This paper attempts to quantify some of the key differences and similarities between European countries through comparative empirical data, and to suggest some common threads. It compares first the different media environments and different behavioural responses to those media. Second, it addresses the wider issue of altitudinal differences between countries and the implications for cultural harmony. Third, in the light of these differences, it looks briefly at the relevance and effectiveness of the European instruments of regulation. Finally, it draws some conclusions about cultural barriers to European media initiatives.