Mistakes in Easter holiday plans at EUHQ have left a 23 year old Estonian in charge of the entire European bloc.
Juhan Laar, from Tartu, has been working at the European Commission as an intern - or 'stagiaire' - since the beginning of March.
Poor planning and coordination by the human resources departments at all three decision-making institutions have left Juhan as the only EU official on duty for the next two weeks.
The gaffe only transpired this morning when the young economics graduate turned up for work to an empty building. Finding the coffee bar uncharacteristically barren, Juhan sent an email to email@example.com and received almost 17000 out-of-office replies.
Juhan insists he has the experience to run the EU, however.
"The last three or four weeks working on a green paper on minimum pelagic catch sizes in Kattegat and Skattegat has equipped me with the institutional knowledge to excell in a role such as this."
"I work very well as part of a team, but am equally capable of taking the initiative, having organised while at university a faculty trip to the Estonian parliament."
A B-grade bachelors in economics, he added, "makes me particularly suited to run the EU at this difficult time."
Laar is in Cambodia later today to discuss aid and trade ties and then is back in Brussels to put the finishing touches to an economic report on Portugal. He then meets Norway's energy minister to negotiate the EU's role in the Arctic Council and attend 'trilogue' talks with the European Parliament and Council on customs procedure convergence proposals.
As Laar is the only EU official still on duty, he'll be attending that trilogue meeting on behalf of all three institutions.
If the next ten days go well for Laar, he should be well placed when his internship is over to land a plumb job with one of the Brussels-based PR agencies cutting out articles from the FT for some tawdry trade association.