France stretches from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, and is the largest of all the countries in the EU. The country has a diverse landscape, covered with mountains such as the Alpine peak of Mont Blanc (4 810 m) as the highest point in Western Europe. As of 2012, the most important sectors of France’s economy were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.6 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (18.3 %) and real estate activities (13.2 %). Both for export and import, Germany, Belgium and Italy stand as main contributors for France.
632 833.6 km2
65 287 861 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population
12.9 % (2012)
€ 2.032 trillion (2012)
Official EU language(s)
EU member country since
25 March 1957
Seats in the European Parliament
Eurozone member since 1 January 1999
Schengen area member
Yes, Schengen Area member since 14 June 1985.
Presidency of the Council
France has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 12 times between 1959 and 2008.