Macron announced his bid in a letter published by several regional newspapers.
If he succeeds, he would be the first French leader for two decades to win a renewed term in office.
“We have not achieved everything we set out to do. There are choices that, with the experience I have gained from you, I would probably make differently,” Macron said in the letter.
Macron enters the presidential race just a month or so before the election’s first round on April 10. Opinion polls project that he is favorite to win a contest that sees multiple challengers on the right and left fragmenting the vote.
The Ukraine war has already upended the campaign, complicating Macron’s entry into the race and leaving two far-right contenders who have performed strongly in polls to explain their hitherto pro-Russia, pro-Putin stance.
With Macron at the forefront of European efforts to secure a ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to the conflict, a campaign with fewer rallies by the incumbent and an unusual focus on foreign policy lies ahead.