The European Community is easier to understand as a deal between Germany and France to give each what it wants: Germany gets to run Europe and France gets to act important and have its agriculture subsidized. It's much better to do this by treaty than to have another round of the terrible wars of 1870, 1914 and 1939.
But according to Romano Prodi, speaking in February this year, this wasn't originally the case. “It used to be that France was the political driver and Germany the economic one. Now it is the lady [Merkel] that decides and Sarkozy that holds a press conference to explain her decisions."