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Islands are generally grouped with the nearest continental landmass, hence Iceland is generally considered to be part of Europe, while the nearby island of Greenland is usually assigned to North America.
Nevertheless, there are some exceptions based on sociopolitical and cultural differences.
In some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan ("land of the Franks") is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa.
The first recorded usage of Eurṓpē as a geographic term is in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, in reference to the western shore of the Aegean Sea.
As a name for a part of the known world, it is first used in the 6th century BC by Anaximander and Hecataeus.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most commonly used among Europeans; and the EU's Schengen Area abolishes border and immigration controls among most of its member states.