Europe

 

 

Albania

Austria

Belarus

Belgium

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Macedonia

Malta

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United Kingdom

 

Europe, the most economically and socially developed continent, is also the cradle of the so-called Western civilization. Mother of empires like the Roman , Byzantine , Germanic , Spanish , Portuguese , Russian , French and British , is full of small countries but in each of its corners hides a long history. Its cities like Paris , London , Rome , Moscow , Madrid or Athensthey are recurrent destinations of the universal history, but at present they manage to merge the past with the contemporary, becoming great metropolis that are part of the world economic motor. Although its great wealth lies in its historical heritage, its geography opens space to outstanding natural destinations. A few hundred kilometers one can go from the harsh climate of Lapland to the immensities of the Black Forest (Germany), the heights of the Alps or bathe in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

 

When to visit Europe

Climate of Europe is largely milder than other regions at this altitude due to a warm Gulf Stream. Overall the continent is very diverse in terms of climates that may range from Arctic desert to a hot Mediterranean climate in the South. Summers in the northwest are usually cool and rainy. Scandinavia in the very North part of the continent can be very extreme in winters with little light, while summers are mild with so called White Nights then the daylight may persist till midnight. Southern Europe on the other hand is influenced by African continent. It is dry and can be unbearably hot in July and August. If you chose this time of the year you might have to deal with forest fires that are quite frequent. These are also the busiest months of the year in terms of tourist load. More preferable months to travel to Europe usually range from May to September. However if you want to ski in Europe February and March will probably suit you better. Although you have to execute certain degree of common sense since the trails in Europe have less safety precautions.

 

Europe Maps and travel

Maps are essential if your trip planner is filled with places to visit and locations to see. Streets are often lacking any organization or logic. Even directions from local people might be confusing and misleading. Simply take a city guide with the names of major streets and this will save you lots of time and worries. It is especially true if you travel by yourself or with a few family members or friends.

 

Telephones in Europe

Be aware that not all telephones work everywhere. If you want a cell phone while traveling abroad you can check with your provider if you will get coverage in Europe or simply buy a cheap version then you will land in your point of destination. Roaming charges can hit you hard and they can be quite high even for short conversations.

 

Times Zones in Europe

Believe it or not it is different from wherever you live. Keeping an idea of this minor difference can save you from bothering someone home by calling at 3 am. These times zones also vary greatly. If you live in the US or Canada you are behind European time zones and should subtract hours to get Western Hemisphere time. For example Great Britain, Ireland and Portugal are on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) which is 5 hours ahead of the New York time zone, while the eastern part of the European Russia might be 9 hours ahead. Europe has Daylight Saving so consider this while traveling in March or October.

 

Internet Cafes

Internet Cafes is probably second best thing after Internet itself. Nowadays you can find access to internet in pretty much every city and even a village in Europe. All you have to do is to pay a certain amount for the number of hours and use your access to the internet. The quality might range from place to place, but generally the connection is pretty fast.

 

Passports and Visas in Europe

This will be covered from country to country, but most of Western European countries don't require visas for short visits from the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. For longer stays in Europe or for travels to Eastern Europe you will need a visa.

 

Safety while traveling to Europe

While Europe is generally a safe place to travel they are exceptions. It might be from country to country or from region of a country to another region. There will be more on this by country, but it is a general rule that you should avoid dark alleys and walking by yourself. Petty crimes are fairly common, especially in big cities. Avoid taking all of your jewelry to impress. It will most likely will draw negative attention from thieves. Leaving your belonging also might not be a good idea. Unattended things have an mysterious quality of disappearing in the shortest period of time. You might also want to carry traveler's checks with you to minimize the amount of cash that you have in yourself.

 

Money Exchange in Europe

Although the introduction of Euro on January 1st, 2002 decreased number of currencies in Europe you will still need to change your money into local ones. There are a lot of locations you can do it, but probably your hotel will offer a better choice. If you chose to use an ATM you have to take in consideration interests that banks might charge you for taking out cash. Another thing you should not forget is excessive protection that banks might have. If they see your card being charged in strange places like Milan or Saint Petersburg they might block your card. So you can either inform the bank before you go to Europe or keep a number of your bank so you can call them immediately to inform them that it is you who is actually using the card.

 

Customs, Duty Free and Value Added Tax

Here is some bad news. Members of European Union are considered almost a single entity so there is no duty free if you travel between these countries. It is only if you travel between EU and other non- EU countries. Here is some more bad news. Most of goods and services have Value Added Tax which is included in the prices of all stuff that you might buy while traveling to Europe. If you really don't want to pay this tax you can go two ways. One is the long one by waiting for a refund if you are not a European Union citizen. Keep your refund and present your unopened purchases at the Tax Refund desk. Another way to avoid paying is by visiting stores with "Euro Free Tax" sign. You will need a passport to prove you are not a citizen of the EU to get your discount.

 

Etymology

The name "Europe" probably comes from the name of the heroine of the ancient Greek mythology of Europe (Εὐρώπη, Eurṓpē), a Phoenician princess abducted by Zeus and taken to Crete (at the same time, the epithet of Europe could also be associated with Hera and Demeter). The origin of this name itself, as the French linguist P. Chantren says, is unknown. Since the myth of Europa and the bull seems to date back to the Mycenaean period, it is possible to consider its origin as pre-Greek.

The most popular etymological hypotheses in modern literature were proposed in antiquity (along with many others), but are controversial: for example, one etymology interprets it from the Greek roots ευρύς (eurús) - "wide", and όψ (ōps, gen. ὠπός, ōpós) - "eye", that is, "wide-eyed"; according to the lexicographer Hesychius, the name Europia means "country of sunset", or "dark", which was compared by later linguists with Western Sem. ‘ərā̊b ib “sunset” or Akkad. êrêb šamši with the same meaning (M. West assessed this etymology as very weak).

According to another theory, the name comes from the Phoenician word ereb.

 

Borders

The name "Europe" as a designation for a part of the known world was first used in the 6th century BC by Anaximander and Hecataeus. Anaximander drew the border between Asia and Europe along the Phasis River (modern Rioni River in Georgia) in the Caucasus. This convention is adhered to by Herodotus in the 5th century BC, although he also notes that some considered the river Don, and not Phasis, as the border between Europe and Asia.

The name Europe for part of the world is absent in ancient Greek literature (in the Homeric hymn to the Pythian Apollo, only Northern Greece is called Europe) and was first recorded in the “Description of the Earth” by Hecateus of Miletus (end of the 6th century BC), the first book of which is devoted to Europe.

The ancient Greeks initially considered Europe to be a separate continent, separated from Asia by the Aegean and Black Seas, and from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea. Convinced that Europe is only a small part of the vast continent, which is now called Eurasia, ancient authors began to draw the eastern border of Europe along the Don River (such ideas are already found in Polybius and Strabo). This tradition dominated for almost two millennia. In particular, at Mercator, the border of Europe runs along the Don, and from its source - strictly north to the White Sea.

In the 15th century, Europe briefly became almost synonymous with Christendom, but today the majority of Christians live outside its territory[15]. In the 19th century, almost all of the world's industry was in Europe; today, most of the production is made outside of it.

V. N. Tatishchev in 1720 proposed to draw the eastern border of Europe along the ridge of the Ural Mountains, and further along the Yaik River (modern Ural) up to the mouth that flows into the Caspian Sea. Gradually, the new border became generally accepted, first in Russia, and then beyond its borders. At present, the border of Europe is drawn: in the north - along the Arctic Ocean; in the west - along the Atlantic Ocean; in the south - along the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, Black Seas; in the east - along the eastern foot of the Ural Mountains, the Mugodzhar mountains, along the Emba River to the Caspian Sea, from it along the rivers Kuma and Manych (Kumo-Manych depression) to the mouth of the Don (in particular, according to encyclopedias: Great Soviet Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Britannica) or , less often, along the Caucasian ridge to the Black Sea). The further passage of the border between Europe and Asia along the Black Sea and the Black Sea straits is supported by all sources. Europe also includes the nearby islands and archipelagos, while a number of the islands of Greece, located near the coast of Turkish Anatolia, may geographically belong to Asia, and politically to Europe. The same applies to the islands of Malta and Iceland (the first is conditionally separated from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea, and the second by the Atlantic Ocean from America).

Azerbaijan and Georgia in the list of countries in Europe is based primarily on political, economic and historical-cultural considerations, as well as sometimes allocated a partial geographical location, which is not unambiguous.

In certain contexts, Europe may include countries and territories that are outside the physical boundaries of Europe described above, but are connected with Europe politically, economically, historically and culturally (Armenia, the Republic of Cyprus).

 

History

The cultural heritage of Europe is based, in particular, on Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and the Christianity of the Middle East. The history of ancient Greece dates back to 700 BC. The Roman Empire began to develop as early as 753 BC, but the time of its greatest prosperity dates back to the beginning of the 1st century AD. The Roman Empire was at its peak in 117. With the collapse of the Roman Empire in Europe, the Great Migration of Nations began. Nevertheless, the traditions of the early time were preserved in the monasteries. Beginning in the 7th century, Arab nomads conquered the eastern and southern parts of Europe. Charlemagne, crowned Emperor of Rome in 800, ruled over large areas of Western and Central Europe. He was called the "Father of Europe". After the collapse of his kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire was founded.

In 833, Mojmir I annexed the Principality of Nitra to Great Moravia, and in 846 he extended his power to the territory of the Czech Republic.

During the Middle Ages, the feudal society model spread from France to the rest of Europe. In Britain, a dispute between the nobility and the king over the division of power led to the writing of the Magna Carta and the creation of Parliament. The power of the pope grew, Europe entered into a crusade, and the Inquisition opposed heresies[24].

The turning point in art, culture and the history of ideas - the Renaissance, marked the beginning of a new era in the 15th century. Beginning in the 15th century, European empires, especially Spain (formerly Castile), Portugal, and then the Netherlands, France, and Great Britain (formerly England), built large colonial empires in Africa, North and South America, and Asia.

The Industrial Revolution began in Europe at the end of the 18th century and contributed to an increase in demand for raw materials and markets. With the industrialization of the countryside and factories, people began to move to the cities in search of work. The cities were very densely populated, and deadly epidemics were common in the big cities. In addition, most factories had to work in the dust and soot.

The Enlightenment movement, which advocated rationalism and individual freedom, gained wide popularity in the 18th century. It is believed that modern democracy was born during the French Revolution of the late 18th century. Domination gradually began to pass from the monarchs to the bourgeoisie. At the beginning of the 19th century, the first French consul, Napoleon I, sought to make all of Europe a single state by conquering his neighbors. In the 19th century, nationalism rose to prominence and the labor movement spread from Great Britain throughout Europe. In some places it even led to civil wars. Many states became independent, and, on the other hand, some small principalities merged into larger nation-states. Especially in poor and difficult times, migrants poured out of Europe, especially to the US and Canada.

As prosperity increased in the 20th century, competition for resources and colonial domination led to armed conflicts, the largest of which were World War I of 1914-1918 and World War II of 1939-1945. The First World War in Europe led to the collapse of the economy and the unjust peace agreement at Versailles, and in several countries dictators rose to power again. This eventually led to World War II, which was the most destructive war in human history.

An important stage in European history is also the political situation that developed after the Second World War. During the Cold War, Europe was divided into two major political and economic blocs: the socialist states in Eastern Europe and the capitalist states in Western Europe. Economic growth and the development of democracy were rapid, especially in the capitalist countries. In the early 1990s, both the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc collapsed. At the same time, East and West Germany were unified. In the 1990s, the European Union assumed its current form, but at the same time, the Yugoslav wars were going on in the Balkans. On the other hand, many countries of the former Eastern Bloc have also democratized, and in the 21st century, many of them have also joined the European Union and NATO. Since 2002, many member states of the European Union have switched to a single currency - the euro.

 

Geography

Europe is washed by the Atlantic and Arctic oceans and their seas.

The area of ​​Europe is 10.2 million km², with about 730 thousand km² falling on the islands. The length from north to south is 3900 km, and from west to east - 5200 km. In terms of territory, it is only slightly larger than Canada, but much smaller than Russia. The peninsulas account for about 1/4 of the territory of Europe (Kola, Scandinavian, Pyrenean, Apennine, Balkan, etc.).

The average height is about 300 m, the maximum (if the border of Europe is drawn along the Kumo-Manych depression) is 4808 m, Mont Blanc, or (when the border of Europe is drawn along the Caucasus Range) is 5642 m, Elbrus, the minimum is currently approx. . −27 meters (Caspian Sea) and changes along with fluctuations in the level of this sea.

Plains prevail (large - East European, Central European, Middle and Lower Danube, Paris basin), mountains occupy about 17% of the territory (the main ones are the Alps, the Caucasus, the Carpathians, the Crimean, Pyrenees, Apennines, the Urals, the Scandinavian mountains, the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula) . There are active volcanoes in Iceland and the Mediterranean.

In most of the territory, the climate is temperate (in the west - oceanic, in the east - continental, with snowy and frosty winters), in the northern islands - subarctic and arctic, in southern Europe - Mediterranean, in the Caspian lowland - semi-desert. On the islands of the Arctic, in Iceland, the Scandinavian mountains, the Alps - glaciation (area over 116 thousand km²).

Main rivers: Volga, Danube, Ural, Dnieper, Western Dvina, Don, Pechora, Kama, Oka, Belaya, Dniester, Rhine, Elbe, Vistula, Tahoe, Loire, Oder, Neman, Ebro.

Large lakes: Ladoga, Onega, Peipsi, Venern, Balaton, Geneva.

On the islands of the Arctic and along the coast of the Arctic Ocean - arctic deserts and tundras, to the south - forest-tundras, taiga, mixed and broad-leaved forests, forest-steppes, steppes, subtropical Mediterranean forests and shrubs; in the southeast - semi-deserts.

The largest sandy desert in Europe, Ryn-sands (40,000 km²), is located between the Volga and Ural rivers (on the territory of Kazakhstan and Russia), in Western Europe, the Tabernas massif in Spain, as well as the Nogai steppe in Russia on borderlands of Kalmykia, Dagestan and Chechnya. In addition, there has been desertification of vast areas in Kalmykia, Russia, as a result of human activities in the industrial extraction of water from natural sources and irrational land use. In the zone of dry steppes in the east of Europe, there are a number of sandy massifs in Russia on the lower Don (Archedinsky-Don sands, Tsimlyansky sands, etc.), as well as on the territory of Ukraine (Aleshkovsky sands).

Andreas Kaplan believes that Europe is a region with the maximum cultural diversity in a relatively small geographical area.

 

Economy

In 2008, Europe was the richest continent in the world in terms of assets under management, with a total of over US$32.7 trillion compared to North America's US$27.1 trillion. In 2009, total assets under management in Europe accounted for a third of global assets. However, the financial crisis of 2007-2008 weakened the credit ratings of many countries and caused the eurozone debt crisis. Before the crisis, Europe's GDP was at its peak.

The level of well-being in Europe varies greatly. The richest countries are mainly located in Western and Northern Europe, the poorer ones are in many Eastern European countries and the Balkans. According to the World Bank (2011-2018), the richest countries in Europe in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita are Luxembourg, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The poorest countries are Moldova, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Serbia.

According to the International Monetary Fund (2018), four European countries are among the ten largest economies in the world by gross domestic product: Germany, the UK, France and Italy. The total European GDP per capita in 2016 was $21,767.

In 2002, a total of 12 member states of the European Union adopted a single currency, the euro. Today, the euro is used in 19 EU countries, as well as in four non-EU ministries.

The main financial centers of Europe are London, Zurich, Geneva and Frankfurt.

In 2018, the largest European company by turnover was the Dutch-British energy company Royal Dutch Shell, the third largest company in the world with a turnover of over US$396 billion. Other European companies in the world's top 20 that same year were British oil and gas company BP, German automotive company Volkswagen AG, Swiss mining and raw materials company Glencore, German automotive company Daimler AG, and French oil company Total.

 

Population

About 740 million people currently live in Europe. Europe is a relatively densely populated continent, with an average of over 70 people per square kilometer. Particularly densely populated countries include England, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. By contrast, in Eastern and Northern Europe population density is low in many places.

Population growth in Europe is slow compared to other parts of the world due to, among other things, low birth rates. On the contrary, the population is aging rapidly: in 2005, the proportion of people over 65 was 16%, and by 2050, it is estimated to increase to 28%.

Europeans have a high life expectancy. In about half of European countries, it exceeds 80 years. The longest is in Switzerland, Italy and Spain (more than 83 years) and the shortest is in Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan (about 72-73 years).

 

Languages

In Europe, 230 languages ​​are spoken, which is only 3% of the world's languages. More than 90% of its population speaks Indo-European languages. The largest Indo-European language groups are the Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages. Slavic languages ​​are spoken especially in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, including Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Slovenian, Macedonian. On the other hand, Germanic languages ​​are spoken primarily in Central and Northern Europe, including English, German and Scandinavian languages. The Romance languages ​​are more concentrated in the southern parts of Europe, including French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian (Moldavian). Smaller Indo-European language groups include, for example, the Celtic and Baltic languages. Greek and Albanian are also Indo-European languages.

Among the non-Indo-European languages ​​of the indigenous population of Europe, a significant part belongs to the Uralic language family. Their Finno-Ugric branch of this family includes Finnish, Izhorian, Karelian, Vepsian, Estonian, Votic, Hungarian, Udmurt, Komi-Zyryan, Komi-Permyak, Mountain Mari, Meadow Mari, Moksha, Erzya, a group of Sami languages. Their Samoyedic branch of the Uralic languages ​​includes, for example, the Nenets language.

The non-Indo-European languages ​​spoken among the indigenous population of Europe also include the languages ​​of the Altaic language family; Numerous Turkic languages ​​stand out in their composition: Chuvash, Karagash, Nogai, Kazakh, Bashkir, Tatar, Karaim, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz, Turkish, as well as North Caucasian languages. The Mongolian group includes, for example, the Kalmyk language.

Maltese (apart from Hebrew) is the only language belonging to the Semitic language group.

Basque is an isolated language.

 

Religions

About 75% of Europeans are Christians and 8% Muslims. About 17% of Europeans do not profess any religion. Jews are less than one percent.

Most of the inhabitants of Southwestern Europe are Catholics. Central Europe is home to large numbers of Catholics and Protestants in many places. In the countries of Northern Europe and Great Britain, the majority of the population is Protestant, while in Eastern Europe there are more Orthodox. Most Muslims live in the European parts of Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey, partly in the Caucasus and in some countries of the Balkan Peninsula: in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia; The mass migration of the Muslim population to Europe has formed numerous Muslim diasporas in most countries of Western and Northern Europe.

Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is traditionally practiced.

 

Division

Europe is usually divided into Northern and Southern, Western and Eastern, as well as Central. This division is rather arbitrary, especially since not only purely geographical, but also political factors come into play here. Some countries, depending on the point of view, may be assigned to different groups of states.

In Soviet times, the division of Europe into East and West often had a political connotation - Eastern Europe included the GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia and the USSR - the socialist countries, or, as they were also called, "countries of people's democracy ". All other states belonged to Western Europe. At the same time, Spain, Portugal, the south of France, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey were also called Southern Europe, and Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland - Northern Europe.

At present, after the collapse of the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, Central Europe includes Austria, Switzerland and Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, and sometimes the Baltic countries (the latter are more often included in Northern Europe) . To Eastern Europe - physiographically Russia (only a part in Europe), Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan (only a part in Europe), Moldova. Sometimes, for political reasons, the countries of Transcaucasia (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) are included in Eastern Europe. To Western Europe - Great Britain, Ireland, France and other countries, including the physical and geographically Central European Germany. Some sources retain the old division.

 

Political situation

In the post-World War II period until 1989-1991, Europe was the central scene of the Cold War between the Western (capitalist) and Eastern (socialist) blocs. Most of the countries of Western Europe at that time, in military and political terms, united within the framework of NATO. Social and legal integration was provided by the Council of Europe, economic - by the European Economic Community. In the east of the continent, the Warsaw Pact Organization acted as a military integration structure, and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance as an economic one; in both, the USSR played a dominant role.

After the collapse of the socialist regimes, the situation changed markedly. Most of the countries of the former "socialist camp" reoriented towards Western structures. Currently, more than half of the states of Europe are members of the European Union and NATO, and almost all the rest declare their desire to join these organizations. On the one hand, this created the preconditions for the EU to become a political player on a truly global scale. On the other hand, the heterogeneity of the composition of the Union has a negative impact on its ability to develop common positions on certain issues.

The leaders of political processes in Europe are Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy. A significant role in the integration processes is played by the small countries of Western Europe (the Benelux countries, the Scandinavian states, Ireland), which have largely benefited from the development of the EU. A special place is occupied by the former socialist countries, which hope to improve their economic situation through participation in the European Union. The Balkan Peninsula remains a hotbed of instability, where the conflict situations that arose during the collapse of Yugoslavia have not yet been resolved. So far, the political and economic future of the former Soviet republics, including those in the Caucasus, remains unclear. The attitude in Europe and the desire of predominantly Muslim Turkey to become more involved in European affairs are ambiguous.

 

Major international associations in Europe

European countries are members of various international organizations, most of which are organizations of an economic and political nature. The main international associations in Europe are listed below.

Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is the only pan-European organization with almost all European countries as its members. Currently, 46 states are members of the Council of Europe. The goals of the Council of Europe are programs to smooth out contradictions between the legislative bases of European countries in such areas as human rights, citizenship, private international law, protection of the environment and cultural heritage, protection of the rights of national minorities, and the like.

European Union
The European Union, the abbreviated name of the EU, is a supranational association of 27 European states. Within the framework of the Union, many programs are supervised. Within the framework of the EU, there is a single market, which includes a customs union, a monetary union (a single European currency - the euro, operates on the territory of 19 of the 27 members of the European Union), a common policy in the field of agriculture and fisheries. The European Union is also taking measures to coordinate the actions of member countries in the field of policy. There are also tendencies towards coordination of actions in the field of defense and common foreign policy. The Union is gradually evolving from an economic organization to a supranational one. At present, the combined GDP of the European Union is the largest in the world at US$15.849 trillion.

Also within Europe there are the following associations:
Eurozone
Schengen Area
Customs Union
European Economic Area
European Free Trade Association

Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is an organization consisting of 9 former republics of the Soviet Union (except for the Baltic countries, Ukraine and Georgia). The CIS does not have supranational powers and is more of a symbolic organization operating in the field of coordinating interaction between the member countries of the Commonwealth. The main goals of the CIS are the implementation of cooperation in the political, economic, environmental, humanitarian, cultural and other fields; peaceful resolution of disputes; interstate cooperation and integration; protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens of member countries. The main topics of discussion are plans to create a single market like the EU, as well as the fight against cross-border crime.

NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance whose members are mainly European countries, but also the United States and Canada. NATO was created as an organization to rally the Western European countries under the command of the United States against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its allies. The basis of the organization is an agreement on collective defense in the event of an attack on any of the member states.

OSCE
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is the largest regional security organization, which includes 56 states of Europe, Central and Central Asia, and North America.

The organization aims to prevent the emergence of conflicts in the region, resolve crisis situations, and eliminate the consequences of conflicts.

northern council
The Nordic Council (founded in 1952) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (founded in 1971) are an organization for coordinating cooperation between the parliaments and governments of the Nordic countries. Member countries: Denmark, Finland (since 1956), Iceland, Norway, Sweden. The governing bodies are located in Copenhagen.

CEAST
The Central European Free Trade Association is an international organization that is the successor to the Visegrad Agreement between countries that are not members of the EU, signed on December 21, 1992. At the moment, the members of this organization are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of Kosovo. Prior to joining the EU, the members of the organization were: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Benelux
Benelux is a political, economic and customs union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, created on February 3, 1958. It has its own parliament and court, which includes representatives of three states.

GUAM
The organization was established in 1997 by four countries: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova (GUAM). The main office is located in the capital of Ukraine - Kyiv. From April 1999 to 2006, the organization also included Uzbekistan and it was called GUUAM.

CDC
An organization consisting of nine countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Romania and Georgia. Created as an alternative to the CIS. Established on December 2, 2005 at the founding forum in Kyiv (Ukraine).

 

EAEU
The Eurasian Economic Union is an international economic organization of a number of post-Soviet states that is engaged in the formation of common external customs borders, the development of a common foreign economic policy, tariffs, prices and other components of the functioning of the common market.

CSTO
Collective Security Treaty Organization - the organization includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.

Within the framework of the CSTO, joint military exercises are being held. The purpose of the organization is to jointly repel aggression in the event of an attack on any state party to the treaty.

Arctic Council
The Arctic Council is an international organization established in 1989 at the initiative of Finland to protect the unique nature of the northern polar zone. The Arctic Council includes eight subarctic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the USA. Observer countries: Great Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain.

Baltic Assembly
The Baltic Assembly is an advisory body for cooperation between the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, founded in 1991. The Assembly coordinates actions, advises the parliaments of the three countries and declares agreed positions in the form of resolutions, decisions and recommendations.

Council of the Baltic Sea States
The Council of the Baltic Sea States - was established on March 5-6, 1992 in Copenhagen at the conference of foreign ministers of the Baltic Sea countries. It included Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, as well as the Commission of the European Communities.

Barents Euro-Arctic Council
Forum of Regional Cooperation. The Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) was established in 1993. It included as permanent members Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden, as well as the Commission of the European Communities (CEC). Nine states - Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland, France, the USA, Japan - have the status of observers.

Union State of Russia and Belarus
Confederate Union of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus with a single political, economic, military, customs, currency, legal, humanitarian, cultural space organized in stages.

UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations is the governing body for football in Europe and parts of Western Asia. It unites the national football associations of European countries. UEFA organizes all European competitions for clubs and national teams, distributes advertising and broadcasting revenues between clubs and national associations that are part of it.

In addition to the countries listed above, UEFA also includes Israel (Israeli Football Association), located entirely in Asia.

Continental Europe
Continental Europe is a term that refers to mainland Europe.

Excluded: Greek islands, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Balearic Islands, Great Britain, Ireland, Novaya Zemlya, Svalbard, Madeira, Azores, Iceland, part of Denmark and the Faroe Islands.

The Scandinavian countries (Sweden and Norway) are sometimes excluded because their connection to the rest of the continent is through the Baltic and North Seas (not counting the long journey first north to Finland and then south to Central Europe).

There is an old idea of ​​continental Europe (“the core of Europe”, “Kerneuropa”): this is the territory of the Carolingian empire (present-day France, Italy and Germany) and the Benelux (the historical region of Austrasia).