EU summit for top jobs dragging into midnight
BRUSSELS, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The European Union's special summit to decide on top positions for the bloc is still ongoing after midnight, with a collective meeting suspended to make way for bilateral consultations.
Preben Aamann, spokesperson of European Council President Donald Tusk, wrote on Twitter around 11 pm that Tusk "will now organise bilateral meetings with leaders," adding that the collective meeting "will resume once bilaterals completed."
In fact, the collective meeting already took place around 9:30 pm, three hours behind schedule, due to unexpected delay in earlier bilateral consultations.
Leaders of the EU's 28 member states started gathering on Sunday afternoon to deliberate on nominees for the president of the European Commission, the president of the European Council who chairs meetings of EU member state leaders, the speaker of the European Parliament, EU's foreign policy chief and the president of the European Central Bank.
A pre-summit deal to nominate Dutchman Frans Timmermans to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the president of the European Commission, reportedly hatched by Germany, France and Spain in Osaka, Japan during the G20 summit, ran into trouble following the public opposition from leaders of central and eastern European member states as they headed to Brussels.