In France, Emmanuel Macron of the liberal centre party La République en Marche (LREM) defeated his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen of the nationalist Rassemblement National (RN) with 58.2% of the votes.
The first results, which were announced at 20:00, showed that the outgoing president can therefore begin his second five-year term of office: he defeated Le Pen with 58.2% of the vote, against 41.8%.
“I am so proud to be allowed to serve you again,” said Macron on Sunday evening during his victory speech, which he started by thanking everyone who voted for him, as “the majority of the French people” put their trust in him again, after many crises.
However, he realised that he does not only have to thank those who voted for him for his ideas, but also those who voted against the far right. “I want to thank them too. I am grateful for their sense of duty,” he said.
Still, Macron also acknowledged that “many” French people voted for Le Pen. “I am the president of everybody. I have to answer their anger, that is my responsibility and that of those around me.”
His policy is “humanist, republican, social, ecological and European, with an eye to employment and enterprise,” Macron said, adding that he wants a “just society, where men and women are equal.”
“Our country also has many doubts, there are divisions,” he said, acknowledging the challenges ahead for France. “We must remain vigilant and respectful.”
While wiping away tears, he promised that he would not leave anyone by the wayside. “I am so proud to serve you again. Vive la République et vive la France.”
Congratulations from European leaders
In the meantime, several European leaders – including Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo – were quick to congratulate Macron on his victory via Twitter.
“The French have made an important choice today. They chose security and the values of the Enlightenment,” De Croo said. “I warmly congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his re-election. Let us work together for a strong and united Europe.”
De Fransen hebben vandaag een belangrijke keuze gemaakt. Ze kozen voor zekerheid en voor de waarden van de Verlichting.
— Alexander De Croo 🇧🇪🇪🇺 (@alexanderdecroo) April 24, 2022
European President Charles Michel is also happy that Macron has won, offering “warm congratulations” to the re-elected President. “In these troubled times, we need a strong Europe and a France fully committed to a more sovereign and strategic European Union. We can count on France for five more years.”
Chaleureux bravo cher @EmmanuelMacron
En cette période tourmentée, nous avons besoin d’une Europe solide et d’une France totalement engagée pour une Union européenne plus souveraine et plus stratégique.
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) April 24, 2022
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, too, offered congratulations on Macron’s re-election as President of the Republic. “I look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation. Together we will move France and Europe forward,” she added.
Cher @EmmanuelMacron, toutes mes félicitations pour votre réélection à la présidence de la République.
Je me réjouis de pouvoir continuer notre excellente coopération.
Ensemble, nous ferons avancer la France et l’Europe.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 24, 2022
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz also reacted to Macron’s victory with joy, as they both stated that they were happy to continue their close cooperation with France.