Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. To the east and southeast, Europe is generally considered as separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization. The fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the migration period, marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of an era known as the Middle Ages. Renaissance, humanism, exploration, art, and science led to the modern era. From the Age of Discovery onwards, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and the majority of Asia.
- Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.
- Otto von Bismarck, speech to Reichstag, 14 May 1872
- I have always found the word Europe on the lips of those politicians who wanted something from other Powers which they dared not demand in their own names.
- Otto von Bismarck, quoted in A. J. P. Taylor, Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman (1955), p. 167
- The USA will remain the only superpower. China is becoming an economic giant. Europe is being Islamicized.
- Russia's only real geostrategic option - the option that would give Russia a realistic international role and also maximize the opportunity of transforming and socially modernizing itself - is Europe.
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard (1997)
- The key point to bear in mind is that Russia cannot be in Europe without Ukraine also being in Europe, whereas Ukraine can be in Europe without Russia being in Europe.
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard (1997)
- In no country in Europe does the bulk of the population aspire to live in a bazaar of world cultures. Yet all European countries are coming to the wrenching realization that they have somehow, without anyone's actively choosing it, turned into such bazaars.
- Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (2009)
- [T]he escalation of the radicalization of Muslims in Europe, I think, has, in the past 2 or 3 years – and you know the incidents – the Nice truck bombing, the Berlin Christmas Fair bombing, those sorts of incidents, I think, have really worried Europeans... The thing I worry about in Europe is that there is a logic of escalation in some of this. That the people whose voices aren’t heard have to do things to make their voices heard. Do you know what I mean? They’ll have to, you know, like, demonstrate and that kind of thing... Europe can be the scene of world history even if it’s not the protagonist in world history, but it seems to show very little sign of being the protagonist.
- My conclusion will be simple. It will consist of saying, in the very midst of the sound and the fury of our history: "Let us rejoice." Let us rejoice, indeed, at having witnessed the death of a lying and comfort-loving Europe and at being faced with cruel truths.
- Albert Camus, "Create Dangerously," lecture given at the University of Uppsala, Sweden (December 1957); republished by Camus in Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1961), Justin O'Brien, translator, p. 270.
- Soon nostalgia will be another name for Europe.
- Angela Carter (1940–92), British postmodern novelist. repr. Vintage (1992). Expletives Deleted, review of John Berger, Once in Europa, The Washington Post (1989)
- After Napoleon's 1815 defeat at Waterloo, Europeans had created nation-states in the image and likeness of Napoleon. The new states became the foci of popular affection, even worship. All organized themselves as Napoleon had France, and as Hegel had prescribed, with every house numbered so that bureaucratic government could pass its science to and collect sustenance from each. The states became the purveyors of education and sources of authority. They fostered the myth that people within their borders formed distinct races with different geniuses and destinies. All partook of Charles Darwin's ideology that life is an evolutionary struggle in which the fittest survive.
- Angelo Codevilla, To Make and Keep Peace Among Ourselves and with All Nations (2014)
- African citizens are certainly better off in countries that support their aspirations and communities rather than becoming 3rd or 4th class citizens in Europe... When did Europe ever operate on behalf of African people except when Africa or its people were used to benefit the goals and priorities of Europe?
- Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, "Negroes Need Not Apply: The EU-Africa Malta Conference" (1 December 2015), Black Agenda Report
- Many of the traits on which modern Europe prides itself came to it from Muslim Spain. Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, various types of medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities. (...) The surprise is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart.
- It was the fate of Europe to be always a battleground. Differences in race, in religion, in political genius and social ideals, seemed always... to be invitations to contest by battle.
- Europe tears itself apart in moral confusion and historical guilt.
- Janet Daley, "9/11: The dark day that brought out the worst in Britain" (10 September 2011), The Telegraph
- For more than five hundred years the cardinal problem in defining Europe has centred on the inclusion or exclusion of Russia.
- Norman Davies, Europe: A History (1996)
- As to the territorial limits of Europe, they may seem relatively clear on its seaward flanks, but many island groups far to the north and west—Svalbard, the Faroes, Iceland, and the Madeira and Canary islands—are considered European, while Greenland (though tied politically to Denmark) is conventionally allocated to North America. Furthermore, the Mediterranean coastlands of North Africa and southwestern Asia also exhibit some European physical and cultural affinities. Turkey and Cyprus in particular, while geologically Asian, possess elements of European culture and may be regarded as parts of Europe.
- Like the Roman Empire in the early fifth century, Europe has allowed its defenses to crumble. As its wealth has grown, so its military prowess has shrunk, along with its self-belief. It has grown decadent in its shopping malls and sports stadiums. At the same time, it has opened its gates to outsiders who have coveted its wealth without renouncing their ancestral faith.
- Purity of race does not exist. Europe is a continent of energetic mongrels.
- Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher, A history of Europe, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1939, p.14
- Europe dominated the world, but it failed to dominate itself. For five hundred years Europe tore itself apart in civil wars.
- George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century (2009), Doubleday, p. 22
- Contemporary Europe is a search for an exit from hell... Europe has always been a bloody place.
- George Friedman, The Next Decade: Where We've Been ... And Where We're Going (2010), Doubleday, pp. 142–143
- No continent is as small and fragmented as Europe. Only Australia is smaller, yet Europe consists of fifty independent nations (including Turkey and the Caucasus, for reasons explained later). Crowded with nations, it is also crowded with people. Europe's population density is 72.5 people per square kilometer. The European Union's density is 112 people per square kilometer. Asia has 86 people per square kilometer. Europe is crowded and fragmented.
- Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est l'Europe, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde!
- Translation: Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.
- Charles de Gaulle, 23 November 1959, Strasbourg.
- The peoples of Europe are a work in progress and always must be... The history of the people of Europe has not ended -- it never will. Ethnogenesis is a process of the present and future as much as it is the past. No efforts of romantics, politicians, or social scientists can preserve once and for all some essential soul of a people or nation. Nor can any effort ensure that nations, ethnic groups, and communities of today will not vanish utterly in the future. The past may have set the parameters within which one can build the future, but it cannot determine what that future must be.
- Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe, Princeton University Press, 2003
- Europe is not really even a geographic entity; it is separated from Asia only at one point, the Bosphorus, by a small stretch of water. North of that there is continuity over the russians steppes, a complete terrestrial flow. I suggest that is also true of culture, and indeed of social organization. Indeed Europe has never been purely isolated, purely Christian. Instead of Christian Europe, one has to see the continent as penetrated by the three world religions that originated in the Near East and which indeed had a common mythology or sacred text; in order of arrival these were Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (...) All have equal entitlements to be present, and in this general ('objective') sense none can be considered only as the Other; they are part of Europe, part of our heritage.
- Jack Goody, Islam in Europe, Polity, 2004, p.14
- A German-Russian partnership is a key element in any serious pan-European integration process. It is my ardent wish that Russia and Germany may manage to preserve all the positive achievements of the late 1980s and early 1990s in today's difficult times.
- Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs (1995).
- Europe has not been a continent of immigrants... It lacks the ingredients necessary to assimilate, integrate, and intermarry large numbers of newcomers each year: There is no dynamic and fluid economy, no confidence in its own values, no belief that class and race are incidental, not essential, to one's persona, no courage to assume that an immigrant made a choice to leave a worse place for a better one. And all this is in the context of a class-bound hierarchy...
- The expansion of Europe was the transforming force in human history of the last 500 years, and yet the modern academy looks for reasons not to study it. In the era of decolonisation the new nations want to stress their indigenous roots and sympathetic scholars explain that European influence was not overwhelming, but that it was used and subverted by locals for local purposes. To concentrate on Europe is criticised as 'Eurocentric'. But to ignore Europe makes the history of any part of the globe unintelligible.
- John Hirst, Sense and Nonsense in Australian History (2005)
- European civilisation is unique because it is the only civilisation which has imposed itself on the rest of the world. It did this by conquest and settlement; by its economic power; by the power of its ideas; and because it had things that everyone else wanted. Today every country on earth uses the discoveries of science and the technologies that flow from it, and science was a European invention.
- John Hirst, The Shortest History of Europe (2009)
- Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of the labor, property and lives of their people.
- Thomas Jefferson, from Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 11 June 1823, online in [From Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 11 June 1823 founders.archive.gov]
- When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe, and go to eating one another as they do there.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison (20 December 1787), The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (19 Vols., 1905) edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, Vol. VI, p. 392.
- [Y]ou don’t have to talk about Nazis or Hitler or any of that to say the norm in Europe is competition, conflict. And if we think that that’s over, I think that history tells us otherwise.
- In Europe, there exist no borders. The people I spoke to all agreed that their quality of life was enhanced in many ways after unification of the continent. We saw the amazing synergy effects of European union.
- Europe’s political stability, social cohesion, economic prosperity and security are more threatened today than at any point since the Cold War, Russia is destabilizing the Continent on every front. Indigenous factors – whether long-extant nationalism, design flaws in the Eurozone lack of a common foreign policy, or incapability at assimilating immigrants – certainly lie at the root of these crises.
- In recent decades, Europe has retreated to the conduct of soft power. But besieged as it is on almost all frontiers by upheavals and migration, Europe, including Britain, can avoid turning into a victim of circumstance only by assuming a more active role.
- For 400 years, world history was made by Europeans. Many of the great ideas by which we live — constitutional government, freedom of the individual, the ideas of the Enlightenment — originated in Europe and were spread by Europe around the world. Now this region, which was dynamic and built the world, has become too preoccupied with itself. It confines itself basically to the exercise of soft power. At present, no European government has the capacity to ask its people for sacrifices on behalf of foreign policy. Unless Europe can recover some of its historic dynamism, there will be a big hole in the world system as it has until now manifested itself.
- Henry Kissinger, as quoted in "World Chaos and World Order: Conversations With Henry Kissinger", The Atlantic, November 10, 2016.
- Even if Europe's decline is now irreversible, there is no reason that it should become a collapse. There is, however, a precondition: facing realities at long last, something that has been postponed in many parts of Europe to this day. The debate should be about which of Europe's traditions and values can still be saved, not about Europe as a shining example for all mankind, the moral superpower of the twenty-first century.
- Walter Laqueur, The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent (2007)
- There is no place for concern that it would change the structure and operation of the EU in a radical way. 90% of the constitution agreement is already in the current agreements. The innovations in the draft will clarify the structure of the EU and make its activity more efficient, as well as strengthen citizens’ rights.
- Egils Levits (Latvian ECJ Judge), Quoted in “Latvijas avize”, 21 June 2004
- As we have seen over the last seven years, time and time again, the European countries and many others, do not have the political will or clout to stand up for what they know is right, and will eventually cave into the Unites States’ will. We have watched Chelsea Manning being returned to jail and to solitary confinement, so we must not be naive in our thinking: surely, this is the future for Julian Assange. By Julian’s courageous actions and others like him, we could see full well the atrocities of war. The release of the files brought to our doors the atrocities our governments carried out through media. It is my strong belief that this is the true essence of an activist... It is my great shame I live in an era where people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and anyone willing to open our eyes to the atrocities of war, is likely to be hunted like an animal by governments, punished and silenced.
- So there is no single European people. There is no single all-embracing community of culture and tradition among, say, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Berlin and Belgrade. In fact, there are at least four communities: the Northern Protestant, the Latin Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, and the Muslim Ottoman. There is no single language - there are more than twenty. (...) There are no real European political parties (...). And most significantly of all: unlike the United States, Europe still does not have a common story.
- I'm worried about moving in the direction of Western Europe, because I believe that the higher taxes in Western Europe are one of the reasons that those economies aren't as rich as we are and why people don't work as much in Western Europe as they do in the United States.
- What has made the European family of nations an improving, instead of a stationary portion of mankind? Not any superior excellence in them, which, when it exists, exists as the effect, not as the cause; but their remarkable diversity of character and culture. Individuals, classes, nations, have been extremely unlike one another: they have struck out a great variety of paths, each leading to something valuable; and although at every period those who travelled in different paths have been intolerant of one another, and each would have thought it an excellent thing if all the rest could have been compelled to travel his road, their attempts to thwart each other's development have rarely had any permanent success, and each has in time endured to receive the good which the others have offered. Europe is, in my judgment, wholly indebted to this plurality of paths for its progressive and many-sided development.
- More than any other continent or culture in the world today, Europe is now deeply weighed down with guilt for its past. Alongside this outgoing version of self-distrust runs a more introverted version of the same guilt. For there is also the problem in Europe of an existential tiredness and a feeling that perhaps for Europe the story has run out and a new story must be allowed to begin. Mass immigration — the replacement of large parts of the European populations by other people — is one way in which this new story has been imagined: a change, we seemed to think, was as good as a rest. Such existential civilizational tiredness is not a uniquely modern-European phenomenon, but the fact that a society should feel like it has run out of steam at precisely the moment when a new society has begun to move in cannot help but lead to vast, epochal changes.
- Douglas Murray, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (2017).
- [I]n Europe, faced with the choice between human rights and gas, many politicians pick gas.
- People often think that Europeans are homogeneous group that arrived in a simple way there maybe 40 or 50 thousand years ago maybe based on the archaeology and just kind of sat there until they became the Europeans they are today, but that's probably not true: the Europeans today are a replacement population who came in much more recently and replaced the people who were there originally 40 thousand years ago.
- Europe has produced certain ideas and institutions, has been able, on and off, and with varying degrees of means, to blend them, purify them, make them work effectively, and has been able also to spread them around the world.
- J.M. Roberts, A History of Europe (1996).
- Europe owes its greatness to the fact that the primary loyalties of the European people have been detached from religion and re-attached to the land. Those who believe that the division of Europe into nations has been the primary cause of European wars should remember the devastating wars of religion that national loyalties finally brought to an end. And they should study our art and literature for its inner meaning. In almost every case, they will discover, it is an art and literature not of war but of peace, an invocation of home and the routines of home, of gentleness, everydayness and enduring settlement... The idea that the citizen owes loyalty to a country, a territory, a jurisdiction and all those who reside within it — the root assumption of democratic politics, and one that depends upon the nation as its moral foundation - that idea has no place in the minds and hearts of many who now call themselves citizens of European states.
- Roger Scruton, England and the Need for Nations (2006)
- Europeans believe that people from other cultures are threatening their national identities and livelihoods... Europe is rediscovering nationalism... Europeans have long defined themselves by a strong sentiment of national belonging, often linked to language, ethnicity and religion, and distrust of foreigners. The love for the place you were born, the trust of the people who surround you, and the fear of what strangers could do to you and your community is a basic human feeling. But in Europe, nationalism is particularly notable for the sheer scale of death and destruction it historically has brought.
- In the heart of Europe runs the purest stream of human love, of justice, of spirit of self-sacrifice for higher ideals. The Christian culture of centuries has sunk deep in her life's core. In Europe we have seen noble minds who have ever stood up for the rights of man irrespective of colour and creed.
- Rabindranath Tagore. "Nationalism in the West", 1917. Reprinted in Rabindranath Tagore and Mohit K. Ray, Essays (2007, p. 475). Also cited in John Jesudason Cornelius, Rabindranath Tagore: India's Schoolmaster, (1928, p. 83).
- What we should grasp, however, from the lessons of European history is that, first, there is nothing necessarily benevolent about programmes of European integration; second, the desire to achieve grand utopian plans often poses a grave threat to freedom; and third, European unity has been tried before, and the outcome was far from happy.
- Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (2002).
- I would rather visit Latin America or the Middle East than Europe. The people – especially Arabs and Kurds – are more pleasant to be around.
- Europe is and will be a Union of States.
- José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, speech (15 June 2004)