Macron Promises 'New Method' As He's Sworn in for Historic Second Term

French President Emmanuel Macron has been sworn in for a second term, promising that this term would see a "new method" and not just a continuation of the past five years.

Macron delivered a surprisingly brief speech at a low-key ceremony at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Saturday as the country braces itself for crucial parliamentary elections.

The centrist leader became the first French president to win re-election in 20 years when he defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the second round of the country's presidential election on April 24.

Macron said on Saturday that his re-election entailed a "fundamental democratic renaissance" in France - a clear reference to his political party, which has been recently renamed Renaissance. It was previously called La République en Marche (Republic on the Move).

"From the return of war to Europe to the pandemic and the ecological emergency, rarely has our country been faced with such a combination of challenges," the president said.

"The French people have chosen a clear and explicit project for the future, a European project of independence, scientific, social and ecological progress," Macron said.

"It's at the most difficult times that France shows the best of itself. At this moment when the century is changing, we have to map out a path and show a way forward together," he said.

Macron said that France needed to have "the courage to look reality in the face. Let us be faithful to the values of freedom, equality, fraternity and secularism. Let us continue to love the Republic and all that it entails. Let us love our homeland."

The president said that this term he would adopt a "new method" over the next five years.

"I have one aim and that is to serve, to serve our country ... to serve my compatriots with a sense of duty ... to serve our children and youngsters," Macron said.

No French president had managed to win re-election since the late Jacques Chirac in 2002. Macron saw off Le Pen's challenge by winning 58.55 percent of the vote to her 41.45 percent - a gap of more than 17 points. However, Macron had beaten Le Pen by more than 30 points in the previous presidential election of 2017.

His first term does not officially expire until May 13 and he is already facing serious challenges. The French will go to the polls again next month in two-part parliamentary elections, and three left-wing parties have entered into an alliance under presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came in third place.

Macron's newly renamed party is hoping for a successful election as several centrist and center-right political factions have come to Macron's side under the slogan "Ensemble", meaning "Together."

The president has also been a leading figure in the European response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and his second term may allow him to play an even greater role.

Macron Delivers a Speech at His Swearing-In
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the investiture ceremony for a second term as president after his re-election at the Élysée Presidential palace on May 7, 2022 in Paris, France. Macron is the first French president to be re-elected in 20 years. Chesnot/Getty Images