EU leaders are struggling to agree who should get the new top jobs created by the Lisbon Treaty. There is a strong feeling that one, probably the President of the EU Council, should go to someone on the centre-right and that the other post, that of Foreign Affairs Chief, should go to someone centre-left.
But finding candidates large enough and impressive enough to fill these shoes and yet un-threatening enough not to steal the thunder of leaders like Merkel, Sarkozy and Brown is proving increasingly tricky. Every candidate so far put forward has major drawbacks for one state or another and agreement looks to be a long way off. If talks continue until Friday with no consensus, the decision will have to be postponed – and as everyone is fully aware – on the world stage, that would make the EU look feeble.