At a glance
France has been a member of the euro area since 1 January 1999. Euro banknotes and coins were introduced on 1 January 2002. Until that date the euro was the official currency but only existed as 'book money'. The euro replaced the French franc (FRF) at a conversion rate of EUR 1 = FRF 6.55957.
France is represented by François Hollande, President of the Republic, at Euro Summit meetings and by its Minister for Finance, Pierre Moscovici, at Eurogroup meetings.
- Adoption of the euro: 01/01/1999
- Former currency: French franc (EUR 1 = FRF 6.55957 )
- GDP per capita (current prices): €30 600 (2011 - Eurostat)
- Number of votes at the Council of the EU: 29
- Member of the Schengen area: Yes
- Official languages: French (fr)
The National Assembly has 577 elected for five years.
The Senate has 348 senators, who are elected by an electoral college for six years, with half the seats up for re-election every three years.
France also has overseas departments and territories which enjoy a specific individual status within the Republic.
- Political system: republic
- Voting age: 18, voting not compulsory
- National Day: 14 July (Bastille Day – 1789)