The European vaccination fiasco has mushroomed into a larger danger for the EU project itself. Brussels acquired powers beyond its competence. Nothing before has exposed so clearly why the nation-state is the proper fulcrum of government.
This episode is less obviously threatening than the post-Lehman civil war between eurozone creditors and debtors, a clash of interests that has been papered over for the time being. But it may nevertheless be just as treacherous in different ways.
In a matter of three weeks we have seen the germination - excuse the pun - of a novel, broad-based, Teutonic Euroscepticism. The front pages of Die Welt, Der Spiegel, and much of the German press are a riot of allegations and indignation. The word Katastrophe is being thrown around liberally.
Bild Zeitung took direct aim at Chancellor Angela Merkel in its splash on Monday, accusing her of sacrificing German lives by overriding the vaccine policy of her own government. She handed over the programme to Brussels in order to play the good European as her swansong gesture.
The European Commission then mangled the job. It drifted through the summer. Under pressure from Paris it ordered 300 million doses of the 'French' vaccine from GSK-Sanofi in September, only to discover later that Sanofi's clinical trials had run into trouble. By then the EU vaccine fund was running low.
Several countries balked at Pfizer's hard-nosed demands - allegedly $50 (£36.80) a dose - for the 'German' BioNTech jab. No firm order was issued until mid-November, even though BioNTech had emerged as a front-runner months before. By then the EU had dropped down the pecking order. "Instead of mass delivery, the vaccine is reaching us as a trickle," said Bild.
"Obviously, the European purchasing process was flawed," said Markus Söder, the Bavarian premier and the man that Germans would most like to see as the next Chancellor.
"It's hard to explain why people elsewhere are being vaccinated more quickly with an excellent vaccine developed in Germany. Time is crucial. If Israel, the US, or the UK are far ahead of us with jabs, they'll also gain economically."
Israel has vaccinated more than a million people with the German jab. So has the UK. The US has surpassed four million. Germany is moving fast by EU standards at 320,000 but is already hitting buffers, partly because some Länder are struggling with the logistics, but also because supplies are running out.
"I don't see where the does are going to come from," said Prof Karl Lauterbach, the Social Democrats' science guru. Supply timetables are an impenetrable secret. Pfizer over-promises. But as far as we know, Germany will not receive more than token deliveries in January, and barely enough to make a decisive impact until late March.
What could change this is rapid approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab by EU regulators. They are taking their sweet time - with the usual pieties about "high EU standards" - and may not act before February.
This is indeed a Katastrophe. One should not pay too much attention to Twitter but I have never before seen such a vehement outpouring of anger and Verzweiflung with EU institutions on German social media.
A view is taking hold that the sooner Germany regains control of its core governing functions, the better. This new mood will collide at some point in 2021 with the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Lack of vaccines imply an extra quarter of lockdowns and eurozone recession. This pushes Club debt ratios further beyond the point of no return. It pushes the French ratio into the danger zone. It pushes more struggling firms over the brink. It raises the risk of permanent scarring.
It implies that German taxpayers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to beef up the European Recovery Fund. The current €390bn grant component, spread over five years and 27 countries, is not going to move the macroeconomic needle.
It implies too that the European Central Bank is going to have to cross red lines established in last May's menacing ruling by the German constitutional court. Ultimately, it brings forward the day when Germany has to decide whether it is willing to take another big step towards fiscal union and agree to transfers that dwarf reunification costs after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In France we are watching the parallel unravelling of the Europeanist Macron presidency. The leader who began this pandemic with the stirring words "we are at war" - repeated ever since - cannot explain why the French state had failed to vaccinate more that 352 people by the beginning of this week when Italy has done 129,000, Poland 51,000, or Denmark 47,000. The Balkans have done better.
"We are facing a state-scandal," said Jean Rottner, president of the Grand Est region and himself a critical care doctor. "It is harder to get vaccinated than it is to buy a car."
Indeed. The elderly must have a medical consultation five days before the jab. There must be a cooling off period after consent in case patients change their minds.
The precautionary principle has been pushed to absurdity, which raises suspicions in France that foot-dragging on the roll-out disguises something else: failure to secure the specialist freezers needed for the BioNTech vaccine. Something similar happened during the mask fiasco. Mr Macron's government said face masks were useless in the first wave last spring because it had failed to obtain enough of them.
The more forgiving reason is that Mr Macron has been cowed into caution by French anti-vaxxers: 58pc of the population in the latest Odoxa survey, up eight points form a month ago, albeit very soft poll data. If so, he is making matters worse. "It is a gigantic psychological error," said professor Axel Kahn, a geneticist and head of France's anti-cancer league.
Prof Kahn said roll-out pedantry beggars belief in a fast-moving emergency. "You have to face reality. I am afraid that within a few weeks we're going to have a knife to our throats, just like the English," he said.
Mr Macron has woken up to the political danger. He can hardly do otherwise. He issued a theatrical coup de colère over the weekend, insisting that he was as furious as everybody else over the delays. "We are ambling along at the rhythm of a family walk,"he told Journal du Dimanche.
"This is going to have to change fast and change for real, and it will," he said. Yet it is he who controls and micro-manages the most centralised state in Europe. It has been his policy all along.
The prevailing view of French elites is that this episode will be forgotten if Mr Macron gets a grip immediately. Perhaps, but this is not a question of media management. Vaccine immobilism and dose shortages until the spring condemn France to protracted a health and economic crisis as far out as April and probably May, by which time the battered British will be long over the hump and enjoying a V-shaped boomlet.
Mr Macron has no clear popular base. His ideology is protean, an uneasy triangulation between Gaullisme, green political correctness that is wearing thin, and reflexive Europeanism for its own sake. His claims to Jupiterian, technocrat authority suppose a minimum of governing competence.
Today he faces no challenger for the Élysée. The French Left is in disarray. Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement is full of anti-vaxxers and cannot take full advantage of this debacle. But little remains of his Wunderkind promise. His reform agenda has mostly run into the ground. He has never recovered from the gilet jaunes.
In the end, however, the virus may dispose of Mr Macron just as it disposed of Donald Trump. A credible candidate is likely to emerge on the centre-right who splits the Macronian vote in the first round of the next presidential election, opening the door to a truly radical upset in the French political landscape.
A month is a long time in politics. France has changed. Germany has changed. Europe has changed. "All changed, changed utterly", to borrow the words of WB Yeats.
- Telegraph Media Group