A former investment banker with limited political experience — this was how many described Emmanuel Macron at the start of his bid to become the next president of France.
But a year after his election victory, Macron has become a symbol for much needed change.
"In contrast to his predecessor Francois Hollande, who struggled to be seen as an equal partner with (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel, Mr Macron has rebalanced the Franco-German partnership," Emily Mansfield, France analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told CNBC via email.
"He hosted Vladimir Putin at Versailles, taking an assertive line that went down well with the public; and has built a relationship with Donald Trump that has made him the go-to spokesperson for Europe in the U.S.," she added.
Macron has been positioning himself close to Trump, without supporting his policies. He invited the U.S. president to the celebrations of France's national day last year, the first for Macron as president. More recently, Macron visited the U.S. in late April where several handshakes and hugs caught the attention of the global media.