France | EUNewsletter

France and the origins of the EU

On 9 May 1950 Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister at that time, made a declaration in which he formulated the concept of united Europe for the first time. Today, this date marks the beginning of the European idea. The concept was brought to life starting with economic integration. France undoubtedly benefitted from the latter. Today, the country plays one of the leading roles on the international economical stage. Located in the middle of Europe and benefitting from access to the main commercial naval arteries of Western Europe (the Mediterranean Sea, La Manche, and the Atlantic Ocean) France has an advantageous geographical position. The development of the French economy was also boosted by the common European market established in 1957, which had a positive impact on French enterprises. The free turnover of goods and capital increased investment in the country and allowed French businessmen to engage in international trade. The free movement of people also helped France become a world leader in tourism. Currently, France ranks as the most visited country in the world with the Eiffel Tower as the most visited site.