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Global Energy Enterprise

Europa

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Map of member states of the European Union. See table below for text version.
Map of member states of the European Union (See below for summary table.)

Geography

Europe is the 2nd smallest continent after Australia. The mainland of Europe is a peninsula of the western part of the Eurasian supercontinent, with no clear geological boundary to the east. By convention, it is separated from Asia by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caucasus Mountains, and in the southeast by the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.

In the south, Europe is separated from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea. In the west, Europe's borders are defined by the Atlantic Ocean and, to the north, by the Polar Sea.

The United Nations recognizes four subregions in Europe: Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Western Europe.

European Union or Eurozone?

Two political economy-related terms that are often bandied about and sometimes conflated are European Union (EU) and Eurozone. It is important to differentiate between the two, as they are not synonymous. According to the EU, the European Union "is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries that together cover much of the continent" (European Union: The EU in brief). As you will see, the EU is defined by a series of agreements (mostly treaties) that were for a long time focused on establishing economic relationships, but have more recently become more political in nature. See the countries in the EU in the map above, and feel free to visit the EU's website for brief details on each country.

The Eurozone is defined by Investopedia as "a geographic and economic region that consists of all the European Union countries that have fully incorporated the euro as their national currency."  The euro began as a "virtual currency" in 1999 (used for "cash-less payments and accounting purposes"). The first bank notes were distributed on January 1, 2002. There are currently 19 countries in the Eurozone, with close to 340 million people using the euro on a daily basis (European Union: The euro). For a full list of Eurozone countries, visit the European Union website.

Countries and their EU Affiliation
Country EU Affiliation Eurozone/currency?
Austria EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Belgium EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Denmark EU original member Danish krone (DKK)
Finland EU original member Eurozone (euro)
France EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Germany EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Greece EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Ireland EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Italy EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Luxemborg EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Netherlands EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Portugal EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Spain EU original member Eurozone (euro)
Sweden EU original member Swedish krona (SEK)
United Kingdom EU original member British pound
Czech Republic Member since 2004 Czech koruna (CZK)
Estonia Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Hungary Member since 2004 Hungarian Forint (HUF)
Latvia Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Lithuania Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Malta Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Poland Member since 2004 Polish Zloty (PLN)
Slovakia Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Slovenia Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Cyprus Member since 2004 Eurozone (euro)
Bulgaria Member since 2007 Bulgarian lev (BGN)
Romania Member since 2007 Romanian Leu (RON)
Croatia Member since 2013 Croatian kuna (HRK)
Macedonia EU candidate country Macedonian Denar (MKD)
Turkey EU candidate country Turkish New Lira (TRY)
Albania Official "potential candidate country" Lek (ALL)
Switzerland EFTA country Swiss franc (CHF)
Iceland EFTA country Iceland Krona (ISK)
Norway EFTA country Norwegian kroner (NOK)
Serbia Recommended as official candidate Serbian dinar (RSD)

To Read Now

Visit One-World.

Read/view the list of countries in Europe. Then take a little trip! Use the interactive map or visit the EUN member countries in brief page to explore. Notice cities, languages, currency, and natural resources.

European Union

To Read Now

For a brief history lesson on the EU:

From the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, read How the EU Works. Note the different roles and memberships of the European Council, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament.

Visit Europa and read

As you are probably aware, Great Britain voted to exit the EU in 2016. This is the first time that a country has voted to leave the EU. Please read the following summary of the so-called "Brexit."