What does Macron's win mean for Brexit and the EU?

He believes the EU must show the UK that it cannot "decide to leave without any consequences"

What does Macron's win mean for Brexit and the EU?

Thibault Camus/AP/PA photowire service

EU leaders breathed a sigh of relief as Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, pro-EU politician, was elected president of France yesterday.

Mr Macron defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen, who had vowed to take France out of the euro and threatened to pull it out of the EU.

Closer Union

The politician sparked some controversy last night when he walked out to give his victory speech to the EU anthem 'Ode to Joy' - rather than the traditional 'La Marseillaise.'

"I'll defend France, I'll defend Europe, and will strengthen links between Europe and its people," he told the crowd gathered outside the Louvre in central Paris.

Mr Macron is a champion of greater EU integration in areas including fiscal policy and environmental planning.

His fondness for Europe's ideals has led him to adopt combative stances when it comes to the UK's Brexit talks.

"We have to preserve the rest of the European Union and not to convey the message that you can decide to leave without any consequences," he said in February.

"That will be too big an incentive for others to leave and kill the European idea, which is based on shared responsibilities, " he added, commenting on the UK's decision to go.

Relative power

While the French president wants to work with Germany and to breath new life into the currently lopsided relationship between the two, he has said that he believes France's economy needs to start to improve if Germany is going to take France seriously.

Angela Merkel publically endorsed the Frenchman ahead of yesterday's vote.

Since the 2007 economic crisis, France has had a particularly sluggish recovery which has seen a serious gap emerge between it and Germany.

While the pair have been seen as the traditional economic powerhouses at the heart of the Eurozone, France has been losing ground. The country's unemployment rate in France remains close to 10%, compared to less than 4% in Germany.

Domestic matters

Mr Macron plans to reform the French economy by imposing public spending cuts of €60bn in the next five years, paired with a simultaneous €50bn stimulus package.

120,000 civil service jobs are expected to go under Macron and he plans to cut business and household's tax liabilities by €20bn.

One major cut he is planning is to bring France's corporation tax down from 33% to 25% - which is closer to the EU's average rate.

He will also extend unemployment benefits to cover entrepreneurs and people who are self-employed.

The new president will not attack France's 35 hour week directly - but he is in favour of bringing in new rules which would allow companies to make their own arrangements with their workers to operate outside of the current rigid rules.