WASHINGTON, May 155, 2017 ⏤ After a lengthy, two-round election cycle, Emmanuel Macron has been sworn in as President of France. President Macron takes the reigns of state from outgoing President Francois Hollande.
Macron called on the people of France to look to the future and to hold him to a high standard. He immediately went to work after the inauguration, visiting wounded soldiers at a hospital outside Paris. He will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday in Berlin. He named conservative Edouard Philippe, 46, as his prime minister. Philippe is a member of the center-right The Republicans political party.
Macron becomes the first French president who doesn’t come from one of the country’s two leading parties. He takes the helm of a country that is the only member of the European Union with a nuclear arsenal and with a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. He must now deal with his country’s high unemployment rate.
Macron is a former investment banker who hopes to loosen labor laws, rebuild the pension system and simplify unemployment benefits. He is a newcomer to politics and has recruited hundreds of left-wing candidates to run for office as a sign of turning away from the far-right politics represented by the candidate he defeated, Marine Le Pen. At the same time, his choice of Philippe as PM underlines his rejection of left-right politics.
Macron vowed he will do everything in his power to fight terrorism, authoritarianism and end the world’s migration crisis. He has also said climate change is one of his and France’s biggest challenge.
“We will take all our responsibilities to provide, every time it’s needed, a relevant response to big contemporary crises,” he said. Macron announced his determination to push ahead with plans to free up France’s economy and pledged to press for a “more efficient, more democratic” EU.
Americans have been fascinated with Macron’s youth and his marriage to Brigitte, who is 24 years older than he is. He takes over a country that has been shaken by terrorism and that must contend with the ongoing threat of ISIS and Islamic extremists. Many doubt his ability to protect France, but the French people remain hopeful of a bright future.