Europe comprises a large peninsula at the west of the Eurasian land mass.
It stretches from the Ural Mountains in Siberia on the east, to the western coast of Spain and Portugal. The islands of Great Britain, Ireland and Iceland are also considered to be part of Europe. It is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.
It is home to more than 10% of the worlds population (Around 600,000,000) yet covers only 2% of the land. Europe is geographically and culturally very diverse.
The European Union comprises 27 separate states and has the highest GDP of any political entity in the world.
World War I and World War II started in Europe, and large battles took place in Europe. During the Cold War Europe was split into a democratic western part and communist eastern part. European integration has been a theme in European relations since the Cold War ended, see the European Union.
France and Germany refused to take part in the Iraqi War[Citation Needed], while some European states, notably the United Kingdom, did. Austria refused to let coalition troops pass through its airspace.[Citation Needed]