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The 10 most significant events for Europe in the last decade (2000-2009)

10: 2 Apr. 2005

Pope John Paul II dies. Pope Benedict XVI is elected Pope

9: 1 Sep. 2004

The Beslan massacre. Chechen militants took more than 1,100 people (including 777 children) hostage. Russian security forces eventually stormed in. At least 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children.

8: From 5 Oct. 2000

The color revolutions and new countries. Peaceful revolutions lead to the overthrow of leaders in Yougoslavia, Georgia and Ukraine. Yougoslavia becomes Serbia and Montenegro. Kosovo separates itself from Serbia.

7: 1 May 2004

10 new members are accepted into the European Union in 2004. Leads to treaty of Lisbon in 2007.

6: 11 Mar. 2004

191 people are killed in the Madrid Train Bombings.

July 7, 2005

Suicide Bombers attack London’s public transit system, killing 56 people.

5: 1 Jan. 2002

The Euro replaces the currencies of 12 of the EU’s 15 members.

swine flu

4: June 2009

The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as “swine flu”, is deemed a global pandemic, becoming the first condition since the Hong Kong flu of 1967–1968 to receive this designation.

3: From 2001

Wars in Irak and Afghanistan. In 2001, the US and British armies launch their attack on Afghanistan in reply to September 11th attacks. In 2003, following a report on WMD in Irak, the US begin the invasion with the UK, Denmark, Spain and Poland.

2: From end of 2007

The recession: Years of risky loans in the US and Europe lead to a massive loss of jobs, bankruptcies and a redefinition of world economies.

1: 11 Sep. 2001

Attack on the twin towers. This event marked the coming of terrorism on the world arena, as people all over watched in horror the 2 planes crashing on the towers. This attack also lay the foundation for the wars in Afghanistan and Irak.

Are there any events you think should/should not be there?

Join the discussion, leave a comment!

View Comments (6)
  • I think the referendum in Switzerland to ban minarets could potentially lead to a movement in Europe that could be really significant. Imagine other countries taking up similar referendums? Could it be the start of Europeans drawing a line in the sand against Muslim immigration?
    Maybe? That would be significant.
    Maybe not.

    • Hey, I agree, but do you think any governments will actually dare to take up those kind of referendums? Maybe not unless really right-wing governments are elected?

          • Of course. But most countries allow for referendums to be proposed from the grass roots level, as was the case for Switzerland. The government was against the idea, but enough signatures were on the petition for it to become a referendum.

            we’ll see.

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