Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Luxembourg /ˈlʌksəmbɜːrɡ/, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east and its culture and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and Germanic cultures. It comprises two regions, the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, Luxembourg had a population of 524,853 in October 2012, ranking it the 8th least-populous country in Europe. As a representative democracy with a monarch, it is headed by a Grand Duke, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a country, with an advanced economy and the worlds highest GDP per capita. Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux, reflecting its political consensus in favour of economic, political. The city of Luxembourg, which is the capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions.
Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, around this fort, a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors, in the following centuries, Luxembourgs fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs and the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands and this arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourgs full independence is reckoned. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union, the King of the Netherlands remained Head of State as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, maintaining a personal union between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III, the throne of the Netherlands passed to his daughter Wilhelmina and this allowed Germany the military advantage of controlling and expanding the railways there.
In August 1914, Imperial Germany violated Luxembourgs neutrality in the war by invading it in the war against France and this allowed Germany to use the railway lines, while at the same time denying them to France. Nevertheless, despite the German occupation, Luxembourg was allowed to maintain much of its independence, in 1940, after the outbreak of World War II, Luxembourgs neutrality was again violated when the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany entered the country, entirely without justification. A government in exile based in London supported the Allies, sending a group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion. Luxembourg was liberated in September 1944, and became a member of the United Nations in 1945. Luxembourgs neutral status under the constitution formally ended in 1948, in 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held
Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, with a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europes 16th-largest country. Organised prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period and its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Persians, Romans, Goths and Huns. With the downfall of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 led to the formation of the Third Bulgarian State, the following years saw several conflicts with its neighbours, which prompted Bulgaria to align with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc, in December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgarias transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.
Bulgarias population of 7.2 million people is predominantly urbanised, most commercial and cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are industry, power engineering. The countrys current political structure dates to the adoption of a constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative. Human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria can be traced back to the Paleolithic, animal bones incised with man-made markings from Kozarnika cave are assumed to be the earliest examples of symbolic behaviour in humans. Organised prehistoric societies in Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture, Vinča culture, the latter is credited with inventing gold working and exploitation. Some of these first gold smelters produced the coins and jewellery of the Varna Necropolis treasure and this site offers insights for understanding the social hierarchy of the earliest European societies.
Thracians, one of the three primary groups of modern Bulgarians, began appearing in the region during the Iron Age. In the late 6th century BC, the Persians conquered most of present-day Bulgaria, and kept it until 479 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the area fell under Byzantine control, by this time, Christianity had already spread in the region. A small Gothic community in Nicopolis ad Istrum produced the first Germanic language book in the 4th century, the first Christian monastery in Europe was established around the same time by Saint Athanasius in central Bulgaria. From the 6th century the easternmost South Slavs gradually settled in the region, in 680 Bulgar tribes under the leadership of Asparukh moved south across the Danube and settled in the area between the lower Danube and the Balkan, establishing their capital at Pliska
Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognised state in Southeastern Europe that declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. Kosovo is landlocked in the central Balkan Peninsula, with its strategic position in the Balkans, it serves as an important link in the connection between central and south Europe, the Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea. Its capital and largest city is Pristina, and other urban areas include Prizren, Pejë. It is bordered by Albania to the southwest, the Republic of Macedonia to the southeast, Montenegro to the west, while Serbia recognises administration of the territory by Kosovos elected government, it still continues to claim it as its own Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In antiquity, the Dardanian Kingdom, and the Roman province of Dardania was located in the region, the area was inhabited by several ancient Illyrian tribes. In the Middle Ages, it was part of the Byzantine and Serbian Empires, Kosovo was the core of the medieval Serbian state and it has been the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate.
After being part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the early 20th century, the war ended with a military intervention of NATO, which forced the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to withdraw its troops from Kosovo, which became a UN protectorate under UNSCR1244. On 17 February 2008 Kosovos Parliament declared independence and it has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 111 UN member states, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Cook Islands and Niue. Serbia refuses to recognise Kosovo as a state, although with the Brussels Agreement of 2013 it has accepted the legitimacy of Kosovar institutions, the entire region is commonly referred to in English simply as Kosovo and in Albanian as Kosova or Kosovë. The name of the plain was applied to the Kosovo Province created in 1864, Albanians refer to Kosovo as Dardania, the name of a Roman province located in Central Balkans that was formed in 284 AD which covered the territory of modern Kosovo. The name is derived from the Albanian word dardha/dardā which means pear, the former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova had been an enthusiastic backer of a Dardanian identity and the Kosovan flag and presidential seal refer to this national identity.
However, the name Kosova remains more widely used among the Albanian population, the official conventional long name of the state is Republic of Kosovo, as defined by the Constitution of Kosovo, and is used to represent Kosovo internationally. This arrangement, which has dubbed the asterisk agreement, was agreed in an 11-point arrangement agreed on 24 February 2012. By the independence declaration in 2008, its long name became Republic of Kosovo. In prehistory, the succeeding Starčevo culture, Vinča culture, Bubanj-Hum culture, the area in and around Kosovo has been inhabited for nearly 10,000 years. During the Neolithic age, Kosovo lay within the area of the Vinča-Turdaş culture which is characterised by West Balkan black and Iron Age tombs have been found in Metohija. However, life during the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age is not confirmed yet, until arguments of Paleolithic and Mesolithic man are confirmed, Neolithic man, respectively the Neolithic sites are considered as the chronological beginning of population in Kosovo.
From this period until today Kosovo has been inhabited, and traces of activities of societies from prehistoric, whereas, in some archaeological sites, multilayer settlements clearly reflect the continuity of life through centuries
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I.
In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008.
The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them
Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. The Commission operates as a government, with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council, the current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014. The procedural languages of the Commission are English and German, the Members of the Commission and their cabinets are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The first Commission originated in 1951 as the nine-member High Authority under President Jean Monnet, the High Authority was the supranational administrative executive of the new European Coal and Steel Community. It took office first on 10 August 1952 in Luxembourg, in 1958 the Treaties of Rome had established two new communities alongside the ECSC, the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community.
However their executives were called Commissions rather than High Authorities, the reason for the change in name was the new relationship between the executives and the Council. Some states such as France expressed reservations over the power of the High Authority, louis Armand led the first Commission of Euratom. Walter Hallstein led the first Commission of the EEC, holding the first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse, Hallstein notably began the consolidation of European law and started to have a notable impact on national legislation. The three bodies, collectively named the European Executives, co-existed until 1 July 1967 when, under the Merger Treaty, the Rey Commission completed the Communitys customs union in 1968 and campaigned for a more powerful, European Parliament. Despite Rey being the first President of the communities, Hallstein is seen as the first President of the modern Commission. The Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation, with that enlargement the Commissions membership increased to thirteen under the Ortoli Commission, which dealt with the enlarged community during economic and international instability at that time.
Following the Jenkins Commission, Gaston Thorns Commission oversaw the Communitys enlargement to the south, the Commission headed by Jacques Delors was seen as giving the Community a sense of direction and dynamism. Delors and his team are considered as the founding fathers of the euro. The International Herald Tribune noted the work of Delors at the end of his term in 1992. He arrived when Europessimism was at its worst, although he was a little-known former French finance minister, he breathed life and hope into the EC and into the dispirited Brussels Commission. The successor to Delors was Jacques Santer, the entire Santer Commission was forced to resign in 1999 by the Parliament as result of a fraud and corruption scandal, with a central role played by Édith Cresson
The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land, until 1814, the kingdom included the Faroe Islands and Iceland. It included Isle of Man until 1266, Shetland and Orkney until 1468, Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres and a population of 5,258,317. The country shares a long border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway, erna Solberg became Prime Minister in 2013, replacing Jens Stoltenberg. A constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the Parliament, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court, as determined by the 1814 Constitution, the kingdom is established as a merger of several petty kingdoms. By the traditional count from the year 872, the kingdom has existed continuously for 1,144 years, Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels and municipalities.
The Sámi people have an amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament. Norway maintains close ties with the European Union and the United States, the country maintains a combination of market economy and a Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system. Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, lumber, the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the countrys gross domestic product. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the worlds largest producer of oil, the country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank and IMF lists. On the CIAs GDP per capita list which includes territories and some regions, from 2001 to 2006, and again from 2009 to 2017, Norway had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world. It has the highest inequality-adjusted ranking, Norway ranks first on the World Happiness Report, the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity and the Democracy Index.
Norway has two names, Noreg in Nynorsk and Norge in Bokmål. The name Norway comes from the Old English word Norðrveg mentioned in 880, meaning way or way leading to the north. In contrasting with suðrvegar southern way for Germany, and austrvegr eastern way for the Baltic, the Anglo-Saxon of Britain referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land. This was the area of Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway, and because of him
Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. Relative to its territory, it is a diverse country distinguished by a transitional character, situated along cultural, climatic. Serbia numbers around 7 million residents, and its capital, following the Slavic migrations to the Balkans from the 6th century onwards, Serbs established several states in the early Middle Ages. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by Rome and the Byzantine Empire in 1217, in the early 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the regions first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia formed a union with Montenegro which dissolved peacefully in 2006, in 2008 the parliament of the province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community.
Serbia is a member of organizations such as the UN, CoE, OSCE, PfP, BSEC. An EU membership candidate since 2012, Serbia has been negotiating its EU accession since January 2014, the country is acceding to the WTO and is a militarily neutral state. Serbia is an income economy with dominant service sector, followed by the industrial sector. The country ranks high on the Social Progress Index as well as the Global Peace Index, relatively high on the Human Development Index, located at the crossroads between Central and Southern Europe, Serbia is found in the Balkan peninsula and the Pannonian Plain. Serbia lies between latitudes 41° and 47° N, and longitudes 18° and 23° E. The country covers a total of 88,361 km2, which places it at 113th place in the world, with Kosovo excluded, the area is 77,474 km2. Its total border length amounts to 2,027 km, all of Kosovos border with Albania and Montenegro are under control of the Kosovo border police. The Pannonian Plain covers the third of the country while the easternmost tip of Serbia extends into the Wallachian Plain.
The terrain of the part of the country, with the region of Šumadija at its heart. Mountains dominate the third of Serbia. Dinaric Alps stretch in the west and the southwest, following the flow of the rivers Drina, the Carpathian Mountains and Balkan Mountains stretch in a north–south direction in eastern Serbia. Ancient mountains in the southeast corner of the country belong to the Rilo-Rhodope Mountain system, elevation ranges from the Midžor peak of the Balkan Mountains at 2,169 metres to the lowest point of just 17 metres near the Danube river at Prahovo. The largest lake is Đerdap Lake and the longest river passing through Serbia is the Danube, the climate of Serbia is under the influences of the landmass of Eurasia and the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. A peninsula with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, the country has borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north. Estonia is south of the country across the Gulf of Finland, Finland is a Nordic country situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia, which includes Scandinavia. Finlands population is 5.5 million, and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region,88. 7% of the population is Finnish people who speak Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages, the second major group are the Finland-Swedes. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe, Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, and an autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, from the late 12th century, Finland was an integral part of Sweden, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status.
In the spirit of the notion of Adolf Ivar Arwidsson, we are not Swedes, we do not want to become Russians, let us therefore be Finns, nevertheless, in 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland became the nation in the world to give the right to vote to all adult citizens. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent, in 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Reds supported by the equally new Soviet Russia, fighting the Whites, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought repeatedly to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia and Kuusamo, Petsamo and some islands, Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and established an official policy of neutrality. The Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era, Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s.
It rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state, resulting in widespread prosperity, Finnish GDP growth has been negative in 2012–2014, with a preceding nadir of −8% in 2009. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, a large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, though freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution. The first known appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three rune-stones. Two were found in the Swedish province of Uppland and have the inscription finlonti, the third was found in Gotland, in the Baltic Sea. It has the inscription finlandi and dates from the 13th century, the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, which is mentioned first known time AD98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, in addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
Hungary is a unitary parliamentary republic in Central Europe. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken language in Europe. Hungarys capital and largest metropolis is Budapest, a significant economic hub, major urban areas include Debrecen, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000, converting the country to a Christian kingdom, by the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Hungarys current borders were established in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship.
On 23 October 1989, Hungary became again a democratic parliamentary republic, in the 21st century, Hungary is a middle power and has the worlds 57th largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the 58th largest by PPP, out of 188 countries measured by the IMF. As a substantial actor in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds 36th largest exporter and importer of goods, Hungary is a high-income economy with a very high standard of living. It keeps up a security and universal health care system. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and part of the Schengen Area since 2007, Hungary is a member of the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe and Visegrád Group. Well known for its cultural history, Hungary has been contributed significantly to arts, literature and science. Hungary is the 11th most popular country as a tourist destination in Europe and it is home to the largest thermal water cave system, the second largest thermal lake in the world, the largest lake in Central Europe, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.
The H in the name of Hungary is most likely due to historical associations with the Huns. The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Medieval Greek Oungroi, according to an explanation the Greek name was borrowed from Proto-Slavic Ǫgǔri, in turn borrowed from Oghur-Turkic Onogur. Onogur was the name for the tribes who joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars. The Hungarians likely belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance and it is possible they became its ethnic majority. The Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of magyar and ország, the word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri