France, officially the French Republic (République francaise) is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterraean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It borders Flanders to the North, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy to the East, and Spain, Catalonia, Andorra and the Basque to the South.
In mid-2015, Flemish Nationalists in Belgium began pushing for independence, and after a referendum in April, the Partition of Belgium was approved. After negoitations, it was eventually agreed that Wallonia would join France as a rejoin, amonst other territorial changes.
France was attacked by ISIS on November 13, 2015. Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked several restaurants, a concert hall, and a stadium, killing 169 people. This caused massive French response to attack ISIS positions in Syria.
In 2016, France absorbed the province of Wallonia upon the Partition of Belgium. On July 14, on Bastille Day, France suffered another Islamic extremist attack in Nice when a van was driven to a crowd of onlookers watching the Bastille Day fireworks.
The Mainland European part of France is called Metropolitan France. It is bordered by the North Sea in the north, the English Channel in the north-west, the Atlantic in the west, and the Mediterranean sea in the South-east. It borders Eupen-Malmedy, Flanders and Luxembourg to the north east. It also borders Germany and Switzerland in the east, Italy and Monaco in the south-east, Spain, Andorra and the unrecognised Republic of Catalonia in the south west. The borders in the south and in the east are the mountai ranges of the Pyrenees, the Alps ad the Jura, whilst the border in the east is from the Rhine river, and the north and northeast melts in no natural element. Due to its shape, it often referred to in French as l'Hexagone, or "The Hexagon" (although some people have suggested the addition of Wallonia has changed the shape, it still holds a rough hexagonal shape).
France has Overseas regions across the world, which have various statuses in the territorial administration of France, and are located:
- In South America: French Guiana
- In the Atlantic Ocean: Saint Pierre and Miquelon and, in the Antilles, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy.
- In the Pacific Ocean: French Polynesia, the special collectivity of New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, and Clipperton Island
- In the Indian Ocean: Réunion Island, Mayotte, Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, Crozet Islands, St Paul and Amsterdam islands.
- In the Indian Ocean: Kerguelen Islands
- In the Antarctic: Adélie Land
France therefore has land borders with Brazil and Suriname in French Guiana, and also with the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the French part of Saint Martin.
France is mainly divided into 19 administrative regions: 14 regions in metropolitan France, and five overseas.The regions are further subdivided into 105 departments (four are former Walloon Regions), which are numbered mainly alphabetically. This number is used in postal codes.
Recently some of the departments were combined. The 19 regions of France are:
|French Spelling||English Spelling|
|Centre Val de Loire|
|Grand Est (temporarily Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine)||Grand East|
|Hauts-de-France (temporarily Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardie)||Heights of France|
|Nouvelle-Aquitaine (temporarily Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes)||New Aquitaine|
|Occitanie (temporarily Languedoc-Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées)||Occitania|
|Pays de la Loire|