Michel Barnier, the former chief negotiator on Brexit for the European Union (EU), announced on Aug. 26 that he intends to run for the French presidential election.
In a live interview on TF1 television, Barnier said that he plans to run against current French President Emmanuel Macron as a candidate for the conservative Les Republicains party in the April 2022 elections.
“In these grave times, I have taken the decision and have the determination to stand… and be the president of a France that is reconciled, to respect the French and have France respected,” Barnier said, as translated by AFP News.
Barnier told the French evening news show that he wanted to “change the country.” He spoke of the need to “restore the authority of the state” and to “limit and have control over immigration.”
“The times that are ahead of us are demanding and serious times, and the world around us is a dangerous world,” Barnier said, according to a translation by Euronews.
According to the 70-year-old politician, his long career in French and European politics would give him an edge in the election.
As a veteran French politician, Barnier has been the foreign minister, the agriculture minister, and the environment minister of France under multiple administrations.
Barnier also served as a EU commissioner twice.
According to Politico, Barnier’s announcement came as expected as he had long planned to return to French politics. He told reporters weeks after the EU and the United Kingdom signed their trade pact that he would “go back to France” and “take back my place” in the Les Républicains party, of which he has been a member for over 55 years.
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