Corporate finance literature is rich in both theoretical discussion and empirical research concerning financing and the capital structure determinants. However, despite many studies conducted in this field, the impact of certain capital structure determinants is still unclear and the empirical evidence remains inconclusive. This article provides insights into the financing strategies in the European Union perspective from the point of view of two key factors affecting capital structure. One of them is an external factor, namely the industry where a company operates, whereas the other one is an internal factor, i.e. the firm size. The theoretical part of the paper contains a literature review reflecting the impact of the selected factors on capital structure. The empirical analysis covers corporate financing strategies characterised by 7 financial ratios in 3 size groups of firms across 13 industries in 9 EU countries during the period 2000–2010. The objects treated as countries, industries and industries in countries are categorised into three strategic groups (aggressive, neutral and conservative) according to the linear ranking method based on the aggregated taxonomic measure.