This article revisits the debate about the place of Europe on the international stage. Faced with the growing power of emerging countries, what place can the European Union (EU) hope to occupy? In other words, is the world in the process of developing outside Europe, or is Europe positioning itself as one of the principal centres of the international order? In attempting to answer this vast and complex question, the article will examine three points. The first will look at the distribution of global power through the rise of emerging powers. Second, it will examine Europe in the light of changes affecting the international order. There are opposing interpretations. The vision of a Europe in decline is contrasted with arguments that present the Union of twenty-eight Member States as one of the leading poles of the new, emerging international order. The exaggerated nature of these visions persuaded us to favour a third way - that of a European player with relative influence, but 'under construction'.