What is the Difference Between Europe and the European Union
There may be some confusion in the use of the terms "Europe" and "European Union", both of which are sometimes used in an undifferentiated way when they indicate two different entities. In order to dispel any doubts, in this oneHOWTO article we will explain the difference between Europe and the European Union in order to use correctly these two terms.
What is Europe?
Europe is one of the 6 continents that make up the globe. Its boundaries are subject to controversy, but it is generally considered to be delimited to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the East it is delimited Asia by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus Cordillera, the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait.
There is a total of 50 countries in Europe, take a look at our list of countries and capitals of Europe to find out which ones are part of Europe.
Which countries are part of Europe?
Europe has more than 739 million inhabitants in 45 states, listed in alphabetical order: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Russia (only part is considered European), San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Vatican.
There are discrepancies as to whether certain countries belong to the European continent: Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan are sometimes considered to belong to Europe by a geography straddling Europe and Asia, and by a common history.
In this article you will find a list of all European countries and their capitals, which make up the European continent.
The European Union
The European Union is a political and economic association of some countries in Europe. It is currently composed of 27 countries, but incorporates new members regularly. The countries that make up the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece , Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
The European Union is therefore a supranational union aiming at fostering integration among its members. It was established as such in 1993 by the European Treaty, although it existed since 1951 in the form of the European Coal and Steel Community and then the European Economic Community. The number of member countries has increased during its existence. In 2016 the United Kingdom voted through referendum to leave the European Union, a vote also known as "Brexit".
The European Union is composed of various institutions exercising certain powers delegated by the member countries of the European Union. The main ones are the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the European Court of Justice and the European Central Bank.
Difference between Europe and European Union
When we speak of Europe, therefore, we refer to a geographical territory and to all the countries that make up this continent whereas European Union refers to the countries that are part of this political entity and that have to respond to it. The term "Europe" is sometimes used to refer to the European Union, and this is quite wrong because not all the countries of Europe are part of the European Union (Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, etc.) .
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