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Macron, sworn in as French president, pledges to reform EU

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PARIS — Emmanuel Macron, who became the youngest president in French history when he was sworn in Sunday, promised in his inaugural address to reform 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. “That is what I will work on.”

Macron is expected to emphasize his support not only for the EU, but also for a strong alliance with Germany when he goes to Berlin on Monday for a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 39-year-old former economy minister will also name his choice for prime minister Monday, sources close to Macron said.

Macron has given no indication whom he might appoint as prime minister, but French media have floated several potential candidates, among them Edouard Philippe, the conservative mayor of Le Havre on France’s northern coast.

But parliamentary elections next month could derail Macron’s choice, as the president will effectively be obliged to name a prime minister from the ranks of any party that wins a majority.

Macron took over from Francois Hollande, whose record-low levels of support prevented him from seeking re-election.

France has suffered for years from high unemployment and has been the target of several terrorist attacks.

Macron is seeking to improve the French economy and overcome the sense of political malaise in the country.

“It will be slow work, demanding but indispensable,” Macron said.

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