The make-or-break EU summit has ended with Nicolas Sarkozy seen as a winner, after all member states but one agreed to more economic integration around the eurozone.
David Cameron is defiant in his isolation, insisting that blocking EU treaty changes was best for Britain.
Angela Merkel meanwhile succeeded in ensuring that a new treaty for the other 26 will impose German-style budget discipline.
And Mario Draghi, the new head of the European Central Bank, has been praised for shaping the emerging fiscal pact behind the scenes.
He is said to have resisted pressure at the summit to intervene massively to bail out troubled states, fearing that would weaken their resolve to carry out painful reforms.
Leaders are congratulating themselves: the European Council president Herman Van Rompuy said that in future there would be more fiscal discipline, automatic sanctions, and stricter surveillance.
But some observers point out the summit’s overriding aim was to save the euro now – and they are asking whether enough has been done to tackle sovereign debt problems, boost growth, and to avoid a catastrophic currency collapse.