According to the updated 2015-2019 Military Programming Law (after the January’s and November’s 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris) and in contrast to the initial decisions, it has been agreed to increase the defence expenditure by € 600 million, while programmed staff cuts have been paused till 2019. More specifically, the allocation of funds among the different programs (including pensions), is illustrated in the below diagram.

France, located in western Europe, neighbours with Belgium and United Kingdom (across the sea) to the north, Germany, Switzerland and Italy to the east and finally, Andorra and Spain to the south. Its geostrategic position –with the Alps in the southeast, the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea in the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and north and the Rhine river and mountains of Ardennes, Vosges and the Jura in the north east- helped France to grow, undisturbed from its neighbours incentives in the area. In fact, the strategic location of its capital Paris (lies at the meeting point of Seine and Marne rivers), has allowed France to play an administrative role for the trading routes in the rest of the country, as well as in Europe.

In modern years, despite sharing same interests with Britain and Germany and having been involved in numerous conflicts –only between 1871 and 1945, France and Germany have fought three major wars- with ambiguous results for its supremacy, France managed to remain a major continental military power and also expand its colonial empire over time.
Tempted to become a leader in Europe, through the creation of the European Union, five French overseas territories -French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became part of the country’s property, at the beginning of the 21st century.

In reality, the attained French internal cohesion, military, political and economic power, have allowed France not only to protect itself better, but also to influence the socioeconomic and political affairs in Europe, as well as in the world.

France’s governors are typically committed to some form of a capitalistic system, but have always been promoting social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality. With a rising GDP over the recent years, a steady unemployment rate and a recovering inflation rate, the French population (est. 66.5 million people in 2014) seems to enjoy a high standard of living, not being severely affected by the economic crisis which started in 2008 (especially when compared with the neighbouring Spain). Indicatively, 71% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree and more than 50% of people are tertiary education degree holders. Further, the strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in France, are additional factors explaining the 6.7/10 average life satisfaction level declared by the French citizens, according to the OECD statistics.