|France, officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe and that also comprises various overseas islands and territories located in other continents. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. French people often refer to Metropolitan France as L'Hexagone (The "Hexagon") because of the geometric shape of its territory.|
France is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. Due to its overseas departments, France also shares land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana), and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint-Martin). France is also linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.
The French Republic is a democracy that is organised as a unitary semi-presidential republic. Its main ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It is a developed country with the sixth-largest economy in the world. France is the most visited country in the world, receiving over 79 million foreign tourists annually (including business visitors, but excluding people staying less than 24 hours in France). France is one of the founding members of the European Union, and has the largest land area of all members. France is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; it is also an acknowledged nuclear power.
The name France originates from the Franks (Francs), a Germanic tribe that occupied northern Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. More precisely, the region around Paris, called Île-de-France, was the original French royal demesne. The first King of the Franks, Clovis, is regarded as the forefather of the French kings.
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