I’m sure you are all as staggered and as hilariously entertained as I am by the gob-smacking news that the EU is this year’s recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. I know that the Nobel committee is highly politicised, and that many of the peace prize recipients have been highly controversial (to put it mildly) but I think that this one takes the cake. It’s even funnier than President Obama receiving the prize for work that he had yet to do (and that he seems not to have accomplished).
The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its historic role in uniting the continent in an award meant as a morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis.
The EU has been a key in transforming Europe “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace,” Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo.
“This is a message to Europe to do everything they can to secure what they’ve achieved and move forward,” Jagland said, saying it was a reminder of what would be lost “if the union is allowed to collapse.”
He praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War II and for its role in spreading stability after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10. The decision by the five-member panel, led by Jagland, who is also secretary-general of the Council of Europe, was unanimous.
So, no conflict of interest there.
The EU won from a field of 231 candidates including Russian dissidents and religious leaders working for Muslim-Christian reconciliation.
Well of course! Surely a bureaucratic, barely-democratic institution, crumbling under its own weight, is much more deserving than people who merely risk their lives for such minor principles as freedom.
But the EU is mired in crisis with strains on the euro, the common currency shared by 17 nations. The prize was a surprise given the EU’s current woes.
Meanwhile, many Norwegians are bitterly opposed to the EU, seeing it as a threat to the sovereignty of nation states. “I find this absurd,” the leader of Norway’s anti-EU membership organization, Heming Olaussen, told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.
“In Latin America and other parts of the world they will view this quite differently than they will from Brussels. The union is a trade bloc that contributes to keeping many countries in poverty.”
An editorial in The Commentator also thinks that the EU’s Nobel Peace Prize is more farcical than Obama’s:
You’d be forgiven for thinking it was April 1st. It’s not. It’s just another one of those sad moments in the decline of Western civilisation.
Today, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to one of the least democratic institutions in the Western world: The European Union.
Mired in decades of waste and hypocrisy that impoverish the world (see the Common Agricultural Policy) it is a travesty to award the peace prize to the EU. The award, if one was going to be given to a supranational body, should have gone to NATO for saving millions of Libyans from a grizzly end at the whim of Colonel Gaddafi last year.
But instead, in all their Obama-fawning wisdom, the Nobel Committee has this year decided that the EU has turned Europe from a continent of war into a continent of peace. Funny, we thought that honour should have gone to the Allies during the Second World War.
The Nobel Peace Prize is continuing to delegitimise itself in this manner, and frankly acting as nothing more than a public relations firm for Left-leaning individuals and institutions. This trend is increasing.
Once noted as a fair and independent arbiter of peace in the world, the Nobel committee has recently awarded the peace prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore (2007) and the Hamas-excusing Jimmy Carter in 2002.
The European Union is therefore in good company. As an organisation that hesitated over the Balkans conflict, that fails to recognise Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, and of course with a gross democratic deficit – there is genuinely no cause for it to be awarded such an ‘honour’.
But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? The Nobel Peace Prize is no longer an honour. It’s a farce.
I wonder how Europeans will feel today, finding themselves in such un-illustrious company.