30th IGU Congress – Glasgow – August 2004





Ioannis Rentzos

University of the Aegean, Greece

Geography Dept.






Parts of the presentation



nMethod of work

nResults, Discussion, Conclusions







We tried to gather a set of data concerning the importance (and meaning) of the European cities as a material for a mental political map of the European cities.



Method of work


A  list was derived by compiling the  names of all cities and towns mentioned in the CVs of all the MEPs*


* Those elected for the parliamentary term 1999-2004 by the 15 Member States that constituted the European Union until 30 April 2004.

            MEPs’ CVs are published in: European Parliament, The Members of the European Parliament, 5th Parliamentary Term 1999-2004, 2001, or




The European Union - a  geography






The European Parliament (until April 2004)






MEPs’ CVs: Uniformity…

nBiographical data are given by MEPs themselves on a special data sheet provided by the European Parliament.

nThey include administrative information such as first and last names, year of birth, profession, etc.

nThey are accompanied by information on studies (diplomas and other certificates) and professional career, depending on what each MEP states.

nMoreover, they include the functions the MEP may have assumed in the local and regional authorities, as well as his/her capacity as member of the national parliament or member of the government.

nOther information of international nature, relating to European (i.e. Council of Europe) or world organizations (UN, UNESCO, etc.), can be added as well.

nAdequate space is provided in the CV form for the MEP to mention any other relevant activities, publications, literary achievements and decorations.


MEPs’ CVs: …vs diversity

By examining the CVs we can observe that:


nThe length of CVs varies, and so does the number of cities mentioned, but not all long CVs have numerous city names.


nPlaces of studies and, to a lesser degree, places where MEPs performed their professional and political duties provide information about the cities in question.

nSome cities are part of the name of educational establishments or do not appear at all in their name.

nA provincial town is mentioned when it is associated with a decentralized activity, whereas a major political office (e.g. Prime Minister) does not necessarily involve such city/town references


nSome MEPs feel obligated or are pleased to associate their duties with the place where these were performed, and others don’t.



Some examples …


CROWLEY, Brian   

[04-03-1964, Public Representative,  Ireland, Fianna Fαil Party, Union for Europe of the Nations Group]

n  Diploma in Law (1992).

            Senator (1993).

            Member of the Council of State (1997).











STIHLER, Catherine   

[30-07-1973, Researcher, United Kingdom, Lab., Group of the Party of European Socialists]


            n  MA Hons. (Geography and International Relations), St Andrews University (1996); M.Litt. (International Security Studies), St Andrews University (1998). Researcher and facilitator to Anne Begg, MP (1997-1999).

President, St Andrews University Students' Association (1994-1995). Young Labour representative on the Labour Party Scottish Executive Committee (1993-1995) and the National Executive Committee (1995-1997). Represented local organisations and women's sections on the Scottish Executive Committee (1997-1999). Parliamentary candidate (1997).

            Auditor to the European Parliamentary Labour Party (since 1999).

            President of Public Health Intergroup, 2000.

            Honorary life member of the University of St Andrews Students' Association.




GOMOLKA, Alfred 

[21-07-1942, Geographer, Federal Republic of Germany, Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands, Group of the European People's Party]


Geography degree (1965). Doctorate (1971) and postdoctoral lecturing qualification (1988). Studied in Greifswald (1960-1964). Teacher in Sollstedt (1964-1965). Assistant and senior assistant at the University of Greifswald (1965-1979). Senior assistant at the University of Greifswald (1984-1989) Lecturer in physical geography (1989-1991). Professor of planning and regional studies at the University of Greifswald (1991). Member of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Land executive of the CDU (since 1991). Town councillor in Greifswald (1979-1984). Member of the Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (1990-1994). Prime minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (1990-1992). Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon.





ROCARD, Michel 

[23-08-1930, Inspector-General of  Finance, France, Parti socialiste, Group of the Party of European Socialists]


Arts degree. Graduate of the Institute of Political Studies. Graduate of ENA (National College of Administration) (1956-1958). Inspector of Finance (1958); Inspector-General of Finance (1985).

National secretary of the PSU (1967-1973). Member of the Socialist Party executive bureau (since 1975). Socialist party national secretary with responsibility for the public sector (1975-1979). First secretary, Socialist Party (1993-1994).

Mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (1977-1994). Member of the Ile-de-France Regional Council (1986-1992). Member of the Yvelines fourth constituency (1969-1973) and third constituency (1978). Member of the National Assembly for Yvelines (1986). Senator for Yvelines (1995-1997). Minister for Planning and Regional Planning (1981-1983). Minister for Agriculture (1983-1985). Prime Minister (1988-1991).

Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit. Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (1988).




            [02-05-1930, Journalist, Italy, Lista Bonino, Non-attached member] 


            Degree in law (1955). Professional journalist.

n  Founder, Secretary-General and Chairman of the Radical Party and the Pannella List. Co-founder of the Transnational Radical Party.

Former Chairman of the XIII district of the municipality of Rome (Ostia). Former member of the municipal councils of Trieste, Catania, Naples, Teramo, Rome and Aquila. Former member of the Lazio and Abruzzo regional councils.

            Member of the Italian Parliament (1976-1992).

Honours: KKL Forest in Israel (Negev area); Honorary president of 'Young Slovenians'.




            [05-09-1947, Writer and Journalist, Austria, parteilos]


n         Graduate in biochemistry from the Higher Technical Institute, Vienna. Studied pharmacy and chemistry in Vienna. Graduate in natural sciences. Taught chemistry and physics at a secondary school in Vienna (1975-1976). Management posts in the pharmaceuticals industry in Vienna, Zurich and Darmstadt (1976-1980). Journalist (Der Spiegel and other publications) and writer in Berlin (1980-1984). Correspondent of Der Spiegel and Profil in New York (1984-1986). Editor-in-chief of Mδnner-Vogue in Munich (1987). Co-founder of the newspaper Der Standard and member of the editorial team, responsible for cultural affairs and foreign policy (1988-1991) in Vienna. Correspondent of the Sόddeutsche Zeitung in New Delhi (1991-1993). Correspondent of Stern in Hamburg (1993-1994). Publishing projects (Der Standard) in Vienna (1994-1995). Writer and journalist in Chicago (1995-1998), Los Angeles (1998) and Vienna (since 1999).


Conclusions I: 414 cities that are mentioned 1247 times

nIn the abovementioned publication of the European Parliament we abstracted all the city/town references in all the linguistic environments these could be found, for all MEPs.

nWe found 414 names of cities/towns which are mentioned 1247 times in total, taking into account their repeated occurrences.

nThere are just 2 (= 1247/626) city occurrences and less than one city name (0.66 = 414/626) per MEP. 


The 15 most mentioned cities






Conclusions II

The top places in the previous table must be understood as resulting from

         i)   the city size,

         ii)  the country size, i.e. the number of its MEPs,

         but also

         iii) from phenomena of concentration on national and European level (London, Paris, Madrid).


Conclusions III

It is worth mentioning the particularity of Athens’ place, since it is the capital of a country with few MEPs (= 25), but its excessive concentration brings the city on an upper level together with Madrid, after London and Paris.


Conclusions IV

nThe respective place of the first and second British cities is good (= due to the number of the MEPs), also due to the particularity of Oxford.

nBut the respective place of the first and second French cities (Paris in the 2nd place, but Bordeaux in the 18th) clearly demonstrates the primacy of the French capital on a national and international level.


nBerlin, the largest city of the European country which has the largest number of MEPs, is just in the 7th place, followed by Munich and Hamburg.


Ranking of the countries I







Ranking of the countries II





Mapping Out I






Mapping Out II



























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