Folklore, and a good deal of the historical evidence, has it that the bane of the German armies in the first half of the 20th century was the desperate, and ultimately insurmountable, problem of fighting their wars on two fronts at the same time.
The Brussels elite seems oblivious to the present, never mind the past. But even the myopic Eurocrats must be starting to panic at the emerging political geography of contemporary Europe.
They are beset by problems on four flanks.
To the north, Norway continues to flourish as a successful European country that won’t even join the EU.
Its treaty arrangements mean it is probably fair to say it has a kind of half in half out status. Nonethless, it stands as the proverbial threat of a good example to the deep integrationists in Brussels, showing you can do very well thank you by rejecting membership, avoiding the euro, and managing most of your affairs on your own.
Sweden and Denmark are members, but they are awkward customers from Brussels’ point of view, and have also rejected the euro — a slap in the face for the vision of Europe pushed by the likes of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and his fierce sidekick Martin Selmayr.