BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union is bristling over its recent diplomatic downgrade by the United States, which was down without its knowledge, and with no official annoiuncement being made.
The slight was only picked up when Irishman David O'Sullivan, the current EU ambassador to Washington, was being left off invitation lists for official functions.
It was then noted with the recent death of former President George H.W. Bush, that Ambassador O'Sullivan was invited to the funeral only after ambassadors of similar or lower ranking.
The European Union has always enjoyed the status of a country, whereas it was downgraded seemingly around November, to that of an international organisation.
Diplomatic protocol is important, and EU officials see the downgrade, which was reversed last month, as a snub.
The U.S. state department has not responded to questions from the media over the issue, due to the current partial government shutdown.
The EU has sought an explanation for the downgrade, EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic confirmed on Tuesday.