With EU Parliament elections in the rear-view mirror, leaders are turning to their next task: appointing close allies and fellow travelers to the heights of the Brussels bureaucracy. The positions up for grabs include EU Commission president, European Council president, and new heads of the central bank and the foreign affairs council.

Past years have involved intense behind-the-scenes horse trading between major EU governments to get their candidates into office and, if the early breach between France and Germany over Manfred Weber is any indication – this year will be no different.