Decisions made over the next three months will shape Europe’s future international role. On the one hand, the script which drives global policy-making is being re-written, shaped by response to the financial crisis, climate change, and global security challenges. On the other hand, the institutions of the European Union are on the brink of radical overhaul – whether or not the Irish referendum on 2 October allows the Lisbon Treaty to be ratified. By January, we will have new institutions, new leaders and the outline of a new script. Will we also be optimistic about Europe as a progressive force?