In his televised New Year’s speech, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to push through economic and political changes in France. This was his first year-end address following his election victory in May.

The 40-year-old PM stressed he would take on controversial issues, such as his country’s new immigration law.

“I will ensure all voices, including contrary ones, are heard. But all the same, I will not stop acting,” Macron said, seated at a marble table in his office at the Elysee Palace.

“We need to recover a European ambition to be a more sovereign, more united, more democratic Europe,” Macron said. “I need for us, together, not to give way on anything, neither to nationalists nor to the sceptics.”

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Macron’s popularity ratings have recently recovered from a slump as he tries to carve out an international profile and starts delivering on campaign pledges.

But his next steps also carry risks as he seeks changes that could spawn more of a popular backlash than he has previously faced, including a proposed overhaul of unemployment benefits which aims to tighten conditions for these subsidies, reported Reuters.