and they know it.
For three decades - from Rome to the Single European Act in 1986 - there were no treaties. Then the pace quickened: Maastricht, Amsterdam, and before the ink had dried on Nice, the ideologues hatched the Constitution.
This was the final throw of the Monnet Project: an attempt to lock in the framework of a proto-state, crowned by a supreme court with overweening jurisdiction, before the ex-captive nations of eastern Europe joined and rendered such ambitions impossible. The deadline slipped.
The failure of this gambit became clear this weekend when the Czechs and Poles refused to mug Ireland; or put another way, when they insisted on upholding the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, unlike our own craven government.
"The treaty is dead," said Czech president Vaclav Havel. "To pretend something else is undignified - if we live in a world where one plus one equals two."
It is fitting that the central Europeans should emerge as the champions of due process. Their own memories of Soviet methods are fresh.
Read it all, it's interesting. Especially the reactions of those who really wanted an EU state with control over everything and everyone. Oh, and President Havel? I don't think their 'dignity' in the way you mean it is much on the minds of the EUnuchs: it's their dignity of a shiny shoe(boots are so overdone, don't you think?) on your neck they're concerned with.