Holland gave his first speech since being elected French president from the quiet, rural town of Tulle in Corrèze.
He goes from being the head of the regional council there to being France’s first socialist president in 17 years.
“Many of us have been waiting for this moment for many years. Some younger people among us have never known it.
“Some have had so many disappointments, so many cruel memories.
“I am proud to have been able to restore hope.
“The first duty of the President of France is to bring together the people and address the challenges that lie ahead. And there are many, and they are difficult.
“We have to reduce our debt and control our deficits.
“We have to ensure everyone has the same access to public services. Equality for all our territories, I’m thinking in particular of our inner cities and rural areas.
“Education is our priority, I am committed to the schools of the Republic.
“(There are) environmental requirements, the ecological changes that we must make.
“Putting Europe on a new path towards employment, growth, the future.
“And when the result was declared, I am sure that in many other European countries it was met with relief, and hope. The idea, at last, that austerity is not inevitable, and that is now my mission: to give a European vision of growth, employment, prosperity in one word, our future.
“And that’s what I will say as soon as possible to our European partners, starting with Germany.
“Long live the Republic and long live France.”
Hollande will be in his new post by May 15, the deadline for Sarkozy to hand over the keys to the Elysée Palace.