North and south, belongs again to the rich West.
Before the war, Germany was counted as central Europe, and Eastern Europe began where the predominant religion is Orthodox Christian. The Netherlands, Belgium and France belonged to Western Europe, simply because these countries are located west of Central Europe.With northern Europe, the Scandinavian and Baltic countries were mostly intended. Everything that was in the north of Central Europe.
Culturally, your Netherlands could have previously been able to count on the North Sea culture, together with England, Flanders, northern France and the Scandinavian countries.You can call the Netherlands North European, together with the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the UK. These are highly developed countries with a low degree of corruption.
If you look at national feelings you have again the separation between Linksrheinisch And Rechtsrheinisch nationalism.On the left bank you have inclusive nationalism where more freedoms and civil rights are central. The countries to the right of the Rhine know more about a blood and soil nationalism where ethnicities is central and civil rights are less important. In spite of the location of the Rhine, the Netherlands and Nordrhein Westfalen belong to the RechtsRheinisch area, together with England, France, Belgium and Switzerland. You see that when Germany was divided into a West and East Germany The western part was more focused on civil rights. After reunification, the blood and soil nationalism is again more present.
Well, what is the boundary between North and south, and between East and west.And where is central Europe?
You could lay the border between North and south in the Alps, then the Netherlands clearly belongs to the north (that term you hear in economic sense, for example in a subdivision of the eurozone: Hanseatic League: More financial stability or more Division in Europe?) But culturally, in northern Europe, we think mainly of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The border between east and West was in the political sense for several decades the Iron curtain, which ran across Germany.Today, that country is reunited and in Eastern Europe we think more of the former Soviet republics; Then Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary lie in Central Europe. The return of Central Europe In any case, the Netherlands is in the western part of the continent.
The Netherlands belongs to Western and northern Europe.