39-year-old Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president in French history when he officially took office following a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Sunday, May 14, 2017.
Last week, Macron was elected France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon, after trouncing far-Right rival, Marine Le Pen, in a result that will certainly have far-reaching consequences for Britain and Europe.
During the swearing in ceremony, Macron laid out the goals of his presidency in a speech that signalled his readiness to move forward with reforming the European Union.
“We need a more efficient, more democratic, more political Europe, because it is the instrument of our strength and our sovereignty,” Macron said, adding that he wanted to help the French people regain their self-confidence.
Macron’s presidency represents a break with traditional politics in France.
He ran independent of the country’s established parties – centre-left Socialists and the centre-right Les Republicains – and instead founded his own centrist political movement, En Marche! (Forward!).
France’s new leader takes over from Francois Hollande, whose record-low levels of support prevented him from seeking re-election.
Macron is seeking to kick-start the French economy and overcome the sense of political malaise gripping the country.
“It will be slow work, demanding but indispensable,” Macron said.
Hollande hosted Macron for a final private conversation at the Elysee Palace before his departure.
During Sunday’s palace ceremony, France’s armed forces greeted the new state chief with military honours and twenty-one cannon blasts. As president, Macron acts as the top commander of France’s armed forces and received the country’s nuclear codes.
Macron’s immediate challenge will be to secure a majority in next month’s parliamentary election for En Marche! (Onwards!), his political movement that is barely a year old, in order to implement his program