Emmanuel Macron, the dynamic and charismatic French president, is already reckoned to be something of a maverick. He swept to power in the presidential elections under the 'En Marche!' banner, a party he set up in April 2016 to challenge the presidency. At just 39, he is France's youngest ever president. He has now seized the initiative in a European Union whose relations are fast becoming fractured after the Brexit results.

Macron's invitation to Trump

It is no secret that Macron does not see eye to eye with Trump's views on climate change and has goaded him publicly with challenges to "Make our planet great again".

For his part, Trump has retaliated by reminding Macron that he represents "Pittsburgh not Paris" as he pulled out of the international Paris climate change agreement. But, with the US president already in Europe for the G20 talks in Hamburg, Macron extended an unlikely hand of friendship to the US Commander-in-Chief.

The invitation has been quite brilliantly planned by Macron. Aware that our PM Theresa May is preoccupied with Brexit and her own political problems, and also that relations between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are notoriously frosty, Macron used the opportunity to invite Trump not only to celebrate Bastille Day but also to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the USA's intervention in World War 1.

Trump is to be the guest of honour for the celebrations, an offer, that, as Commander-in-Chief his hubris would never let him refuse.

What to expect

The two have met before and there was the expected tense handshake that Trump seems intent on with every leader he meets. This will be different though, Macron, for all his youth and relative political inexperience, will be seeking to build relations with a President who risks becoming isolated in Europe.

He sees this meeting as an opportunity to bridge the gap between both sides of the Atlantic.

The meetings are scheduled formally to discuss Syria and counter-terrorism but the real meaning should not be overlooked. Macron is trusted by the French people to approach the President in person and voice his concerns over matters close to his heart such as climate change, and it is for that reason it is predicted there will be few anti-Trump demonstrations during the visit.

Whatever the outcome, it is clear that Emmanuel Macron is a rising star on the political stage. Like Trump, he came from nowhere and swept to power, but unlike Trump, he has succeeded in injecting a mood of optimism into French politics after only months in charge and with this latest coup he has shown that he has all the guile and cunning that will see him enjoy a political life for many, many years to come.