Why Montenegro Matters

Monday, October 30, 2006
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How many countries are there in Europe? Your answer depends on what you mean by Europe—and what you mean by a country. The European Union currently has 25 member states. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has 55 “participating states,” but they include Andorra, the Holy See, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino, which are all within the bounds of the E.U. without being member states, and Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz-stan, Uzbekistan, Canada, and the United States—some or all of which would not be considered by some or most Europeans to be in Europe. When the central Asian republics joined the OSCE in 1992, someone quipped that its Europe now resembled Nicholas of Cusa’s definition of God—His center being everywhere and His circumference nowhere.