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.

Thomas Schwarz
Mainz Korbgasse
H.J.Weber
Zwiesel - Bergkirche Maria Namen
Lehel Lokodi
Acropolis Park (Parcul Cetățuia) at Sunrise, Cluj-Napoca
Евгений Орлов
Roma. Vittoriano. (Macchina da Scrivere).
Vieru Claudiu
Piatra Mare chalet
Vieru Claudiu
Piatra Scrisa (Written Rock)
Vieru Claudiu
Piatra Mare alpine plateau
Vieru Claudiu
Piatra Mare peak
Zdeněk Skalník
The cockpit of the aircraft L-410
Zdeněk Skalník
Board Aircraft L-410
Fritz Hanke
Backyard in Copenhagen
Mathias Kuhn
Venedig
zeljko soletic
Rain over Dubrovnik
T. Emrich
Aerial View Sunset at Nymphenburg Palace
Michał Nyklewicz
Milky Way Meadow
Michael Maniezzo
Inside Savior on the Spilled Blood St Petersburg Russia
benjamin-suzanne
Le Quai Debilly
Johan Offermans & Karl Overholt
Airplane wreckage Iceland
Carsten T. Rees
Haigerloch, View from the Römerturm (Roman-Tower)
zeljko soletic
Marché Aligre