Will downgrade prompt EU to come out of US shadows?
European Union officials and politicians have been outraged since learning the US State Department quietly downgraded the EU’s status from a state to an international organization at least six weeks ago.
It all happened when EU Ambassador to the US David O’Sullivan, usually among the first 30 foreign envoys to be seated, watched as he was among the last to be called at the funeral of former US president George H.W. Bush in early December.
Brussels feels “big brother” has humiliated, even betrayed it. While some EU politicians are appealing Washington to resolve the issue, the current episode is just a bitter reminder that disagreements between the two transatlantic allies are many and growing fast.
The EU has opposed many major actions taken by the United States administration in the last two years. These include the US withdrawal from the landmark Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, and its decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, as well as its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.