Trump admin downgraded EU diplomatic status without notification: reports

The Trump administration reportedly did not notify the European Union that it was downgrading its ambassador’s diplomatic status in the U.S.

The BBC reports that the EU is asking the U.S. to explain the move that it recently discovered without receiving any advance notice of the decision.

{mosads}”We understand that there was a recent change in the way the diplomatic precedence list is implemented by the United States’ Protocol,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijančič told the BBC. “We are discussing with the relevant services in the administration possible implications for the EU delegation in Washington. We were not notified of any change. We expect the diplomatic practice established some years ago to be observed.”

The move may have been reversed already after it drew dismay from the EU delegation and Ambassador David O’Sullivan, according to The New York Times.

The demotion took the EU from a member state, which it had been recognized as for years, to an international organization, which the U.S. ranks lower than it does countries.

The move by the Trump administration was discovered when O’Sullivan was not called in the expected order for invitations to former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral last month.

Diplomatic protocols call for diplomats and ambassadors to be called in order from longest-serving to newest, but O’Sullivan was the last person called, according to the Times.

O’Sullivan has served as ambassador since 2014, which would make him one of the first 30 or so ambassadors to receive a call out of more than 150.

President Trump has had a tumultuous relationship with the EU, calling it a “foe” in July and repeatedly threatening and implementing tariffs.

The EU responded to tariffs placed on steel and aluminum imports by placing tariffs on several American products, such as motorcycles and blue jeans.

The two sides later agreed to begin working toward a deal to remove tariffs and avoid a trade war.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Tags Ambassadors Donald Trump European Union

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