France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary semi-presidential republic within the European Union, located mostly in Western Europe, with several overseas regions and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. From its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon").
France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third-largest in Europe as a whole. From southwest to northeast, France shares borders with Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium. France also borders Suriname to its west and Brazil to its east and south, by way of the overseas region of French Guiana, which is considered an integral part of the republic (like Alaska and Hawaii are to the United States, or Kaliningrad is to Russia).