Michel Barnier, the European Union’s Brexit negotiator, has announced he will be a candidate in France’s presidential election.
The elections are set to take place in April 2022; Barnier will run in the right-wing Les Républicains primary.
“The times that are ahead of us are demanding and serious times and the world around us is a dangerous world,” Barnier said on French broadcast channel TF1.
While he acknowledged that there is “a lot of suffering, a lot of injustice, [and] a lot of division” in France, he said he was determined to be president of “a reconciled France”.
The 70-year-old politician is well known in Europe for having negotiated the EU’s Brexit divorce deal.
There has been speculation for months that he would run for president in France. In May, he published a book about Brexit negotiations.
Barnier has had a long career in European and French politics.
He served as France’s foreign affairs minister under President Jacques Chirac, as agriculture minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, and as environment minister under François Mitterand.