The European Union (EU) spreads its norms and extends its power in various parts of the world in a truly imperial fashion. This is because the EU tries to impose domestic constraints on other actors through various forms of economic and political domination or even formal annexations. This effort has proved most successful in the EU's immediate neighbourhood where the Union has enormous political and economic leverage and where there has been a strong and ever-growing convergence of norms and values. However, in the global arena where actors do not share European norms and the EU has limited power, the results are limited. Consequently, it is not only Europe's ethical agenda that is in limbo; some basic social preferences across the EU seem also to be unsustainable. Can Europe maintain, let alone enhance, its environmental, labour or food safety norms without forcing global competitors to embrace them? The challenge lies not only in enhancing Europe's global power, but also primarily in exporting rules and norms for which there is more demand among existing and emerging global players. This means that Europe should engage in a dialogue that will help it to establish commonly shared rules of morality and global governance. Only then can Europe's exercise of power be seen as legitimate. It also means that Europe should try to become a ‘model power’ rather than a ‘superpower’, to use David Miliband's expression. The latter approach would imply the creation of a strong European centre able to impose economic pains on uncooperative actors. The former would imply showing other actors that European norms can also work for them and providing economic incentives for adopting these norms. To be successful in today's world, Europe needs to export its governance to other countries, but it can do it in a modest and novel way that will not provoke accusations of ‘regulatory imperialism’.