President Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated for a second term on Saturday, vowing to act first to avoid any further escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine before focusing on promoting France and Europe. Europe on the world stage.
Macron was re-elected five years ago on April 24 in a run-off that saw him defeat far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
“The time ahead will be resolute action for France and Europe,” Macron said. He promised to “take first action to avoid any escalation following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”
Macron vowed to “act without stopping with one goal, to be a more independent nation, to live better, and to build on our French and European responses to the challenges of the century.” “
Macron also promised to find a “just way” to run the country and defuse social tensions by getting the government and parliament to work with unions, associations and others from the political world. political, economic, social and cultural.
For a president who can comfortably speak for hours on end, Macron’s speech was surprisingly short – and handwritten. But after that, he took the time to shake hands, exchange kisses on the cheek and chat privately with many guests.
While he presided over strict lockdowns and mandated coronavirus vaccinations as the pandemic swept through France, most restrictions have now been lifted and there was no sign of masks or social distancing at the ceremony. take office.
The event seems unusually child-friendly for French presidential ceremonies, with some dignitaries bringing their children – and at least two in baby carriages. Macron, 44, has no children of his own but has children and grandchildren, some of whom have been there.
About 500 guests were invited to attend the ceremony. They come mainly from the political world, although they also include actors, healthcare workers, military officers and former Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. Most of those receiving invitations to the event were white men in suits, despite the growing push for diversity in French politics.
Upon reaching the reception hall of the Elysee Palace, Macron winked at his wife, Brigitte Macron.
The President of the Constituent Assembly read out the election results and Macron was presented with the necklace of the Grand Master of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor, before giving a speech.
He then went to the gardens of the Elysee palace and listened to the 21 cannons fired from the square of Invalides to mark the event, in keeping with tradition.
Macron also reviewed the military. Soldiers present at the ceremony included part of the crew of the Monge, the second largest ship in the French navy, key to France’s nuclear deterrent. It was specifically used for the tests of the French submarine-launched M51 missile.
This symbolism can be seen as a show of force at times when France is deeply involved in efforts to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine, including sending truck-mounted cannons and other types of ammunition. other heavy weapons.
Macron’s second term will officially begin on May 14.
Angela Charlton contributed to this story.