The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Europe:
Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of Earth. It is the world's second-smallest continent in terms of area, and the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa. However, Europe's borders and population are in dispute, as the term continent can refer to a cultural and political distinction or a physiographic one. Europe (in particular Ancient Greece), is the birthplace of Western culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 15th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Both World Wars were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence. Of Europe's 50 countries, Russia is the largest by both area and population, while Vatican City is the smallest.