Europe

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Politcal map of Europe
Shaded relief map of Europe

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 and the islands of Ireland and Iceland. It is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.

Europe is home to more than 10% of the worlds population (Around 600,000,000) yet covers only 2% of the land. It is geographically and culturally very diverse. Major countries include France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

The European Union comprises 27 separate European states, and has the highest GDP of any political entity in the world.


History

Europe has a long and rich history. 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 Second World War ended, see the European Union.

France and Germany remained neutral in the US led Operation Iraqi Freedom, while some European states, notably the United Kingdom and Poland, have sent troops as members of the coalition.