|France (IPA: [fʀɑ̃s] in French), officially the French Republic (French: République française, IPA: [ʀepyblik fʀɑ̃sɛz]), is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe and which also comprises various overseas islands and territories located in other regions. 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. In some of its overseas departments, France also shares land borders with Brazil, Suriname, and the Netherlands Antilles. France is also linked to the United Kingdom via the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel (La Manche in French).
The French Republic is a democracy which is organised as a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is a developed country with the sixth-largest economy in the world. Its main ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. 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 La Francophonie, the G8, and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council wielding veto power, and it is also one of eight acknowledged nuclear powers. France is the most popular international tourist destination in the world, receiving over 75 million foreign tourists annually, followed by Spain (53 million), the U.S.A. (46 million) and China (41 million). The name France originates from the Franks, a Germanic tribe that occupied the region after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. More precisely, the region around Paris, called Île-de-France, was the original French royal demesne.