...for governments to jettison principal in the name of expediency.
In Greece and Italy, there has been strong criticism of the perceived arrogance of "Merkozy," as the Franco-German duumvirate are increasingly nicknamed, in summoning their prime ministers to receive ultimatums.
German and French officials shrug off such complaints as inevitable, noting that EU partners are even more unhappy when France and Germany do not agree, since that paralyses Europe.
"There is always a trade-off between legitimacy and efficacy," said an EU official involved in the Frankfurt Group. "The euro area institutions were not designed for crisis management so we need innovative solutions.
"In an emergency like this, we have to have a structure that works," he said, adding that the presence of the European Commission and of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy guaranteed that the interests of smaller member states would be taken into account.