France is a democratic country situated in the middle of Europe, its capital is Paris, the most visited city in the world. Frenchmn do speak French, the fifth most talked language in the world. The current president is François Hollande, elected in 2012 after Nicolas Sarokzy’s presidency.
The constitution of the 5th republic, proclaimed on 4 October 1958, stipulates that “France is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social republic.” The President of the Republic is elected for a 5 year term by direct vote. He appoints the Prime Minister and based on his recommendation, the members of the government.
The President of the Republic chairs the Council of Ministers, promulgates laws and is the Commander-in-Chief of the armies. The Prime Minister directs the actions of the government which determine and lead national policy. He is responsible before both Houses of Parliament:
- The National Assembly, 577 mps elected by direct vote for a period of 5 years.
- The Senate, 348 senators elected by indirect vote for a period of 6 years.
Both National Assembly and the Senate control the government and edict laws. In case of disagreement on a law, the National Assembly has the final say.
France is the biggest country in the European Union and dispose of a wide variety of landscapes. Located on Europe’s western side, the metropolitan territory has over 3,400 miles (5 500 km) of coastline stretching from the North Sea and along the Channel to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and along the Mediterranean in the south. Several islands line the coasts, the largest of which is Corsica located in the Mediterranean sea. France shares its borders with Belgium and Luxembourg in the north, Germany, Switzerland and Italy in the east, and with Spain in the south.
In addition to its metropolitan territory, France covers more than 46,000 mi² of land overseas coming from its colonization history: Guadeloupe, Martinique, New Caledonia, Reunion Island, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon …
France’s cultural heritage is the fruit of a long history of kings and battles. French passion for the arts. Some 750 pieces of property are classified on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The architectural heritage is particularly important, whether it be religious, civilian, military or industrial.
The 5th largest economic power, France’s economy currently revolves around services which employ more than 70% of the active population.
Its dynamic agricultural sector makes France the leading agricultural producer in the European Union, while its viticulture is particularly important since France is the global leader in the production of wines and spirits.
France’s national day takes place the 14th of July. It’s the national holiday of France. It is a public holiday in France. It was established by law in 1880, in reference to a double-date, that of July 14th, 1789, date of the taking of the Bastille, symbolic day resulting in the end of the absolute monarchy, followed by the end of the society of orders and privileges, and that of the July 14, 1790, day of national union during the Feast of the Federation.