Europe is one of the smaller continents, but it still has a vast array of contrasting landscapes.

Europe is the continent on which we live, and is the second smallest of all the continents.

Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

It is important to learn about Europe as it is home to our neighbours who we conduct a vast amount of our trade with.

A large majority of countries in Europe are members of the European Union. This is a group of 28 countries (who are mainly located in Europe). The EU is a bit like a club. To join it a country needs to agree to follow the rules and in return they gain certain benefits. Each country has to pay to be a member of the EU. This money is used by the EU to change the way people live and do business in Europe. Countries join the EU because they want to benefit from the changes the EU makes.

The EU has grown over time:

1957 It started with six members.

1973 It expanded to 9 countries, this is when the UK joined.

1981 Greece joined, so there were 10 members.

1986 Spain and Portugal joined to make it 12 EU countries.

1995 Three more countries joined making the current 15 members (Austria, FInland and Sweden).

2004 Ten more countries joined. Most of them are from Eastern Europe making 25 members.

2007 Two other countries  bringing the total to 27

2013 Croatia joined becoming the 28th member state.

To join the EU countries have to prove certain things, including:

  1. They must show that they treat their people fairly, respect their human rights and allow them to vote in elections.
  2. They must show that their economies are properly run. That means the government is sensible about the amount of money it spends and does not interfere too much in the way people do business.
  3. Countries may have to make changes to their laws so that they don’t clash with the laws of the EU.

Top 10 Most Beautiful Countries in Europe

Follow these hyperlinks to learn more:-

  1. European Countries Quiz
  2. National Geographic – Europe
  3. Europa

Geography Home Page

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