August 13, 2022
France, officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country in Western Europe and the third largest European country by area. France is located between the Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay (to the west), Belgium and Luxembourg (to the north), Germany, Switzerland and Italy (to the east) and Spain, Andorra, the Mediterranean and Monaco ( in the south). The island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea also belongs to France, as well as many overseas territories. France lays claim to part of Antarctica: Adélieland. Including overseas territories, the country has an area of 674,843 km² and a population of approximately 67.06 million inhabitants (January 2020). France, also called l'Hexagone because of its hexagonal shape, is the largest country in the European Union by area and the second largest country in terms of population, after Germany. The capital is Paris, which is also the largest city in the country. Since the Treaty of Verdun in 843, France, which owes its name to the Franks, has had some continuity in its history as an administrative and cultural unit. France is therefore the oldest existing geopolitical factor in the European balance of power. The national borders have been reasonably fixed since the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678 and largely coincide with natural borders. France constitutes a decentralized unitary state and a democratic semi-presidential republic. The country is a member of major and important international organizations such as the European Union (one of the six founding members of the EU), the United Nations, the Security Council (permanent, with veto), NATO, the G8, the OECD and the WTO . France was one of the initiators of the Economic and Monetary Union, which in 2002 led to the introduction of the euro as legal tender in many Member States of the European Union, including France. In 1960, France became the fourth nuclear power after the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. France is one of the 30 most developed countries in the world.