General Information

Information about the French Republic 

  • French Republic :la République Française
  • National Anthem: La Marseillaise.
  • The motto of French Republic: freedom, equality and fraternity.
  • The capital: Paris.
  • Official language: French language.
  • Citizens are called: French Citizens.
  • The system of government: Parliamentary republic.
  • President of France: Francois Hollande.
  • Prime Minister of France: Manuel Valls.
  • Legislative authority: French parliament.
  • Supreme Council: the Senate Council
  • National Constituent Assembly
  • The Constitution of France: is the Fifth Republic constitution of 1958
  • Joined the European Union on 25th march, 1957.
  • Area: 674,843 km2
  • Population: 65,350,000
  • Population density: 116/KM2.

France is a European country located in Western Europe, consisting of a group of islands and lands behind the seas of other continents. France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea and English Channel, and from the Rhine River to the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s adjacent to the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. France's overseas territories border countries such as Brazil, Suriname, and the Netherlands Antilles.

France is one of the founding member States of the European Union, and the largest state in that Union. France also is a founder member of the United Nations. Also one of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations, which has the right of veto. And France is also a nuclear country.

The name of France came from frnkya, a Germanic tribe, which occupied the region after the fall of the Roman Empire, specifically the region around Paris, which was the center of the French kingdom regime. The majority of the population of the French Catholic embrace Christianity.


The current French Republic occupies most of the old Gallia nation (Gaule) which became afterwards a Romanian province. Germanic tribes came to the region in the fourth century A.D. one of these tribes, known as the Franks, occupied this region. With the demise of the Roman Empire, this tripe (Franks) gave its name to France.

The region covered by France today was first united in 486 A.D, when King Clovis I united all Germanic tribes under the Frankish tribe.

After the French Revolution in 1789, the Monarchy system was overthrown and the Republican system was declared. With the French first empire controlled almost the whole of Europe. These strong French efforts were used to face their first enemy the United Kingdom. During the era of the Second Empire the country witnessed the beginning of the industrial revolution. With the Third Republic (troisieme Republique) France has become a wide colonial empire stretching from Africa to Asia.

Paris, the French capital

Paris is the capital of France and the largest city in terms of population. Located on the banks of the Seine River in the northern part of the country in the heart of the Ile de France. The number of population reached (2,243,833) in 2010 within its administrative zone only, while the population of the city with its suburbs reached more than 12 million people.

With the beginning of the 12th century, Paris became a European center for science and arts, and the largest city in the western world until the early 18th century, it has been the scene of many of the important political events in history, such as the French Revolution.  At the present time, Paris is one of the biggest economic and cultural centers with an important influence in politics, science, media, fashion, arts, cookery and entertainment, making it one of the world's major cities.

In 2011, the GDP of the city amounted to 607 billion Euros (845 billion dollars), making it one of the largest cities in the world in this domain, as well as one of the leading tourist destinations in the world.

Paris has a variety of museums, theaters and monuments built over the centuries, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles. Paris is one of the biggest centers of art in the world, contain a large number of museums, which includes prominent paintings of famous artists. Paris cuisine has global reputation, where it attracts most famous chefs in the world. Paris and its suburbs includes the finest French schools and universities, and the headquarters of the largest French newspapers, such as: Le Monde,  Le Figaro and Libération.

Paris is the home of the football Club of Paris Saint Germain, there is also the stadium of France, which was built to host the 1998 World Cup. The city also hosts Roland Garros championship tennis tournament. Paris has a diversity and high quality transportation system, as well as two main international airports: Charles de Gaulle international airport and Orly Airport.

Paris metro, which opened 1900, offer transfer services for about 9 million passengers a day, as well as the network of suburban trains and high-speed trains, which link Paris in all French cities, in addition to the Eurostar train which links Paris to the British capital, and runs under the English Channel, and the thalys train which links the French capital to Belgium and Holland capitals.


The major part of France is located in Western Europe, as well as small territories in North America, the Caribbean, South America, west and south of the Indian Ocean, north and south of the Pacific, and in south Antarctic continent.

France features rich nature, ranging from the coastal plains to the north and west, which constitute two thirds of the surface of France, where France is neighbored by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, to the mountains in the south-west region, and the Alps in the south-eastern region. In the center of it has rocky heights with forests. Main mountains are the Alps, the highest summit is Mont Blanc which is the highest mountain in Western Europe 4808 meters, as well as other mountains such as Pyrenees, Jura, les Ardennes, le Massif Central, and Les Vosges.

 Because of its overseas territories of many lands scattered in all oceans, France has the second largest special economic zone (EEZ) in the world, covering 11.035.000 km2, it comes behind the Special Economic Zone of the United States (11.351.000 square kilometers), and before the Special Economic Zone of Australia (8.232.000 square kilometers), The Special Economic Zone in France covers around 8% of the total space of special economic zones in the world, while the French republic area in western Europe equivalent to 0.45% of the total land area.

Economy and investment

General information about the French economy
  • France is the second most economic power in Europe, and fifth most economic power in the world.
  • France is the second largest market in Europe with 65 million people.
  • France is considered the first tourist destination in the world with nearly 83 million tourists in the year 2013.
  • France is the second European country in terms of birth rate, where it forms half of the population growth in the European Union.
  • France is a country which has presence in all oceans, due to its overseas provinces.
  • France has the second largest economic zone in the world with up to 11 million square kilometers.
  • French deficit decreased in the year 2013 to 87.6 billion Euros, equivalent to 4.3% of the GDP, while the government expects to reach 4.1 %.
  • France recorded a growth in the year 2013 by 0.3 %, the government expects to record a 1% growth in 2014, 1.7% in 2015, and 2.25% in both 2016 and 2017.
  • The French debt rate at the end of 2013 increased to 93.5 %, to reach 1925.3 billion euros, which is an 84.3 billion euros increase compared with late 2012.
  • The public spending in France in the year 2013 increased to 57.1% of the gross domestic product.
  • The level of tax deductions in France in 2013 reached a 45.9% of the gross domestic product.
  • The Standard and Poor's agency reduced the class of French credit from AAA to AA+, a move followed by each of the Moody's and Fitch Ratings agencies.
  • Recent data in 2013 indicates a decrease in the difference between France and Germany in terms of the cost of labor, where the average cost of man-hour in France is 34.30 Euros, compared to 31.30 Euros in Germany.
  • The rate of inflation in France is recording a retreat since two years ago, and is expected to reach 0.6 % in 2014.

Health Sector in France

The French health system is a public system, financed through social burdens imposed on the workers and through taxes, which ensure that all citizens are entitled to get health services. This system is directly supervised by the government, both at the national and local levels.

French system of social protection

The French system of social protection provides all residents in the country with protection against social risks, covered by many institutions depending on each individual professional situation, or depending on the type of protection provided. In general, France provides the following types of social protection:

  • Basic protection system: provided by Social Security Institutions, and unemployment services.
  • Complementary schemes: provide additional coverage for risks already covered by Social Security, provided by health insurance organizations to cover medical expenses which are not covered by the basic protection program. To benefit from this system, it is necessary to individually obtain health insurance with one of the authorized companies, and to choose the health coverage plan.
  • Full health coverage system (CMU): France provides treatment and health coverage for any person living on its territory, even if this person is unable to bear the financial expenses. Which is based on a legal principle adopted by France which imposes punishments for not providing aid and help to those who needs it.



French Society consists of several strong intellectual, cultural, social and economic background, where "Social Partners" such as associations and employers, plays an important role in the political and economic life.

As well as the elite intellectual, academic, cultural, artistic and media, which has the capacity to guide the public opinion and political decisions, there are other factors within the community that play a key role in moving the public opinion, such as the Catholic Church, other religious institutions, and some other bodies of secular trends, as well as some of the extremist forces that immerge from time to time, especially in periods of crisis, and elections.


The majority of the French people are Catholics (58% to 66%), Muslims (4% - 6%), Protestants (2%), Jewish (1%), as well as atheists (27% - 31%) of the French population.


Patterns of living

Around three-quarters of the French population (74%) live in cities which has more than two thousand people. The number of people in Paris and its suburbs is around 9 million people. On the other hand, only a quarter of the population of France (26 %) live in rural areas, despite the fact that France was originally an agricultural society.

It is worth mentioning that the French cuisine is considered an art among French arts, which is part of a Registered World Heritage of UNESCO.


Culture and arts

French artists, including architects and music writers, were among the leaders of culture in Europe. During different history periods, the French style in graphic, music, theater and other art forms was used as a model in other European countries. The most famous works of art in medieval ages are reflected in the many Cathedrals built in France.

The Renaissance was one of the most important cultural stages, it reached its peak in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries AD which, where Rabelais and Montaño were among the prominent writers of that era, and famous Artists whom invented  the Baroque and Rococo style of art such as: Jean Baptiste luli and Jean Philippe Rameau who were widely known for the art of the Opera,  Francois Kobrin and others as music writers, classical poets and writers contributed to enriching the international theater such as Moliere and Rasien, in philosophy, Rene Descartes, who was famous in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the era of reason or enlightenment, which was characterized by intellectual achievements where philosophical literature prevailed, writers of that period focused on the mind and direct observation as methods of learning facts, the most prominent of these writers: Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot and Montesquieu. As for the romance, which has emerged as a reaction to the rationality and classic, it has started during the 18th century, Victor Hugo was the biggest novelist and romantic poet in the nineteenth century.

Doctrines of other literary movements emerged: Realistic criticism and naturalism in the mid-nineteenth century, impressionism in the early twentieth century focused on visual art in particular.

The most famous writers, thinkers and theater novelists in the mid-twentieth century are: Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus and Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser.

Impressionism movement formed in the nineteenth and twentieth century’s one of the most important features of visual art in the world, where Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet and Paul Cézanne were among the most famous impressionism icons of that era.


Popular sports in France include football, Rugby and tennis. France hosted the World Cup in 1938 and 1998, the Rugby World Cup in 2007. The Stade de France in Paris, which is the largest stadium in France hosted the World Cup finals in 1998.

 France also organizes "France bike race", which is the most famous in the world and several tennis world championships, and is famous for its race “le mans car race”.

Paris is the city of Paris Saint Germain, which since the transfer of its ownership to Qatar transformed into one of the most prominent European clubs with global and popular reputation.


People and politics

French people are now featuring a plurality and diversity of its origins, especially in light of the political changes, and the changes that have affected the borders, which led people of different origins such as Spanish, Italian, German and Belgian to migrate to France, the period which followed the First and Second World Wars witnessed a great migration from different European countries, including Italy and Poland, in particular, and many of the countries of Eastern Europe, where the immigration of Jews to France increased, especially during world war II because of the Nazism and fascism tendencies and policies, which targeted the Jews at that stage, as well as the immigration of Portuguese and Spanish.

Until now, there is peculiarities of some of the French regions, such as Brocanao region, the Basque region bordering Spain, and the island of Corsica, specifically the population of Alsace-Lorraine region, where they changed their affiliation in different periods between France and Germany. The population of this region enjoy administrative, economic and legislative systems in particular.

In addition, the population of overseas provinces has their own conditions, some of these areas entitled to elect legislative boards to look over the local issues, although they relate to the central authority in the fields of foreign policy, defense security, finance, and social security.

In addition to all this, France has witnessed since the end of the Second World War a wave of immigration from the countries of the Arab west and Africa, some of which were part of the former colonies of France. These immigrates contributed historically in defending France during the wars and they had a big role in the Second World War, also they contributed to the reconstruction of France after the end of the war.

The next generation of those immigrates who were born on French soil were given the French nationality, making Islam as the second religion, where France turned into a country that has a real multilateralism. French Governments in the past decades, and despite their different political orientations, all sought to integrate the descendants of immigrant origin in social and cultural fabric, especially that the majority of French people sticks to the humanitarian and Republic values, and to the freedom and justice as principles of the French Revolution and philosophers of the era of lights, and the laws condemns and prevent any type of discrimination or racism.