In Europe, public research, technology and innovation policies are no longer exclusively in the hands of national authorities: increasingly, national initiatives are supplemented by, or even competing with, regional innovation policies or transnational programmes, in particular the activities of the European Union. At the same time, industrial innovation increasingly occurs within international networks. Are we witnessing a change of governance in European innovation policy? Based on some theoretical assumptions concerning the relationship between the “political systems” and “innovation systems” in Europe, the paper speculates about the future governance of innovation policies, trying to pave ways for empirical analyses. It sketches three scenarios stretching from (1) the idea of an increasingly centralised and dominating European innovation policy arena to (2) the opposite, i.e., a progressive decentralisation and open competition between partly strengthened, partly weakened national or regional innovation systems and finally to (3) the vision of a centrally “mediated” mixture of competition and cooperation between diverse regional innovation cultures and a related governance structure.