Often Europe and the EU are used as synonyms. But this is totally wrong and misleading.
Europe as a continent consists of ca. 50 countries with a total population of 740 mio. 28 of these countries, representing a population of 500 mio, are also members of the European Union.
The EU constitutes a huge single market, surpassing the US in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while having a lower debt ratio than the US.
For companies wanting to export to the EU, the single market means that once their products are within the EU, they can be moved to other EU countries without any further tax or bureaucratic hurdles.
But let us not forget the European countries that are not part of the EU! Countries like Turkey, Ukraine or Russia are huge single markets with lots of potential for smart products. So, depending on the potential of a product, it may be worthwhile to take on the bureaucratic and other challenges that doing business in these countries entails.
So, when about to start export business to Europe, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of focusing on the EU vs. the European non-EU countries.