By Peter Spiegel in Brussels and Quentin Peel in Berlin
May 15 2012
For more than 20 years, Jean-Claude Piris was one of the most powerful men in Brussels, a top EU lawyer who almost single-handedly authored the series of international treaties that took a loosely affiliated community of 12 to a quasi-political union of 27, complete with its own currency.
So when Mr Piris retired last year and published a book arguing the EU had grown too large too quickly, it set off a firestorm among the eurocracy. “To blame us for the imprudent lending within the eurozone, we just find that offensive nonsense,” said a senior minister from a newer, central European member state.
But Mr Piris’ theory that the EU should develop ...