39-year-old Emmanuel Macron on Sunday took the oath of office as president of France, with a pledge to overcome division in the country.
Macron, France’s youngest ever president, took over from President Francois Hollande, whose five-year tenure was plagued by unemployment and terror attacks.
Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in the race for the presidency, winning more than 65% of votes in the May 7, 2017 election.
“The whole world has watched our presidential election,” Macron said in his inaugural speech as president, which took place at the Elysee Presidential Palace.
“The world and Europe have today, more than ever, a need for France. They want a France that is sure of its destiny. The world needs what French men and woman have always taught it — freedom, equality and fraternity”, he added.
He said France was not in decline, but at the start of an extraordinary renaissance, assuring that he would boost employment, protect companies and engage with French people who feel ignored.
“Republican secularism will be defended. We must find the deep meaning of what unites us today … France is only strong if it is prosperous”, Macron said.
Francois Hollande who launched Macron’s political career, and brought him from the world of investment banking to be an advisor and then his economic minister has said it is far simpler since he is not handing over power to a political opponent.
Pro-EU Macron wants to push for closer cooperation to help the bloc overcome the imminent departure of Britain, another of its most powerful members.