A model state of 'Outer Europe' is Atlanticist, it is hawkish in connection with controversial Russian behaviour, and it is enthusiastic about EU widening but sceptical in relation to its deepening and ESDP. A model state of 'Inner Europe' is characterized by an opposite profile (the outer/inner distinction here replacing the famous, but ambiguous and normative 'old/new Europe' labels). By analysing state positioning in a series of key situations and issues it is shown that such a division dominated European geopolitics over 2002-08: for no less than 22 out of 27 states either the logic of inner or of outer Europe was followed. Thus while there was heterogenerity or even bifurcation between states in Europe, there was ultrastability in the positioning of each individual state: only two clear transitions from Inner to Outer Europe, or vice versa, took place among the 27 countries analysed (Spain in 2004 and Sweden in 2006). The inner/outer divide seems to have disappeared after 2008, chiefly due to the dramatic US power decline in the autumn of 2008 and its policy redirections dating from about the same time. At the end of the paper, the IR theoretical implications of the findings are briefly discussed.