Ukraine saw in 2005 with the Orange Revolution. Yulia Tymoshenko became prime minister but was later sacked by her revolutionary colleague, President Viktor Yushchenko.
Roman Catholics around the world mourned the loss of Pope John Paul II (left) after his death in March. But they rallied to welcome the election of Pope Benedict XVI in May.
France plunged the EU into turmoil in May as it rejected the European Constitution in a public referendum - the first member to do so. The issue remains unresolved.
London's joy at winning the 2012 Olympics was short-lived as a day later, on 7 July, four suicide bombers killed 52 people on the Underground. A second attempt two weeks later failed.
US cyclist Lance Armstrong sealed a seventh successive Tour de France victory in July - his last ever race. The 33-year-old overcame cancer before landing his first Tour win in 1999.
Europe stepped up measures against bird flu as the deadly H5N1 virus, that has killed more than 70 people in Asia, travelled west across Russia.
Reservoirs dried up, livestock died and crops failed in many parts of Spain and Portugal as the peninsula was hit by one of the worst droughts on record.
Archaeologists in Bulgaria unearthed the latest in a series of finds of dazzling royal jewellery dating back around 4,000 years to the Thracian civilisation.
Talks on Turkey's entry to the EU started in October. Membership is unlikely until at least 2014, but Turkey's prime minister described the step as an alliance of civilisations.
Germany welcomed its first female chancellor with the election of Christian Democrat Angela Merkel. She is also the first chancellor from former communist east Germany.
Paris endured weeks of rioting and arson attacks in its suburbs. The violence erupted in October after the deaths of two youths who were reportedly being chased by police.
The climax of the UK's six-month EU presidency involved budget wrangling at the summit in Brussels. A deal was finally reached - and France was satisfied.