By Joshua Chaffin and Quentin Peel in Brussels
This article was first published on February 8 2013
If there was a moment when the shape of the EU’s next long-term budget began to reveal itself through a haze of spreadsheets and obscure jargon, it may have been Thursday afternoon about 4pm.
That was when a group of the summit’s most influential figures huddled in the private office of Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, waiting on another invitee.
David Cameron, the UK prime minister, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, were all there. But for more than an hour, François Hollande, the French president, refused to show up in spite ...