When we deal with the European Community/European Union, we deal with an actor whose main competences today still largely deal with the economic dimension of external action. European Political Cooperation was only created in the early 1970s and was a very weak intergovernmental instrument. It was only with the Maastricht Treaty that the EU fully institutionalised what we now know as the Common Foreign and Security Policy. It is therfore inevitable that the following analysis, which covers political ans strategic issues as welle as economic ones, will have to include the foreign policies of the EC/EU member states, especially the leading states. Nevertheless, the topic remains a vast one. Indeed, if a student of mine wanted to write a dissertation on this topic I would be temped to suggest jokingly, that he or she might as well try to cover the history of manking from the creation till today. So this contribution will not be an exhaustive and detailed analysis based on first hand archival sources. Rather, it offers a broad and sometimes impressionistic portrait of half a century of transatlantic relations, and sketches out some tentative interpretations.