The outgoing president used his last European summit to desperately urge French voters to choose the Europhile candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the election.
Speaking in Brussels yesterday, Mr Hollande said: “Europe made progress thanks to France and Europe has allowed France to be stronger.”
Mr Hollande said that if Mrs Le Pen were to win “there might still be Europe, but it won’t have the strength it has today”.
He said: “One has to take the ballot paper, the Macron one, and consider it as the ballot that will prevent the country from the far right.
“The consequences would be high if France were to turn away from Europe. The choice of the French people is a choice for France but also for the European Union.”
Mr Hollande said that he knew French people well and they do not want to leave the bloc, they just want the EU to be reformed and be more protective.
He listed the importance of France in Europe, claiming the fact the country is a founding member of the EU, a member of the Schengen area and the Eurozone and the only country with nuclear weapons after the UK leaves are essential reasons the country needs to remain in the EU.
Mr Hollande made the comments on Saturday when the EU leaders held a meeting without Theresa May to discuss Britain’s divorce agreements at a special Brexit summit.
The French President said: “A country outside the EU is in a less favourable position than a country that is inside.”
At the same summit, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I would tell the French people to remain French. Let them not leave a great ambition, the construction of Europe, which was that of all their presidents.
“The time has not come to disintegrate what was so difficult to integrate.”
The outgoing President also said that he thought that Mr Macron would be a good partner for Germany as he will defence the interests of France, while also believing that Europe is about common…