The current shifts in the post-Cold War international order are bringing the attention to notions of great power competition, demonstrating once again the geopolitical significance of Europe and Asia for global politics. This article applies concepts from the classical geopolitical thinking of Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman as an ‘optic tool’ for analysing current global events and for considering the European Union’s (EU’s) strategic direction in light of the interests of the United States, Russia, and China in Europe’s wider region. With the American post-Cold War global preponderance steadily waning and the rising challenges from the east in the face of Russia and China, the EU finds itself in a position that requires the redefinition of its geopolitical identity and strategic pursuit of its own interests. A look through the classical geopolitical concepts of the Heartland and the Rimland reveals that the EU is an extraordinary player in geopolitics as it has the potential to determine (1) access to the Eurasian Heartland via its influence over Eastern Europe and (2) control of the maritime Rimland by virtue of its geography, alliances, and its potential participation in Beijing’s New Silk Road initiative. These findings are discussed by considering the EU’s potential foreign policy directions vis-à-vis the US, Russia, and China.