France is a key European great power in many regards: in strategy, in politics, in economy and in culture. It has always played an important role in all European projects as well as in many European crises. France and Germany form a couple that has a decisive influence on European integration and other European questions. It is the only EU member with nuclear weapons and with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. Due to its colonial past France has important relations with Africa and the Middle East while a growing part of the French population has an immigration background connected with these areas. French politics is polarised both between the traditional parties, and between the traditional parties and new or populist movements.

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