The Nice Treaty, which is now the most recent and therefore defining instrument of the conglomeration of once free nation states we know as the EU, sets in stone the schizophrenic mindset of Europe's then political leadership. The Nice Treaty and therefore the existing EU is lumbered with a fudge over the dilemma of the unified Germany's considerably larger population of 82 million versus the next largest nation states all with under 60 million people.
After the Nice IGC, Germany's weighted vote in the European Council, remained at 29 (identical with that of France, Britain and Italy) with provision for an apparently ineffective and fudged double majority mechanism while the extra number of German voters was rewarded with extra seats in the severely neutered European Parliament. As was later pointed out on Ironies this compromise did little to overcome the fact that as the EU's most populace member state the voter in Germany has far more power to determine the future course of the EU than any others - this remained particularly true given the power of the Franco/German axis operating under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
Now that the German electorate has effectively dished democratic responsibility for effective government in their own country, the inbuilt safeguards of their constitution acting as intended to forestall strong leadership, has the one remotely democratic pillar of the EU - the EU Council- not also been rendered inoperative for the duration of the German leadership crisis?
I believe that the answer to the above question must be yes and that the EU cannot now function while its largest member state remains effectively leaderless. Even were a grand coaltion to be formed in Germany, the early calling of its general election, the constitutional question marks this action raised and the end result seems certain to deliver nothing but uncertainty for the EU for the next year or two.
Should not the present President of the European Council, Tony Blair, be NOW proposing a strategy or offering some thoughts on the best way forward for the viscous coagulation of once independent nations known as the EU?