The EU is the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize winner. “The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe,” said the Norwegian Nobel Committee following the announcement.
Several achievements of the EU over the years are highlighted, including the change of France and Germany from enemies that had fought three wars in a 70 year period by the end of the second world war to close allies, between whom war is unthinkable. The Nobel Prize Committee’s statement also refers to the adoption of democracy in Greece, Spain and Portugal as a condition for EU membership in the 80s and the accession of former Eastern block countries since the end of communism as further examples of the EU’s success in building diplomatic bridges, promoting democracy and healing national and international divisions within Europe.
Croatia’s upcoming membership and the role of the EU in the reconciliation process in the former Yugoslavia are given as further examples of the benign effect of the Union on the continent, as well as the improvements in democracy and human rights in Turkey as the country works towards EU membership.
The Nobel Committee acknowledges the economic difficulties the continent is currently facing and says that it wishes to focus on what it deems the most important achievement of the EU, “the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”
Liam Lever, firstname.lastname@example.org