Let's explore europe!.

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European Union

You can find this booklet and other short, clear explanations about the EU online at ec.europa.eu/publications European Commission Directorate-General for Communication Publications B-1049 Brussels Manuscript updated in January 2008 Cover illustration and interior photos of the children: Reporters The European Commission wishes to thank the staff and pupils of the EuropeanSchool, Woluwe (Belgium), for their contributions to this publication. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2008 ISBN 978-92-79-06757-0 44 pp. 21 x 29.7 cm © European Communities, 2008 Reproduction is authorised Printed in Germany Printed on white chlorine-free paper

Let’s expLore
Hello! Welcome to Europe! We come from different countries and speakdifferent languages, but this continent is the home we share. Come with us and let’s explore Europe together! It will be an adventurous journey through time and space and you’ll find out loads of interesting things. As we go along, test yourself to see how much you’ve learnt. Go to our website europa.eu/europago/explore and try the quiz about each chapter. At school, explore further! Ask yourteacher to tell you more about each of the topics in this book. Then do some deeper research in the school library or on the internet. You could even write your own booklet about what you have discovered. Finally, you can have fun playing games and doing activities on the ‘Europa Go’ website europa.eu/europago/welcome.jsp Ready? Then let’s begin!


What’s in this book?
page A continent todiscover Getting around Climate and nature Farming The sea A journey through time Forty famous faces, A to Z Languages in Europe A family of peoples Bringing the family together: the story of the European Union What the EU does The European Union and its neighbours How the EU takes decisions Tomorrow … and beyond 3 6 8 11 14 18 27 30 31 32 36 39 42 44


A continent to discover
Europe is one ofthe world’s seven continents. The others are Africa, North and South America, Antarctica, Asia and Australia/Oceania. Europe stretches all the way from the Arctic in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south, and from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ural mountains (in Russia) in the east. It has many rivers, lakes and mountain ranges. The map (page 4) tells you the names of some of thebiggest ones. The highest mountain in Europe is Mount Elbrus, in the Caucasus mountains, on the border between Russia and Georgia. Its highest peak is 5 642 metres above sea level. The highest mountain in western Europe is Mont Blanc, in the Alps, on the border between France and Italy. Its summit is over 4 800 metres above sea level.

© Van Parys



the highest mount Elbrus,

ountain in E

Lake Gen

eva, in th

e Alps.

The largest lake in central Europe is Balaton, in Hungary. It is 77 kilometres (km) long and covers an area of about 600 square kilometres (km2). Northern Europe has even bigger lakes, including Saimaa in Finland (1 147 km2) and Vänern in Sweden (more than 5 500 km2). The largest lake in Europe as a whole is Lake Ladoga. It islocated in northwestern Russia and it is the 14th largest lake in the world. Its surface covers an area of 17 700 km2.
Hämäläi nen

© Arto

imaa, Lake Sa

in Finla


© Switzer

land Tour

ism By-line


: ST/swiss

Also in the Alps is Lake Geneva — the largest freshwater lake in western Europe. It lies between France and Switzerland, goes as deep as 310 metres and holds about89 trillion litres of water.


© Map: Lowell Johns Ltd. Bathymetry: The British Oceanographic Data Centre

the continent of europe

© Van Parys



One of Europe’s longest rivers is the Danube. It rises in the Black Forest region of Germany and flows eastwards through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine to Romania,...
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