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The term 'region' can be used with different meanings. A region may be identified with an administrative area or with a part of a country covered by particular development plans (as, for example, in the Federal Republic of Germany). A region may also be identified by such criteria as ethno-national composition (for example the Basque country) or common interest area (for example, the Rhine Valley). To avoid a long and fruitless discussion of what a region really is, the term region will in this article be used as an umbrella term to include different types of territorially-determined units distinctively marked off from their surroundings and possessing some form of, or claim to, their own identity.