The leaders of the EU countries have signed something called the Lisbon Treaty. It's an unreadable document, rejigged from the draft constitution so humiliatingly rejected by French and Dutch voters two years ago. Containing the same key elements as the rejected constitution, it creates the EU as a sovereign state, and claims for the EU Commission (the nominated body which rules the EU) a scary range of powers - including the ability to claim any new powers it wishes.
This time round Dutch and French voters will not be asked to vote. Nor are referenda planned anywhere else aside from Ireland. Another humiliation would be too painful for Europe's self-appointed leaders. So apart from in Ireland, the constitution will be ratified by national parliaments. It will then come into force on January 1st 2009. That will set the seal on a quiet, almost invisible revolution in the way European citizens are ruled - replacing the more-or-less democratic system of "elective national oligarchy" with one of "unelected supranational oligarchy."
What's happened isn't remotely recognisable as representative democracy. The fact that the EU's leaders seem likely to get away with it, for now, shows how disconnected from its citizens European democracy - or the political system that masquerades under its name - has become.
The Curse of Von Esens, which has lain dormant for some time, is therefore called down on the wretched document and its creators.
The saddest thing is that the new anti-democratic system is programmed to self-destruct. Hopefully this falling-apart will happen soon and bloodlessly. Given current apathy, however, the problems are likely to lie dormant for a while before coming to a head.