Europe consists of approximately 50 countries and is the birthplace of Western Civilization. Home to a vast history from ancient times, to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the modern era. After the Cold War and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, European formed the European Union, a political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation. The currency used by most countries is the Euro, and the EU's Schengen Area abolishes border and immigration controls among most of its member states.