Europe is the second Smallest among continents in total land area.

  • Europe, occupies nearly one-fifteenth of the world’s total land area.
  • It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south (west to east) by a series of water bodies Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea.
  • Europe has land border with Asia & is separated by Ural mountains, Caucasus mountains, Caspian and black sea along with Bosphorous strait in turkey.



The Adriatic Sea – The Adriatic Sea is a semi-enclosed body of water and the northernmost extension of the Mediterranean Sea that separates the eastern part of the Italian Peninsula from the countries of the Balkan Peninsula. The Adriatic Sea is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, Dinaric Alps, and other adjacent mountain ranges. Some of the major countries that are located along the Adriatic Sea are Italy, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Sea’s eastern Croatian coastline is highly indented and contains approximately 1,300 islands.

The Aegean Sea – With an area of 214,000 sq. km, the Aegean Sea is the Mediterranean’s 4th largest marginal sea, which is located between Anatolia and the Balkan peninsulas. The Aegean Sea is dotted with numerous islands and islets, which are organized into seven major groups such as the Cyclades, Crete, Dodecanese, North Aegean Islands, Saronic, Sporades, and the West Aegean Islands.

Baltic Sea - With an area of 377,000 sq. km, the Baltic Sea is one of the marginal seas of the Atlantic Ocean. The 8,000km long coastline of the Baltic Sea is shared by the countries of Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, and Russia’s Kaliningrad region. It is estimated that over 250 rivers and small streams drain into the Baltic Sea. Some significant islands like Gotland, Saaremaa, Oland, Lolland, etc are located in the Baltic Sea.

The Barents Sea – With an area of 1,400,000 sq. km, the Barents Sea is one of the marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean, which is situated along the northern coasts of Russia and Norway. It is bounded by the Svalbard archipelago, Novaya Zemlya archipelago, Kola Peninsula, Franz Josef Land islands, and the Norwegian and the Greenland Seas. The Barents Sea also serves as an important site for the exploration of hydrocarbons like petroleum and natural gas.

The Black Sea – With an area of 436,402 sq. km, the Black Sea is one of the marginal seas of the Atlantic Ocean, which is situated between the continents of Europe and Asia. The Sea is bordered by the countries of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Several rivers including Danube, Dniester, Don, Dnieper, Rioni, Southern Bug, etc drain into the Black Sea. The sea hosts numerous islands of varying sizes like the Dzharylhach Island, Nova Zemlia, St. Ivan, St Cyricus, Bird Island, etc.

The Mediterranean Sea - With an area of 2.5 million sq. km, the Mediterranean Sea is one of the largest seas in the world that is bordered by the continents of Europe in the north, Africa in the south, and Asia in the east. In the west, the sea is connected with the Atlantic Ocean via the narrow Strait of Gibraltar. Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Algeria, etc are some of the major countries that are located along the Mediterranean Sea. In oceanography, it is sometimes referred to as the ‘Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea’ or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from the Mediterranean seas elsewhere.

The Celtic Sea – The Celtic Sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean and covers an area of approximately 300,000 sq. km. The sea is located to the south of the Republic of Ireland and is bordered by the St. George’s, English, and Bristol Channels. Several rivers from the countries of France, Wales, Ireland, and England drain into the Celtic Sea. The Isles of Scilly archipelago is also located in the Celtic Sea.

The North Sea – With an area of 570,000 sq. km, the North Sea is the 13th largest sea of the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Great Britain (England and Scotland), Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, and The Netherlands. The North Sea is connected with the Atlantic Ocean via the English Channel and with the Baltic Sea via the Kattegat and Skagerrak Straits. The Dogger Bank, a vast moraine, or accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris, rises to a mere 15 to 30 m (50 to 100 ft) below the surface. This feature has produced the finest fishing location of the North Sea.

The Norwegian Sea – The Norwegian Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean that is situated in the northwestern part of Norway between the North Sea and the Greenland Sea. In the north, the Jan Mayen Ridge separates the Norwegian Sea from the Greenland Sea. The seafloor of the Norwegian Sea is rich in petroleum and natural gas deposits and has been commercially explored since 1993.

Sea of Azov – With a maximum depth of only 14m, the Sea of Azov is regarded as one of the shallowest seas in the world. The Sea is bounded by Ukraine in the north, Russia in the east, and the Crimean Peninsula in the west. In the south, it is connected to the Black Sea via the Strait of Kerch. Mariupol, Yeysk, Taganrog, etc are some of the major ports that are located along the Sea of Azov.

Sea of Marmara – The Sea of Marmara is a small inland sea that is completely bordered by Turkey. The sea separates the Asian and European parts of Turkey and is linked with the Black Sea via the Bosphorus Strait and with the Aegean Sea via the Dardanelles Strait.

The Sea of the Hebrides – The Sea of the Hebrides is a small portion of the North Atlantic Ocean, that is located off the coast of western Scotland. The Sea was designated as a Marine Protected Area by the Scottish Government, to protect the population of minke whales and basking sharks in the Sea of the Hebrides.


The Volga 

The Volga  is the longest river in Europe. Situated in Russia, it flows through Central Russia to Southern Russia and into the Caspian Sea. The Volga has a length of 3,531 km (2,194 mi), and a catchment area of 1,360,000 km2 (530,000 sq mi). It is also Europe's largest river by volume of water discharged. It is widely regarded as the national river of Russia.


The Danube 

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through Central and Southeastern Europe into the Black Sea.

  • It connects ten European countries, running through their territories or marking a border.
  • Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for 2,850 km (1,770 mi), passing through or bordering Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine. Among the many cities on the river are four national capitals: Vienna(Austria), Bratislava(Slovakia), Budapest(hungary), and Belgrade(Serbia).


The Ural 

The Ural known before 1775 as the Yaik, is a river flowing through Russia and Kazakhstan in the continental border between Europe and Asia. It originates in the southern Ural Mountains and discharges into the Caspian Sea. At 2,428 kilometres (1,509 mi), it is the third-longest river in Europe after the Volga and the Danube, and the 18th-longest river in Asia. The Ural is conventionally considered part of the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia.


The Dnieper

The Dnieper also called Dnipro or Dniapro, is one of the major transboundary rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. Approximately 2,200 km (1,400 mi) long, with a drainage basin of 504,000 square kilometres (195,000 sq mi), it is the longest river of Ukraine and Belarus and the fourth-longest river in Europe, after the Volga, Danube, and Ural rivers.


The Rhine 

The Rhine is one of the major European rivers. The river begins in the Swiss Alps.   After that the Rhine defines much of the Franco-German border, after which it flows in a mostly northerly direction through the German Rhineland. Finally in Germany, the Rhine turns into a predominantly westerly direction and flows into the Netherlands where it eventually empties into the North Sea.


The Rhone

The Rhone is a major river in France and Switzerland, rising in the Alps and flowing west and south through Lake Geneva and southeastern France before discharging into the Mediterranean Sea.


The Seine 

The Seine is a 777-kilometre-long (483 mi) river in northern France. Its drainage basin is in the Paris Basin (a geological relative lowland) covering most of northern France. It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60 percent of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by large barges and most tour boats, and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the river banks in the capital city, Paris.



Important Dams and canals:

growth of transport by inland waterways in Europe, picked up after 2nd world war, aided & coordinated by the various international authorities, resulted in an enlarged and integrated network brought up to a minimum common standard for craft of 1,350 tons. With the Rhine, the Moselle, and their tributaries dominating the German system and providing outlets for the Dutch and Belgian systems and connecting with the French network.

The Main-Danube waterway connecting the Rhine with the Black Sea was completed in 1992 and provides a route for traffic between eastern and western Europe through Germany.

English Channel – English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is situated between the southern coast of the Island of Great Britain and the northern coast of France. In the north, the Strait of Dover links the English Channel with the North Sea. Several islands such as the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Chausey, and Mont Saint-Michel are situated in the Channel. The English Channel is also one the busiest shipping routes in the world.

Strait of Gibraltar - The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated between the southern part of Europe and the northwestern part of Africa. It is also one of the busiest waterways in the world.

Water navigation played a major role in the economy of the Soviet Union throughout that country’s existence (1917/22–1991). Its great rivers—the Dnepr, Dvina, Don, Vistula, and Volga—were linked to form an extensive network, making through navigation possible from the Baltic to both the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.




Europe is sometimes described as a peninsula of peninsulas. A peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides. Europe is a peninsula of the Eurasian supercontinent and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas to the south.

Europe's main peninsulas are the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan, located in southern Europe, and the Scandinavian and Jutland, located in northern Europe. The link between these peninsulas has made Europe a dominant economic, social, and cultural force throughout recorded history.

Europe can be divided into four major physical regions, running from north to south: Western Uplands, North European Plain, Central Uplands, and Alpine Mountains.

Western Uplands
The Western Uplands, also known as the Northern Highlands, curve up the western edge of Europe and define the physical landscape of Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark), Finland, Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, the Brittany region of France, Spain, and Portugal.

The Western Uplands is defined by hard, ancient rock that was shaped by glaciation. Glaciation is the process of land being transformed by glaciers or ice sheets. As glaciers receded from the area, they left a number of distinct physical features, including abundant marshlands, lakes, and fjords. A fjord is a long and narrow inlet of the sea that is surrounded by high, rugged cliffs. Many of Europe's fjords are located in Iceland and Scandinavia.

North European Plain
The North European Plain extends from the southern United Kingdom east to Russia. It includes parts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Poland, the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), and Belarus.

Most of the Great European Plain lies below 152 meters (500 feet) in elevation. It is home to many navigable rivers, including the Rhine, Weser, Elbe, Oder, and Vistula. The climate supports a wide variety of seasonal crops. These physical features allowed for early communication, travel, and agricultural development. The North European Plain remains the most densely populated region of Europe.

Central Uplands
The Central Uplands extend east-west across Central Europe and include western France and Belgium, southern Germany, the Czech Republic, and parts of northern Switzerland and Austria.

The Central Uplands are lower in altitude and less rugged than the Alpine region and are heavily wooded. Important highlands in this region include the Massif Central and the Vosges in France, the Ardennes of Belgium, the Black Forest and the Taunus in Germany, and the Ore and Sudeten in Czechia. This region is sparsely populated except in the Rhine, Elbe, and Danube river valleys.

Alpine Mountains
The Alpine Mountains include ranges in the Italian and Balkan peninsulas, northern Spain, and southern France. The region includes the mountains of the Alps, Pyrenees, Apennines, Dinaric Alps, Balkans, and Carpathians.

High elevations, rugged plateaus, and steeply sloping land define the region. Europe's highest peak, Mount Elbrus at 5,642 meters (18,510 feet), is in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia. The Alpine region also includes active volcanoes, such as Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius in Italy.



Resources and power

Mineral resources

Europe has almost all minerals but is deficient in most with exception of Russia and Ukraine & therefore is heavily dependent on mineral imports.


Europe commands abundant resources of hard and soft coal, which remains of considerable, if declining, importance as a fuel for the smelting of minerals and as the source of many by-products. Only exceptionally does northern Europe have coal measures of commercial scale, but coal seams are preserved in Hercynian basins throughout the continent, lying diagonally across Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France (especially in Lorraine), Germany (particularly in North Rhine–Westphalia, Saarland, and Saxony), Poland (Silesia), and Ukraine (the Donetsk Basin). There are numerous fields, small but often of great locational value. Some, as in southwestern Scotland and southern Belgium, have been worked out or have become uneconomic. Major reserves, encompassing mostly hard deposits of coking, anthracite, and steam coal, lie in the German Ruhr, the United Kingdom, and Upper Silesia. Softer brown coal, or lignite, occurs in Germany and the Chomutov fields of the Czech Republic.

Petroleum and natural gas- Known petroleum and natural gas reserves are inadequate for Europe’s rising requirements. European Russia contains the large Volga-Ural field, while Romania has reserves in the Carpathian and Subcarpathian zones. Norway and the United Kingdom have tapped gas and oil from beneath the North Sea bed. In the late 1980s Romania began extracting oil from the Black Sea. Other undersea petroleum resources may exist in the far northern Atlantic Ocean and in the Aegean Sea.



Sources of uranium for use in nuclear reactors have been discovered in many European countries, including France (centred on the Massif Central), Spain, Hungary (the Mecsek Mountains), Estonia, and Ukraine. In lesser amounts, other sources have been found in parts of central and eastern Europe.

Iron ores

Large iron reserves were historically found at Kryvy Rih in Ukraine and at Magnitogorsk and in the Kursk region in Russia. High-quality ores (of 60 percent iron), however, have been exhausted or have become expensive to mine. The Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, located in southwestern Russia, has iron-rich quartzites. Sweden is another producer of iron ore, notably in the Kiruna region. Deposits in other European countries are small and for the most part inadequate for large-scale heavy industry.




The breakup of three ethnically complex federal republics in the early 1990s resulted in fourteen new independent European countries. Each is based on nationality, but each also has its own minorities.

  • From the European part of the former Soviet Union emerged three large Slavic countries-Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus-and four small non-Slavic countries-Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Moldova.
  • Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • Yugoslavia divided into five Slavic countries-Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and a truncated Yugoslavia consisting of Serbia and Montenegro.



Treaty of European union – Maastricht treaty

Signed: 7 February 1992
Entered into force: 1 November 1993

Purpose: to prepare for European Monetary Union and introduce elements of a political union (citizenship, common foreign and internal affairs policy).

Main changes: establishment of the European Union and introduction of the co-decision procedure, giving Parliament more say in decision-making. New forms of cooperation between EU governments – for example on defence and justice and home affairs.

The euro area, commonly called the eurozone (EZ), is a currency union of 20 member states of the European Union (EU) that have adopted the euro as their primary currency and sole legal tender, and have thus fully implemented EMU policies.

The 20 eurozone members are:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

The seven non-eurozone members of the EU are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden. They continue to use their own national currencies, although all but Denmark are obliged to join once they meet the euro convergence criteria.

Among non-EU member states, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City have formal agreements with the EU to use the euro as their official currency and issue their own coins. In addition, Kosovo and Montenegro have adopted the euro unilaterally, relying on euros already in circulation rather than minting currencies of their own. These six countries, however, have no representation in any eurozone institution.


North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance of 32 member states – 30 European and two North American. Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organization implemented the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949. NATO is a collective security system: its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties.


The Warsaw Pact was a collective defence treaty established by the Soviet Union and seven other Soviet satellite states in Central and Eastern Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania (Albania withdrew in 1968).

Europe political map

Europe political map


Important Secessionist movements in Europe:


Basque Country


Pop: 3 million, 4.6% of total

Basque nationalists have sought political unity and nationhood for all Basque-speaking people in Spain and France since the 19th century. The campaign has become less bloody in recent years after the militant separatist group Eta announced an end to half a century of violence in 2011. Having ceded the region significant autonomy, Madrid rejects all further changes demanded by separatists.



Pop: 7.5 million, 16% of total

According to the Catalan government, 90% of voters backed independence in the disputed 1 October referendum, although turnout was only 43% and there were many reports of irregularities. Spain is moving to impose direct control on the region in Spain's biggest constitutional crisis since the end of the Franco regime.


Dependencies or other territories

# Territory Population
Dependency of
1 Isle of Man 84,710 U.K.
2 Faeroe Islands 53,270 Denmark
3 Gibraltar 32,688 U.K.


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