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EUROPE Powered By Docstoc
 Background Video
 Culture and Religion
 Economic and Social Issues
 Politics and Government
     Culture and Religion
 Europe is comprised of a mosaic of cultural
  groups sharing a long history of interaction
      Roman Empire
      Napoleon
      History of violence
      Two World Wars
      Cold War
      Ethnic/religious conflicts
 Leads to shared perspectives…
    Culture and Religion
 The interconnectedness of shared
  perspectives leads to overarching
  traditions, values, and social perspectives
  common to Europeans:
   Social welfare system
   Vacation and leisure
   Education
     Culture and Religion
 One example of a social welfare program is
UK’s National Health Service
    Free or low cost medical care
    Medical staff fear they are becoming civil
    Waiting list for care… So while everyone
   has access to care, there can be LONG
    For better service, those who can afford it
   often choose to “go private”
     Culture and Religion
 Generous social welfare system
   Governments should look after
    society and provide extensive
    network of social welfare public
   Most countries significantly assist in
    reducing individual health
    care costs
   Unfortunately, has led to
    extremely high taxes…
    Culture and Religion
 Vacation and leisure
   Relaxation and enjoyment
    highly valued
   This value is reflected in
    amount of vacation time
    taken by workers
   Social life– dancing,
    celebrating, lounging– very
    important to daily life
     Culture and Religion
 Education
   Historical legacy with nearly 2,500
    years of formal education
   Home to some of the world’s
    oldest universities
   Literacy +90%
   Many pursue higher education
   Nearly all European countries
    require students to by multi-lingual
    Culture and Religion
 Many countries have one dominant ethnic
  group (i.e., Swedes in Sweden)
 But most countries also have at
  least one minority group
      Basques in Spain
      Kurds in Turkey
      Roma (Gypsies)
 Not all ethnic groups have
  blended peacefully (i.e., the
     Culture and Religion
 Mixed or conflicting
  foreign policies,
  especially when dealing
  with Former Soviet
 Long standing historical
 Ethnic cleansing as in
  the former Yugoslavia
 Current ethnic, religious,
  and nationalistic violence
     Culture and Religion
 Integration of immigrants into the
  overall European society has been
  a growing concern
    Fall of Communism
    Rise of EU and open borders
    Can promote cross-cultural
    May offset negative
     population growth
      Culture and Religion
 60+ languages, most
  of which fall into one
  of three categories:
    Romance
    Germanic
    Slavic

 Many are multi-lingual and English is a
  common “go-between” language
     Culture and Religion
 Europe is home to a variety of religions
 Although immigrants have introduced
  Hinduism and Buddhism to Europe, the
  three dominant religions are:
    Christianity
    Judaism
    Islam
     Culture and Religion
 Europe’s dominant religion, and most
  European Christians are:
   Roman Catholic
   Protestant
   Eastern Orthodox
 Provided spiritual meaning and played key
  role in the formation of European culture
  and rise of democracy in Europe
     Culture and Religion
 Practiced since Roman times
 Some of the greatest Jewish
  philosophers were European
 Pre-WW2, significant Jewish
  communities throughout Europe… but
  majority of Jewish population killed by
 Small communities still exist in urban
  areas around Europe
    Culture and Religion
 Practiced since the 8th
 Fueled recently by
  immigration from Africa and
  Middle East
 Fastest growing religion in
  Europe today
      Culture and Religion
 Europe's religious diversity contributes to
  its cultural diversity and transnational ties
 Religious similarities between countries
  can be positive, differences have led to
  persecution and warfare:
    Northern Ireland
    Balkan wars
    Breakup of the former Yugoslavia
 While religion can unite people…              It
  can also be divisive
Economic & Social Issues
Communist legacy
 Communist-era economic policies
  were difficult to dismantle
   Restricted basic freedoms
   Significantly poor economies
   Rampant corruption
Economic & Social Issues
Communist legacy:
   Lack of incentives… workers guaranteed
    jobs, so no reason to excel and workers
    did no more than what was required
   Absence of free-market system… State
    ran banks and manufacturers
   Decaying infrastructure… Transportation
    and communication systems tended to be
    poorly maintained
Economic & Social Issues
European Union
 Foundation dates to post-WWII as many
  countries sought economic integration
 Two critical initiatives that boosted the
  formation of the EU:
    Single European Act (1987)
    Maastricht Treaty (1993)
Economic & Social Issues
 Single European Act
   Expanded powers of the EC’s
    parliamentary body
   Promotes economic integration and political
 Maastricht Treaty
   Blueprint for political, economic, and
    monetary unity among EU members
   Included plans to create a standard
    European currency (Euro)
 Politics and Government
 Since fall of the Soviet Union, Europe has
  remained largely steady on the path toward
  greater continental integration
 EU growth:
   10 new members added to EU in 2004
   2 more in 2007… 2 more in talks!
   Coincides with NATO expansion
 Politics and Government
 Created in 1949, reflected commitment to
  protect common values
 Sought to provide collective defense against
  expanding Soviet influence
 Post-Cold War, struggling to redefine itself
    International Security Assistance Force
    Joint US-European law enforcement efforts
 Decisions remain consensus based
Politics and Government

Headquartered in Brussels,
NATO is comprised of 26
members. The official
languages of NATO are
English and French.
 Politics and Government
 Even with NATO, the EU has committed to
  creating European “battle groups”
 22 of the EU’s 25 nations will
  supply troops on a rotating basis
 Unlike NATO, the US will have no
  say in the employment or
  operations of the new EU
  battle groups
 Background Video
 Culture and Religion
 Economic and Social Issues
 Politics and Government

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