Countries in southern Europe include Italy, Andorra, Macedonia, Gibraltar, Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Austria can be considered part of southern Europe because it borders Italy and other Baltic countries.
"Southern Europe" has political and cultural meanings, and it can be described in terms of climate because the region is located along the Mediterranean. There are also smaller countries in the region. For instance, Andorra lies between France and Spain, but the isolated nation is not part of mainstream Europe. Liechtenstein is another small country that is close to the Alps.
Nations that are close to the Iberian portion of southwestern Europe are Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar and Andorra. Italy comprises south-central Europe. Countries to the east of southern Europe make up the Balkans, which includes such nations as Kosovo, Greece, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.
The people in the region share a cultural bond through language. For example, Greek and Romance languages have spread throughout southern Europe. Romance languages include Catalan, Italian, French and Spanish. However, there are other languages in the region, including Turkish and Slavic. The Maltese language of Malta is a Semitic language, and the Basque language is spoken by the Basque people of France and Spain. English and Germanic languages are also apparent in Gibraltar, Switzerland and Malta.