The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most commonly used among Europeans; and the EU's Schengen Area abolishes border and immigration controls among most of its member states.Cyprus is closest to Anatolia (or Asia Minor), but is usually considered part of Europe both culturally and politically and is a member state of the EU.Malta was considered an island of North Africa for centuries.During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall.In 1955, the Council of Europe was formed in Strasbourg following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals.
who took the Tanais (the modern Don River) as the boundary.
There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" (said of the sun) or Phoenician 'ereb "evening, west", which is at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, [the country of] sunset", in opposition to Asu "[the country of] sunrise", i.e. The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή (Anatolḗ "[sun] rise", "east", hence Anatolia).regʷos, meaning "darkness", which also produced Greek Erebus.
Most major world languages use words derived from Eurṓpē or Europa to refer to the continent.
The European Anthem is "Ode to Joy" and states celebrate peace and unity on Europe Day.
For the second part compare also the divine attributes of "grey-eyed" Athena (γλαυκῶπις, glaukōpis) or ox-eyed Hera (βοῶπις, boōpis).
Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and the majority of Asia.