Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, has delayed by several hours the start of a special summit at which member states' leaders are supposed to strike an agreement on the European Union's long-term budget. The summit was scheduled to start at 3pm this afternoon (7 February).
The start was first delayed to 5.30pm, then to 6.30pm and now to 8.30pm.
Most member states' leaders have arrived in the Council's Justus Lipsius building and are holding preparatory bilateral talks.
Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, has so far held talks with David Cameron, the UK prime minister, and François Hollande, the president of France, according to her spokesperson.
Cameron is leading a campaign to slash the current proposal for the multi-annual financial framework, while resistance is led by Hollande.