Europe

France' s economy minister launches his political movement

FILE - In this March 14, 2016 file photo, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference, in Paris. France's popular,  pro-business and outspoken economy minister has launched Wednesday April 6, 2016 his own political movement to promote “fresh ideas”,  one year ahead of the country’s next presidential election. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

FILE - In this March 14, 2016 file photo, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference, in Paris. France's popular, pro-business and outspoken economy minister has launched Wednesday April 6, 2016 his own political movement to promote “fresh ideas”, one year ahead of the country’s next presidential election. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

France's popular economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, has launched his own political movement to promote "fresh ideas" ahead of next year's presidential election.

Macron, a member of Socialist president Francois Hollande's government but not of the French Socialist party, formally launched his movement En Marche! (In Motion) Wednesday night in the northern city of Amiens.

The pro-business and outspoken minister says it is not his priority to be a candidate to the 2017 presidential election. He says the movement is "neither right nor left wing," and aims at promoting "economic, social and political freedom."

Pierre Gattaz, the president of the main employers' lobby, on Thursday told France Inter radio that the movement is "refreshing, it helps avoiding playing politics".