Europe is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, which took place around the 19th century in England. To supply the growing industry, European countries went in search of natural resources (raw material). The continent has also effectively exploited its internal resources.
The amount of natural resources contained on the continent is limited. This implies a dependence on the raw material from other countries. However, this dependency does not pose any major problems.
What is seen in the contemporary world is a great interest of underdeveloped countries that are constantly seeking to commercialize their resources, promoting high competitiveness among different nations. The large supply results in a decrease in prices on the international market, which proves the law of supply and demand. In addition, there is another attraction for those who buy: the better quality of the raw material placed on the market. This fact discourages the primary production of mineral resources by industrialized countries. Thus, these European countries prefer to purchase quality raw materials at a low price than to extract them in their territories.
Europe has a territorial extension of 10.3 million square kilometers, being divided into 50 countries. Many countries on that continent have an area smaller than a single state in United States. Some of these nations are called mini-countries, as they have small territorial extensions and small population contingents.
Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, Malta, Liechtenstein and the Vatican are the smallest and least populous European countries. The Vatican, for example, is the smallest country in the world, whose area is only 0.44 km². Andorra, the largest of these mini-countries, has a territorial extension of 470 km². A common feature among these countries is overpopulation, with the highest demographic densities on the planet.
Despite having a small area, these countries have a high rate of economic and social development. The residents of these small European countries enjoy an excellent standard of living.
Tourism is quite intense in these nations, especially in the Vatican (seat of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church), Andorra (ski resorts), Monaco and San Marino. Liechtenstein stands out for its industrial activity; Malta, for its part, has an economy based on the industrial sector and financial services.
Geographical data for small European countries:
Territorial extension: 470 km².
Population: 80,153 residents.
Demographic density: 171 residents / km².
Territorial extension: 160 km².
Population: 37,194 residents.
Demographic density: 232 residents / km².
Territorial extension: 320 km².
Population: 430,146 residents.
Demographic density: 1,344 residents / km².
Territorial extension: 2 km².
Population: 38,066 residents.
Demographic density: 19,033 residents / km².
Land area: 60 km².
Population: 31,637 residents.
Demographic density: 527 residents / km².
Territorial extension: 0.44 km².
Population: 990 residents.
Demographic density: 1.89 residents / km².
- The ABBREVIATIONFINDER provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the continent name of Europe.
Serbia’s contemporary history
Serbia’s contemporary history is the country’s history after 2006. From 1992 to 2006, Serbia was in the Federal Republic of Montenegro, called Serbia and Montenegro. In the summer of 2006, Serbia again became an independent country when Montenegro left the union after a referendum.
Independent Serbia also includes the autonomous area of Vojvodina. Until February 2008, the province of Kosovo -Metohija was also part of Serbia.
Dissolution of the Federal Republic
Ever since the union of Serbia and Montenegro was concluded, there have been dissolution trends – especially after the new 2003 union agreement. This was rejected by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica.
But in 2006, the Montenegrin government announced it would hold a referendum on independence. Following a debate on procedures and voting rights, the Pro-Serbian opposition in Montenegro – and not least the EU – agreed that they would accept the result of the referendum if the yes majority was over 55 percent.
At the May 21 referendum, the yes majority was 55.4 percent. On June 3, 2006, Montenegro became an independent state. Serbia declared itself an independent republic on June 5 and inherited the federation’s place in the international organizations. The week after, Serbia recognized the new Republic of Montenegro. The country was qualified for the World Cup later that month, where the team was named Serbia and Montenegro.
One of the main reasons Montenegro broke out of the state federation was the relationship with the EU. In May 2006, the EU suspended negotiations with Serbia on EU membership. The main reason was Serbia’s failure to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević died in The Hague in 2006, without the trial against him ending. Allegations that he had been poisoned or committed suicide were quickly rejected; he died a natural death, and speculation soon ended.
Kosovo declares independence
Kosovo had been a province within Serbia since 1946, but lost its status as an autonomous territory in 1989. During the 1990s, the conflict between the Kosovo Albanian people and the Yugoslav (Serbian) authorities escalated, and in March 1999 NATO launched its bombing campaign. After the end of the war in June of that year, Kosovo was put under UN administration.
In the autumn of 2005, the UN Security Council decided to launch international negotiations to determine Kosovo’s future. The negotiations were led by UN’s new special envoy Martti Ahtisaari. In 2007, Ahtisaari presented its plan, which in practice meant an independent Kosovo; the province should have its own constitution and state symbols, its own armed forces and independent space in international organizations.
The plan also established Kosovo’s “multi-ethnic character” and contained guarantees for the Serbian minority. Serbia immediately rejected the plan and brought the matter to the UN. Russia blocked decisions that supported Ahtisaari’s plan, while Serbia’s demands were rejected by the other permanent members of the UN Security Council.
During an extraordinary meeting of the Kosovo National Assembly on February 17, 2008, the province declared itself independent. Russia immediately brought the matter to the UN Security Council. Serbia thought the Declaration of Independence was illegal. Most European countries and the US supported Kosovo’s independence.
In spite of the country’s international isolation was Serbia in autumn 2006 with the NATO program Partnership for Peace, along with Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 2006, Norway was responsible in NATO for relations with Serbia and was a driving force for Serbia to join the program.
Serbia was the Hague Tribunal in 2007 acquitted of responsibility for the massacre in Srebrenica in 1995. It was the first time since the UN tribunal establishing that a country was accused of genocide, but even though the court ruled that genocide had taken place, it could not directly linked to Serbian government agencies.
In the February 2008 elections, Boris Tadić of the Democratic Party was re-elected as President in front of Tomislav Nikolić of the Nationalist Party. Thus Serbia took a step closer to EU membership. In April, the EU’s foreign ministers signed a long-delayed agreement with Serbia on closer cooperation.
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić was arrested in July 2008 by Serbian security forces in Belgrade. He had been on the run for 13 years. Karadžić was sent to the War Criminal Court in The Hague, which has accused him of crimes against humanity, mass murder, rape, abuse, robbery and ethnic cleansing.
European foreign ministers praised Serbia for the arrest and expressed that this was important for Serbia’s road to EU membership.
View a large collection of maps including Balkans, Constantinople, Corsica, German Empire, Hispania, Italia, Ottoman Empire, Roman Empire, Waterloo and World War II Maps.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Europe
Browse a collection of reference and political maps of the European continent. Check out the maps of Balkan region, Baltic states as well as Central and Eastern Europe.
Baltic Sea Region – GIS, Maps and Statistical Database
Provides an extensive database of land-use, population-dispersion and industrial-activity information for the northern European region.
Eastern Europe – CIA Atlas
From the Univeristy of Texas library, check out this large selection of all kinds of maps of Europe. Plus, an entire historical map center.
Europe – About.com, Blank Map
Presents a blank map of the entire European continent. Good for teachers to print out for students or play a game like, ‘fill in the countries.’
Europe – Brock University Map Library
View a medium-sized, black and white outline map of the continent with only the names and borders of countries represented.
Europe – Flags On Maps
Go here to find out what the flag of any European country looks like. Trick is, you’ll need to know the country by its shape first.
Europe – MapQuest.com
Large graphical map of Europe allows for clicking on a country or region to get a closer view. Also text listing for maps of each country.
Europe – National Geographic Political Map
Presents a small, simplistic map of Europe with each of the countries names, plus major water bodies.
Europe – Rec.org Maps
Features a clear, color map of Central and with country names and borders boldly showing. Spans from Iceland to the Caspian Sea.
Europe – The Perry-Castaeda Library Map Collection
Browse a collection of modern-day and historical maps of Europe. Includes links to individual country maps, from the University of Texas.
Europe – Travel.com Map
Access a graphical map in shades of green and locate countries throughout Europe. Click on a country for a brief almanac.
Europe – VirtualTourist.com
Presents a large solid colored map of all the European countries. Click on a country to find facts and information.
Europe – WorldAtlas.com
Modern map of the entire European continent allows users easy access to maps, country facts, and overviews.
Europe for Visitors – Spy Maps
Offers collection of current maps of over 30 European countries. Level of detail is suitable for travel planning and homework assignments.
Historic Atlas Resource – Europe
Features a collection of atlases of Europe at various stages of world history.
Maps of Europe – Travel.To
Access an alphabetical index of countries in Europe with links to individual physical maps.