“I will use the energy that remains mine to work for my country,” he said on Tuesday on France Info radio, still surrounded by the agreement on post-Brexit relations between the United Kingdom and the Twenty-Seven.
“I’ll see where I can be of help,” he added, dodging any questions about possible presidential ambitions in 2022, and simply saying “patriot and European”.
“My only concern is to be useful to my country which needs more unity, solidarity, justice and respect too”, he insisted.
“I want to find the French,” continued the one who was twice European Commissioner (for Regional Policy and the Internal Market) and since 2016 led the Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU.
Emmanuel Macron himself said he wanted to rely on the French “patriots and European” to reconcile, through “action”, a country undermined by divisions.
Michel Barnier however ruled out joining the presidential majority, which intends to transcend the left-right divide, stressing on the contrary wanting to help his party, The Republicans (right, opposition), to find its marks.
“I will try to add my stone, in my political family which also needs to be rebuilt, to the French political debate,” he said. “It is not necessarily an individual and personal approach,” he noted, evasive.
The former minister (Environment, Agriculture, European Affairs and Foreign Affairs) and former member of Savoy (center-east) had already excluded Monday in an interview with the daily Le Figaro from leading the battle in his region of origin, Auvergne -Rhône-Alpes, under the Macronist colors.
“Those who imagined that I could change lines or parties do not really know me”, he had then launched.
Michel Barnier had supported Bruno Le Maire, now Minister of the Economy of Emmanuel Macron, during the French primary of the right and the center of 2016.
He also brushed off any reference to his age – he’s 69, President Macron 43. “It’s not a question of ‘age,” he said.
“There are people who have white hair who have new ideas, and then very young people who have old ideas,” he said, concisely.