By Lorenzo Ferrari.

When it comes to recognising same-sex unions, Europe is divided into three vertical strips. As this Wikipedia map illustrates, the level of recognition decreases the further east one travels.

After last May's referendum in Ireland, all countries in the west and on the Atlantic coast (in dark blue) have introduced marriage for all. In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to allow gays and lesbians to marry.

Central European countries, starting with Germany, (in light blue) do not recognise same-sex marriage but do allow civil partnerships. By contrast, the constitutions of several eastern European countries (in red) explicitly ban marriages between same-sex couples. Malta recognises unions granted abroad. Countries in red and blue recognise same-sex civil partnerships, but forbid marriage. Countries in grey do not recognise same-sex civil partnerships.