Europe

Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

Mike Anton
Nave of priory church of St Mary & St Blaise, Boxgrove
Lehel Lokodi
Monument - Acropolis Park (Parcul Cetățuia) at Sunrise, Cluj-Napoca
Andrew Bodrov
Church of St Prophet Elly
Евгений Орлов
Roma. Piazza della Rotonda. Panteon.(2)
Andrew Bodrov
Puhtitsa Stavropegic Dormition Convent
San Martin church in Almonaster la Real
El LLano square in Almonaster la Real
Real of Andalucia de La Jara square
Lehel Lokodi
Top of Acropolis Park (Parcul Cetățuia), Cluj-Napoca
Hrvoje Mikolčević
Evening in Barletta, Italy
Martin Broomfield
Chartres Cathedral
PaVeL Bobkov
Far thunder storm
Stephan Messner
Evening in Mostar /Bosnia i Herzegovina
sven-kaufmann
Marketplace Coburg
Romain Calvetti
Parvis du Sacre Coeur, Paris
Vil Muhametshin
Daily life of ancient Latgalian in Araisi dwelling site, Latvia
Vil Muhametshin
Ancient Latgalian kids at Araisi lake dwelling site, Latvia
Larry Beasley
The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Alan McLean (Albiphotography)
Fairy Glen , Uig , Isle Of Skye
Marcin Klaban
During the Warsaw Uprising