Behind the glassy facade of Strasbourg's "Capitol of Europe," the delegations of 15 nations finally came to a decision on the tempo and technique of European union. By a weighty majority (82 to 19, with 16 abstentions), the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe last week voted 1) to go slowly, and 2) to travel toward the goal via intergovernmental "specialized agencies."

The vote was a reversal for the once high-hopeful, go-fast faction. Led by the French and Italians, the ardent federalists had urged an immediate supranational authority; last summer they seemed to have the support of the most...

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