Auteur: | By Honor Mahony
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU leaders broke off their meeting in the early hours of Friday morning without agreement on who should be the next Commission president.
After several hours of discussion, including bilateral meetings with Irish prime minister and current head of the EU Bertie Ahern, it was decided to adjourn the meeting to later on Friday.
Commenting on the evening's discussions, Mr Ahern said the position, currently held by Romano Prodi, is a "major post" and an "enormously important position".
"I have eight or nine names - none of them could command sufficient qualified majority voting".
Mr Ahern denied that the exchanges had been heated saying that discussion were neither "bitter or acrimonious".
Diplomats said that member states were asked to choose between UK Commissioner Chris Patten and Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt.
They were also allowed to name another candidate they favoured - which made the list much longer.
If leaders do not agree on the issue on Friday, an extra summit may be called on the issue. However, it must take place before 20 July when the new European Parliament has its first plenary session and decides whether to accept the Commission candidate.