Though to be fair, Russia is doing its best to write itself out of Europe... well probably there are trains to Sweden as well.
What's interesting is how Europe is such a hodge-podge of countries, with almost as many sets of countries as the number of countries:
There is Europe as a continent - but many countries, esp. Russia really behave in un-European ways; some countries have minority land in Europe (Russia, Turkey).
The EU seems to be the biggest ensemble - but curiously, Switzerland, one of the richest countries, is not in the EU and does not appear to bear any of the costs of solidarity and convergence (e.g. helping East Europe catch up); also is absent Norway (also one of the richest countries, and a great oil power); and the UK is on the brink of exiting the EU (and the UK now has a weird anti-Eastern European immigrant stance while it happily accepted immigrants of more radically different cultures and London, like Paris, is becoming a Muslim city). Some countries, like Turkey and probably Ukraine will spend an eternity in the waiting room before being able to join. Iceland just suspended joining talks.
The UK deserves its own section as they are an oddball in many other regards: driving on the left side of the road, using incompatible power plugs, often using imperial units etc. etc. - but more importantly they use terms like "We visited Europe last Summer" as if the UK wasn't even part of Europe. So one of the strongest military powers in Europe is also one of the least integrated (similar in that regard to the Swiss). Germany also deserves special mention due to their strong economy, yet no military power or participation, and the weird stance on nuclear power plants (despite the fact that they are densely surrounded by nuclear power plants). However, Germany is the most important integrating force of Europe, mainly responsible for its Eastern opening.
Then there is NATO; interestingly Norway is in, but Sweden and (more understandably and regrettably) Finland isn't; Switzerland is again, absent (despite having a strong military; again there seems to be a lack of solidarity while they unilaterally benefitted from being a safe haven and from the tax evasion of the rest of the World)
Within the EU, there is the Euro currency; while theoretically mandatory for all countries, this further fragments Europe, along multiple fracture lines:
- Some developed countries (UK, Denmark, Sweden) opted out from the beginning (special treatment)
- Some countries which caught up introduced the Euro (Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia), but some opted not to (Czech R., Poland)
- Some countries have been unable to meet Euro introduction criteria, e.g. due to irresponsible borrowing of the Socialists in Hungary till 2008
A special place is occupied by Greece - they lied and cheated so they gain admission into the Euro zone. Europe has lavishly rewarded their morals by pouring EUR200Bn into Greece over a year or two. (In comparison, Hungary, which has the same population size but much lower GDP/head and welfare, only got EUR20Bn, i.e. one tenth of that, from EU cohesion funds over around 10 years.) and the Greeks will want more money for their irresponsible behavior. So some of the European fault lines are growing and the Euro zone is about to shrink. But of course Europe doesn't try to offset the loss of Greece by more ambitiously integrating Eastern Europe like Poland, the Chech Republic and Hungary. In fact, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia has been left by the EU to predominantly depend on Russia for energy sources, a BIG mistake with the reversion to Russian imperialism.
Minor redemption is the SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area), which, despite its name, includes a lot of non-Euro, non-EU countries. SEPA's spirit (removing financial friction inside Europe) and existence however doesn't stop a UK bank like Barclays to shamelessly charge a whopping GBP25 fixed fee on each and every transfer (despite electronic, STP) into another SEPA country. Maybe royal remnants like H.M. Beefeaters personally carry the money with custom made black cabs if not horse carriages, for about the same cost Elon Musk will be able to execute an Earth to Mars wire transfer.
There are some other fault lines in Europe, for example, parts of the Balkans (e.g. in Bosnia) and larger and larger portions of the UK, France and Germany becoming Muslim.
Then we haven't touched on Russia which on occasion was a significant contributor to European civilisation, but for them, it's more important to have an illusion of a great power (hey we have nukes like N Korea) and bully neighboring countries, taking from their territory that are at least two orders of magnitude smaller/weaker already, than being part of Europe, prospering with it and seeking what unifies rather than what separates.
No wonder that despite the number and purchasing power of Europeans surpassing US figures, Europe is a wuss when it comes to the international scene. Heck, Europe can't even begin to deal with its own problems, like the Balkans wars, Ukraine and its immediate Middle Eastern neighborhood.
So these are the thoughts when there's talk about Finland's or anyone's connection of Europe; Europe is such a fuzzy and ambiguous term, thanks to ourselves.