language subtag registration request: Region EU

Doug Ewell dewell at
Sun Jan 15 19:32:44 CET 2006

Frank Ellermann <nobody at xyzzy dot claranet dot de> wrote:

>> The European Union is by no means a static entity
> The countries are also not static, 100 years ago major parts
> of Europe were organized quite differently.  200 years ago
> the US was much smaller, 300 years ago it didn't exist as a
> country.  Nothing's special about that aspect of the EU.

As Tex said, what is special is the frequency and rapidity "in terms of 
code assignment lifetimes" with which the EU changes its boundaries:

1952:  6 countries
1973:  9
1981:  10
1986:  12
1995:  15
2004:  25
2007:  27

One could easily chart this more meaningfully in terms of population or 
land area.

The point is that you will be hard-pressed to find a sovereign nation 
that has existed for the past 54 years and has changed its boundaries so 
often and so significantly over that time frame, which is short in terms 
of archival storage of electronic data.

By contrast, as silly as the "country" assignments for Antarctica and 
Bouvet Island are in other respects, at least they are stable.  You will 
not see any such rapid sequence of major increases in the land area 
represented by Bouvet Island, and even if the island were annexed by 
Norway, and the code element BV decommissioned by ISO, it would continue 
to have the same meaning.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA

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