This evening’s victory for Francois Hollande is a very welcome boost for all who believe that the EU must take a more active role in supporting a return to growth and job creation.

Francois Hollande is a constructive pro-EU politician who has spoken very well about the failures of Europe’s leaders to be ambitious enough in tackling the economic crisis.  His election as leader of France follows a series of developments in recent weeks marking a decisive shift towards a new growth and investment agenda for the Union.

He has recognised at all times that Europe needs strong budget controls in order to restore investor confidence and reduce interest rates – what he has demanded is for extra measures to be adopted and this is a demand which Ireland must strongly support.