2 Defining Europe
It is important to distinguish between the different dimensions of European identity, and we shall begin by identifying some of the different ways in which ‘Europe’ has been understood. Basic distinctions can be drawn between a number of quite different conceptions. These involve ideas of Europe as a geographical entity, Europe as a sequence of ideas, and – following the near destruction of Europe as a project – something that had to be created anew if it was to exist at all. In this section we focus on Europe defined in terms of its geography and the different ideas it has been understood to embody.