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.

Andrey K.
Mykonos. Hora. The Church of Panagia Paraportiani
Andrew Pryadko
Otrada pirs
Михаил Шишов
Flood on Budennogo
Михаил Шишов
Reset water utility
Jan Mulder
Lion in parc 1813
Ian Chappel
Wester Shircombe
Paolo e Mauro Mattiello
Beach and Portovesme's harbour seawall
Paolo e Mauro Mattiello
Portovesme's harbour seawall and cranes, 2WW pillbox, beach in winter
"alexander-karpov"
Car Garage
Thomas Schwarz
Niederreifenberg An Der Weilquelle 1
Uwe Koenigsmann
Reichstag Berlin Germany High Resolution 24156x12078 Pixel
Roberto Scavino
Albenga, Square of Lions
Mike Weidner - www.panomorph.de
0271 20110714 Goerlitz Villa Schlafzimmer
Mike Weidner - www.panomorph.de
0271 20110714 Goerlitz Villa Schlafzimmer
Takács István
Kupola Lent2
Carsten T. Rees
Saverne, Zabern, Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité, Nave
Willy Kaemena
Grand Opening of Apple Store Hamburg Jungfernstieg
Andrea Biffi
beautiful road and panorama in the Calanches
Valentin Arfire
Grajdpanorama
John Willetts ARPS
Detling, Kent. On patrol