The book quickly makes it clear that there is no such thing as European politeness. In fact, although the book is organized by regions (Western Europe, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe), the editors themselves point out that this grouping was chosen more for convenience than for identification, and that a number of other classifications might have been possible. Indeed, it is impossible to generalize about Scandinavian politeness or Western European politeness or Southern European politeness. A Dane, it turns out, will prefer to get to the point, whereas a Finn will favor evasion at all costs. As far as politeness is concerned, an Estonian has more in common with a Finn than with a Pole, despite having a closer physical proximity.
Special dedication to all Contributors and shoutbox regulars: dealing constantly with various multi-cultural problems with understanding and politeness! Thank you all!