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Reporters sleep at their desks in marathon Brussels summit to pick new EU leaders

Lights out: Exhausted newsman in sleep mask dozes at his post PICTURES: ISOPIX/REX

EVEN the most enthusiastic reporter can find Brussels talks a bit, well, tiresome.

But after an all-night session involving 16 hours of bilateral discussions, group gatherings and even breakfast meetings, these lot clearly needed a break.

Here is the snooze: A journalist texts as others grab 40 winks

Yesterday, though, European Union leaders finally appeared to be homing in on three candidates to take over key posts at the helm of the bloc for the next five years.

Former Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans was favourite to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the next European Commission president.

Dream job: Reporter makes a bed out of three chairs after talks went on all night

Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva, from the centre-right European People’s Party, looked likely to follow Donald Tusk as head of the European Council. And it was between Belgian prime minister Charles Michel and current EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, from Denmark, for the post of foreign policy chief — essentially the EU’s top diplomat.

Sleeping forecast: A reporter rests his head

The aim is to fill the posts respecting political affiliations, geography, population size and gender. Mr Tusk wants nominations to be wrapped up soon, seeking to prevent further erosion of public confidence in the EU amid uncertainty over Brexit on October 31, ironically the same day Mr Juncker steps down.

The leaders are due to reconvene for formal talks today when they are expected to confirm who will get the top jobs.