Allocating EU top jobs: the never-ending summit
Inside Politics: EU leaders gather again in Brussels to seek if they can agree a slate of appointments
The European flag lies on a chair during the preparation for the election of the speaker of Parliament at the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France. Photograph: EPA/PATRICK SEEGER
Brussels lore has it that back in the old days of EU summits - when the meetings dragged on and on, and agreement seemed impossible - the officials and functionaires would stop sending food into the room where the leaders were gathered.