U.S. - EU trade pact key to rebuilding trans-Atlantic ties
This week the U.S. president will visit Brussels for the first time. Quite why he has left it to his second term to make the trip baffles many in the EU's halls of power.
And there's no denying it paints a decidedly underwhelming picture of today's trans-Atlantic relationship at a time when Russia's aggression in the east requires it to be strong.
Born from the ashes of the second world war, Europe's alliance with the United States has been a major force for global peace and prosperity, conquering cold wars and fighting for common values.
Yet amid allegations of America spying on its friends and Europe's ensuing grudge, it's time to redefine those ties so that both parties can move on to the next stage.
Like a marriage in which the kids have long flown the nest, the EU and the U.S. have drifted apart.
Europe's countries have crept closer together, pooling their commercial might into one free trade and legislative bloc, just as Washington has entered a new isolationist era.
Mistrust has crept in.
By Nina dos Santos, a CNN news anchor and correspondent based in London. Follow Nina on Twitter for the latest updates on business.