GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday 12 October to the European Union in a surprise move that reminds the EU of what it has achieved, at a time when there is heated debate over its current problems.
The prize was given, the Norwegian Nobel Committee says on its web site, to acknowledge that “The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
“In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality. The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.”
But the award is likely to be the latest in a series of controversial ones, reports the Financial Times on CNN, and “The EU award is also likely to provoke sharp debate in Norway where anti-EU feelings are running at an all-time high with a poll last year suggesting 72 per cent of Norwegians would say no to joining the 27-country club.”