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With arguments raging in Brussels over who gets what out of the Lisbon treaty, the EU’s biggest beasts are showing how flexible they can be when power and profile is at stake. Take José Manuel Barroso, the European commission president and a man who is usually criticised in Brussels for doing the bidding of the EU’s big member states. Barroso’s vision of European construction, such as it is, has been built on the idea of inter-governmentalism—that is, the practice of checking any plan with the larger EU nations and adapting it accordingly before pushing it. Meanwhile, Herman van Rompuy, the…

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