Nobel Committee Gives Peace Prize to European Union

The bloc was lauded for its role over six decades in building peace and reconciliation among enemies who fought Europe’s bloodiest wars.

Comments: 194

  1. Who knows the Noble prize money might help the EU to tide over the crisis, specially when euro is weighed against the value of Krone? In addition, the Noble recognition might also motivate the North Europe to share peace dividend with the poor South, currently not well disposed to the former on being forced to swallow the bitter austerity pill.

  2. Prof. Sharma
    Once India gets serious about solving some of its INTERNAL social and political inequities ("untouchables", for example) you will have a bit more credibility criticizing Europe for some of its remaining social problems.

  3. cgehner, While people are serious to fix problems, the governments, whether in India or Europe don't seem prepared for that. However, it never occurred to me that even a stray observation on Europe would make you so sensitive as to bring in India too. Sorry to hurt your patriotic sentiments.

  4. cgehner, if various cultures once at war come together and form a peaceful union and try to live in harmony, despite huge problems, deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, Republic of India should be awarded the prize multiple times. Anyone who knows about India would know what I am talking about.

    Your bringing up the nationality of an individual to counter his honest opinion is in poor taste.

  5. I don't want to be a cynic, but for the EU to win the Noble Peace Prize? Doing som the institute is demoted from a Federal European intergovernmental agency, to a mere peace congress of which all its predecesors have failed to deliver a lasting peace.
    The Nobel Price committee also proves to a very short memory. Twenty years agio, the EU failed to resolve the Yugoslavian civil war, and left it to the US to intervene and protect the civilian population.
    Since 1989, peace in Europe has been achieved by and between the different European nation states. The EU proved only instrumental in this effort to win the peace, a peace protected by NATO e.g. the US. The EU is a paper tiger, which does not bite (and is indeed peacefull in this respect). However, imagine a death by endless papercuts inflicted by Euro-bills. I think that more cruel then being mauled by a tiger. In my opinion the Nobel committee confused indecision and appeasment with peace.

  6. The Yugoslavian "civil war" wasn't a civil war. It was a war between nations -- nacie- which were glommed together as one of the many wrecks caused by the Treaty of Versailles.

    The real purpose of the "Allied" intervention in the Balkans in the 1990s was to make the Balkans safe for Germany.

  7. This is a very appropriate award by the Nobel Committee. As messy and as frustrating and as incomplete as the current EU is, and as difficult as it will still be to achieve fuller economic, fiscal and political integration, what the EU has achieved to date in reversing hundreds of years inter European warfare, which often spilled over into world-wide war, is striking and impressive.

    Yes there are limits to the coordinated political and military actions which the EU can currently achieve, as in the case of Yugoslavia/Serbia. And certainly during the Cold War Europe was the beneficiary of the US political and military shield protecting it from Soviet takeover. The efforts by Eastern European and other countries to join the EU is a testament to the continuing promise and hope which the EU projects for lasting peace and economic prosperity in Europe. Bravo Nobel Committee.

  8. Interesting. You cause a crisis and then get rewarded because you are trying to fix what you broke.

  9. Although only five Nobel Prizes were awarded in Alfred Nobel's plan, there are currently six prizes awarded since Economics was added in the 1960s. The last paragraph implies that there are still only five...

  10. I congratulate EU for their achievement and praise the result of their grand experiment of peace and prosperity after World War II. They deserve this recognition.

    I am surprised that Nobel Committee believes the current Euro Zone economic crisis is caused by United States. The fundamental weakness in the enforcement structure of the ECB allowed the European capital market allowed the mispricing of the bonds issued by Greece, Spain, Portugal and Irland. At the same time surplus money from Northen Banks flowed to South to create a real-state bubble. Moreover during this time China entered WTO and inexpensive imports from China dessiminated the high cost manufacturing industries of those countries. I do not see what is the role of United States in this.

  11. Exactly. The achievement of the EU regarding peace and political maturation is not to be denied. Our economic policies wouldn't deserve any prices though.

    "It all started with Lehman Brothers." Really?

    This financial crisis started with European Banks taking over American investment banks. In order to defend their institutions and independence, the US had to let go Glass Steagall (they had wanted that anyway but we gave them the perfect excuse). Investment banks without the leverage now possible would never have brought a crisis like this. A major crash maybe but not this.

  12. The Nobel Peace Prize cannot be taken seriously. Obama and Kissinger have won in the past.

  13. Ha! - we can add this to the prize won by Obama: 'A Riddle wrapped up in an enigma'.
    Or anagrammatically: Lead-up parade, in impending war.

  14. Here's the reason why the EU helps with peace: The last time we had a serious global economic crisis, we got WWII.

  15. President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize and then escalated the war and has developed an assassination policy to remove our enemies. I wonder what the EU is going to do? Perhaps, they will put all the southern Europeans on the pillory, if they try to get a hand out and have their governments run by the German enforcers. After all, they are not a democratic institution.

  16. Why not give the award to puppies, or freshly baked bread? The Nobel has just gotten weirder over the years.

  17. I didn't know groups were eligible for the prize. Next year I'm going to nominate Alcoholics Anonymous. AA has brought more peace to the world than all of the past recipients.

  18. Medecins sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders, as well as the United Nations, have earned a Nobel peace prize.
    As far as AA are concerned, I would like to get some statistics first, and try to understant why it has "brought more peace" than Doctors without Borders, Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa.
    Perhaps it is the wine producers, who instill a moderate, adult enjoyment of wine as food and part of the culture, who deserve that prize, over AA. There are many fewer alcoholics in wine consuming areas.

  19. AA has been around since 1935, millions of members no longer beat their wives or kids; no longer kill others with their cars; no longer burn down their houses or apartment buildings while drunk with a cigarette; no longer work at sensitive jobs drunk or hungover killing or maiming others. And every AA member is tasked with the responsibility to help others out of the morass of alcoholism. Most robberies and killings and unorganized mayhem have alcohol as their fuel...I could go on and on. Peace.

  20. If I am getting it right, the prize goes to Germany to see if this way we avoid the war mongers to start another one? Ludicrous and lack of credibility. Nobel is a long gone reason for pride. Look at the chinese book writter! Is he good? Probably yes. Support a dictatorial scheme? Yes. Stop Nobel and respect Alfred. This year, China and EU adds to the Norwegian hall of shame. PS.: what is the currency in Norway?

  21. The Norwegian Krona is the currency of Norway.

  22. Strangely, it is the Greek who vote 15% fascist not the Germans.

  23. I wonder whether the Nobel Price committee was influenced at all by the rise of the hate groups and the growing (and open) extreme right wing all across the Euro Zone. I am glad that the likelihood of war among member nations is remote; but the Euro Zone did sit out the Balkan crisis, and allowed the slaughter of hundreds of thousands.

    Kalidan

  24. Yes. All this panic about the Euro-crisis is as nothing compared to those terrible times. People forget.

  25. I take this award as a long overdue acknowledgment of a remarkable achievement: harnessing diversity to forge peace and unity. And doing so while putting the welfare of people at the forefront. Contrary to what some might say, the peace was wrought not because of the United States but despite it.

    The European Union and its history is far from perfect. As movement of people within the union has become easier, the restrictions on those outside have been strengthened. Nationalistic undercurrents are very much alive. And a big failure, in my mind, has been the inability to develop a foreign policy that is truly independent of the world's only superpower.

    But these imperfections pale in comparison with the achievements. European citizens (I am only a resident) have a reason to cast aside skepticism and cynicism, if only for a day, and feel truly proud of themselves.

  26. Europe is at peace not in the least because of the many American graves on their soil. We also did a little thing called the Marshall Plan to rebuild what would became the EU.

    I will give the EU credit in that, binding the countries together economically - even tenuously - is better than no binding at all, but they have fought each other for 500 years - until we finished it. Please give credit where credit is due.

  27. China has maintained peace and cultural linguistic political technological hegemony over an area the size of Europe since 221 B.C.

    Without resorting to imperialism while being invaded and occupied three time by foreigners-Mongols, Manchus and Europeans- absorbing or ignoring or changing the invaders far more than the invaders changed China.

    About 20% of the human race is Han Chinese with more Chinese living out side of China than there are Americans.

    China is engaging with the world in a peaceful manner seeking mutually beneficial relations with people everywhere.

    Should the Chinese Communist Party receive the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Are commerce and economics worthy of being considered peace fullfilling methods and goals?

  28. Hopefully for the EU and Barack Obama winning the Nobel Prize is not like being on the cover of Sports Illustrated!

  29. Brilliant choice!

    We are celebrating an achievement this time, instead of selecting a symbol of enormous sufferings or praiseworthy efforts. It is even timely since there are increasing doubts about the organization.

    By the way, Norway is not part of the EU, so that the committee cannot be criticized for self-promotion and self-congratulation.

  30. The EU is awarded the Peace Prize "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

    In my opinion, this Union is one of the greatest cultural achievements in human history. Both World Wars originated in Europe, a third one certainly won't. Therefore, I support the decision of the Nobel Peace Committee.

    Of course, there are flaws. But, honestly, what is ever perfect? And please, don't make the mistake to only see the current headlines of the Euro crisis. This doesn't change history, obviously.

  31. This prize confirms that the Nobel folks are as silly as a Saturday NIght Live skit. Norway rejected the EU twice in referendums, but now awards it a prize. The EU is broke, and fighting over who will pay the bills for bad members like Greece and Spain and Ireland. However, at least there is a European Union I suppose. And at least the Nobel isn't going to another lightweight politician like Obama for nothing.

  32. You don´´t seem to know the difference between EU and EMU.

  33. ".... primarily between Germany and other European nations over Berlin’s insistence on austerity to resolve the euro crisis, measures that have brought pain to Greece and Spain in particular. " No, not these measures have brought pain to Greece and Spain. The culprits were the governments in both countries, elected by the people of Greece and Spain.This is like cursing a doctor when a self afflicted wound doesn't heal fast enough.

  34. «This is like cursing a doctor when a self afflicted wound doesn't heal fast enough.» No it isn't. It is like blaming a quack who insists on prescribing poison and calling it medicine.

  35. Yes, I agree with UM that the governments of both Greece and Spain have been culpable. However, the culprit is more likely those refractory states of mind by which rich and poor of a national community fail to be respectful of each other -- the rich squirreling their money in dishonestly smug havens to evade paying taxes (in the belief their business fiefdoms are more harmonious and less taxing on the social and natural environment in which they smugly depend with fatuous denials than national ones?) and the poor who feel, probably rightly, their pain is not being adequately respected but whose faith in the value of sel-responsibility is maybe not so impaired as to be a work in progress worth trying still to do honestly.

    Refractory states of mind! How much of the mischief-making energy in how many refractory states of mind have you and the members of your family or organization within which you work NOT had time to process adequatel?!

  36. Greece yes, Spain no. Spain had a very stable economy with a very manageable debt/GDP ratio and plenty of revenue. However, the scaremongers from you nation and others pushed them to the brink by increasing the cost of debt and decreasing confidence. The EU created the Spain and Portugal situations - not those nations themselves. So the wound is hardly self-inflicted. They were shot at point blank range - nearly an execution by leaders who seem to have a sadistic need to inflict pain. Even the IMF just recommended that the EU back off of its austerity measures and give the ailing nations more time to recover - something folks over here have been saying for quite a while. You can't tell a man to earn a living, then cut off his hands. As much as your country seems to enjoy it, It just won't work.

  37. This prize should go to the United States Armed Forces every year. Keeping the peace in Europe? Try giving that one to GI Joe.

  38. While the peace-keeping role of the US in the middle of last century is absolutely undeniable, it is more questionable today in the Middle East. As far as reward for World War II efforts, the US enjoyed unparalleled supremacy over the world's economy and politics for half a century.

    The US Armed Forces fight for the interests of the US, not for those of other 26 countries. The US help other countries if this is in their own interest, and would never accept foreign advice or commandment. The members of the 27-strong European Union are capable of relinquishing some of that sovereignty to come to an agreement. That is the difference.

  39. Only if there is a Nobel Prize for Imperialism. US troops in Europe do nothing but enrich the US defense industry.

  40. True, but then they went and spoilt their chances by going to Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq (Parts 1 and 2).

  41. It will be interesting to read Paul Krugman's blog post awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Austerity.

  42. If this is a Nobel prize to Austerity, then the 1973 Nobel prize for Peace to Henry Kissinger was a prize to War ?

  43. You like repeats, huh ?

  44. What utter nonsense. How can we take seriously this award to the bureaucratic political "machine" when many local populations across Europe are seeking to determine their own independent destiny not by violence, but by legal and locally sensible referendums—referendums and movements that the EU is quite willing to suppress.

  45. I think you are confusing the EU with individual governments. The EU for example has no say in the tussle between Spain and Catalonia.
    The fact that such movements are able to approach their goals without resorting to violence is a sign of the success of the EU.

  46. Yours is a reasonably balanced article. It is amazingly non-European for this Nobel Committee based in the non-EU Norway to have forgotten to mention Robert Schuman, the father of EU.

  47. It is saddening and upsetting, though not surprising, that the Swedes have forgotten the war that ended just 16 years ago in Bosnia, which I always believed to have been located on the continent of Europe. EU stood by and watched calmly the genocide and did nothing to help. It was the U.S. who, as always, had to come in and tidy up the European mess.

    According to the logic of the Nobel Price committee China and Japan should also be sharing the Peace Price for not attacking each other in the last 60 years? Perhaps not a bad idea, at least it might stop the dispute about Senkaku islands.

    I do not see this prize having much effect on the state of the European Union at the moment. Greeks rejoicing that there has been no war between France and Germany?

    How about giving it to Malala Yousufzai instead? That would make sense!

  48. This is a rather odd comment inasmuch as it was the Norwegians, not the Swedes, who bestowed this award.

  49. The Nobel Peace Prize has its committee in Oslo, Norway, not Sweden.
    If Malala Yousufzai recovers and survives the Taliban villiany, she should be awarded the peace prize. The first ever awarded to a teenager.

  50. Huh? I don't get the Peace Prize committee at all. I guess next year they'll give the award to Superman, for his efforts in "Superman IV" to rid the world of nuclear weapons...

  51. The Nobel Peace Prize has become a politically- correct joke in recent years and the trend continues. Alfred Nobel must be spinning in his grave. If anyone truly deserves recognition for over 65 years of unaccustomed European peace, it is Harry Truman, George C. Marshall and, last but certainly not least, the American taxpayer.

  52. Your headline is rather unfair. The EU is going through growing pains but to characterize it as "mired in crisis" is gross exaggeration. In any case, the prize reflects the fact that the Union has brought unprecedented peace and unity to a part of the Earth riven by warfare for more than a millenium. History will record the EU as one of modern humanities great achievements.

  53. We should let history happen first and then talk about it. If you think European nationalism went away you must not spend much time there.
    When I was younger I thought very highly of the Nobel prizes. Now I wonder if they've succumbed to the almost all around dumbing down of western "culture." The "I can't have negativity" in my life (or germs).

  54. "They make a desert, and they call it peace." Pulius Cornelius Tacitus on Pax Romana.

    Like the Roman empire, the EU has created huge swatches of economic wasteland in its periphery via a unsustainable monetary union, destroying the hopes and aspirations of generations of populace there in economic decline and unemployment. It is time to reform, not to self-congradulate, lest they confuse stagnation with peace.

  55. Strangely, when the EU was created large parts of Europe were still devastated after WW2 and up until the 1980´s Spain, Greece and Portugal were military dictatorships. All of East Europe was part of a communist block. Remember the Russians ?
    The EU has played a big part in helping all these countries towards a better life, but it would seem that your memory can only retain the happenings of the last 3 or 4 years.
    Oh yes, and who deregulated the financial markets in the 90s ? The EU ?

  56. Pretty rich for the Euroskeptic MP from Britain to complain that the EU of policies have exacerbated the economic crisis when the austerity policy that the EU is pursuing are straight out of the Tories' own economic playbook for the UK. And those haven't worked as advertised either.

  57. Yes, great work in Yugoslavia or whatever they are calling it these days.

  58. There was no way the European Union or the United States could have prevented the breakup of Yugoslavia or the war that ensued, driven by Serbian and to a lesser extent Croatian nationalism.

    But in the aftermath of that war, it would hard to overstate the positive influence the EU (in cooperation with the US and NATO) has had in dampening and marginalizing these same nationalist forces by systematically working with the new post-Yugoslav governments to prepare to draw them into the EU as they build stabilizing internal democratic structures and policies the EU has required as a condition of membership.

    The incentive of integration with Europe has been powerful.

    I was privileged to watch this happen in Bosnia and Kosovo, and the process -- though not perfect -- has been impressive. Peace-building at its best.

  59. Yugoslavia showed the results of the alternative - the warshaw pact - peace enforced by a superpower. When that falls apart the results are terrible.
    After 1800 years of nearly continuous warfare in Western Europe, the EU was able to maintain peace and bring prosperity to England, France, Spain, Germany, Austria and Italy who have fought hundreds of years of war, during which nearly 100 mill people were killed. Keeping it together now is a question of peace, not just of economics.

  60. Actually no. They could have prevented it or at least mitigated the blood letting by not actively taking sides and turning it into a more partisan conflict.

  61. Only a European politican could not see the irony behind this transparently political gesture. The rest of the world is angry at Europe's leadership for their parochialism and lack of urgency in solving their problem, which they have made the world's problem. Those of us outside Europe are bemused and scornful of this ridiculous choice at this moment when the European Union's institutions are utterly failing...

  62. Peace, really !! Europe was the site of the Bosnia conflict, Kosovo ethnic cleansing, and the EU did nothing but watch..The continent is still having issues, Macedonia and Greece have issues, Catalonia and Spain..Peace is a streetcar named fantasy..

  63. No, peace is a streetcar named desire and for the overwhelming part of Europe it is reality. Americans are from Mars.

  64. An apropos time and acknowledgement?

    What if there were no EU? What if there were no Euro? What if toxic-assets were weaved into the world financial system, one without a euro, and the influences of an EU? What would be the inflicted's opinion of toxic-assets originator's, in such a world? More social unrest? More 'anti toxic-asset originator' sentiment? Greater difficulty reflating world economies, without inflation? (Note: only a dollar, no euro.) Too many questions? Productive societies have been based, not on unknowns.

    A more difficult time was preempted.

    Norway? Ja-way!

  65. Totally absurd.Absolutely bizarre.Completely out of sense.The decision to bestow the Nobel Peace Prize on European Union is utterly disgusting.Nobel Peace Prize to European Union. For what? For undermining world peace by causing a worldwide economic crisis! It can't get any worse than this.Alfred Nobel must be turning in his grave and trying to pronounce correctly "Thorbjørn Jagland."

  66. Last time I checked it wasnt the EU that caused the economic crisis. How quickly we forget...

  67. I believe the economic crisis started in the US. Many Swedish Pension Fonds lost almost everything they had as an effect of Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae. Get your facts right. Then it is absolutely true that some countries in Europe have been overspending money the did not have. has nothing to do with EU however...Distinguish between EU and EMU pls.

  68. In reply to Chris:

    The EU has brought about the EURO currency crisis by the way the EU is structured vis-a-vis the EURO currency. In that respect the EU has, in fact, lead to disorder and destabilization to Europe. And the EU clearly is unable to deal with the fundamental, underlying issues that are causing the EURO currency crisis. To wit, they have forced undemocratic solutions on certain populations within the EU area, and continue to "kick the can down the road" for the past 2 years.

    It was Germany using the EU that forced Ireland to nationalize the debt of the Irish banks precisely b/c it was the big German banks that would have taken a really big hit if the Irish banks went down. Thus, Ireland is sacrificing Irish citizens so German banks and German citizens don't pay for the failure, despite the fact that is was, in fact, Germany as the key participant who structured the EU's EURO currency and set it up for this type currency failure.

    Absent the introduction of the EURO in the way it was actually implemented there would be no EURO financial crisis b/c the economic bubble in parts of Europe would not have occurred.

    And let us not forget that Brussels knew that Greece cooked the books to get into the EURO

  69. It's official; Norway is insane. First Obama, now this?!

  70. Not actually. The Noble Prize Committee is dishonest, politically controlled, and biased.

  71. At least the EU has had the very practical, and very pacific, effect of keeping Germany from having attacked (militarily) its neighbors for a third time in 100 years though I'm guessing the Greeks and the Spanish might not agree quite so completely.

  72. I think that any halfway intelligent Greek or Spaniard knows why their countries are in trouble. And it has nothing to do with Germany which is just reminding them of treaty obligations they signed up to and decided to ignore.

    And Germany gives them billions it may never get back in order to correct this mistake.

  73. Bilge. Germany wouldn´t even go to war against Gaddafi.

  74. "Thorbjorn Jagland... said it was... focusing on the union’s historical role binding France and Germany together after World War II and its perceived impact in spreading reconciliation and democracy beyond the Iron Curtain that once divided Europe and to the Balkans. 'The stabilizing part played by the E. U. has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace,' he said."

    At that happened is that the violence and massive unrest was shoved elsewhere, into places people don't care about as much. That's like saying a clogged toilet is fixed if it's flooding sewage into your neighbor's house instead of yours. That's most likely illegal in a civilized society, which is worse.

    Think oceanic gyre garbage patches....

  75. At a time when nationalist agitation is once more on the rise across Europe, this award is a timely reminder of what is currently at stake.

    As an aspiring historian, I am shocked to see how easily people will fall back into the old clap-trap of the "us v. them" mentality that has produced nothing but violence and misery. Hopefully, Europeans will work it out and preserve this union, which has transformed a war-ridden, hostile continent into an open, prosperous society and a great place to live. Right now the bigots and fear-mongers might have an edge, but I am convinced that in the long run they don't stand a chance against the defenders of peace and prosperity.

  76. Congratulations to our European cousins, who've kept their continent from exploding for almost 70 years. The naysayers on this comments board need to read their history books.

  77. Yes, and also thank you to our American cousins to stick with us despite everything.

  78. What do history books say about Yugoslavia? Genocide isn't historical enough to mention.

  79. Did you forget about the brutal civil war in the Balkans perpetrated by the Serbs in their misguided quest for a greater Serbia in the 1990s? That was only 20 years ago.

    The EU member states were frozen in fear and panic and refused to do anything to stop the brutal bloodshed. They sat in their national capitals doing nothing while the city of Vukovar, Croatia was leveled to the ground and while the Olympic city of Sarajevo was under siege and civilians were picked off by snipers on a regular basis and city shelled from the hills surrounding the city.

    It wasn't until Clinton forced them to do something by bringing NATO and its power to bear finally ending the bloodshed. Even after that, the Serbs continued by then bringing war to Kosovo.

    It is you that I would suggest reading some history books if you think that Europe hasn't 'exploded' in almost 70 years.

  80. Why would you begin the title of your article on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU with the words "Mired in Crisis?" What's the connection? As Europe continues to heal old wounds, the United States continues to create new ones. Why not stress this shameful contrast?

  81. As an American living in Germany ever since 1970, I've experienced an extraordinary historical development that not even the most visionary of optimists could forecast, and the success of the European Union is one of these. Naturally I realize that my use of the word "success" is critical, but I measure the success not in the lack of problems that needed and still need to be solved but the process of doing so. The wish for reconciliation and the need for uncomplicated economic ties brought earlier aggressors, enemies and victims to the negotiating tables to find a way, if nothing more, to get along. They fuss, and they argue, but they've left revenge and hatred aside to make something better. I think this is completely in the sense of Alfred Nobel's idea, and I would hope (or dream) that such a process would be possible in the Middle East, just for one example.

  82. My candidate would have been Netanyahu for putting the pressure on President O.
    and the Europeans to clamp down on the Iranians.

  83. That would seem to be the opposite of peace. At least to me.

  84. I, too, am bewildered and bemused. I would certainly understand bestowing a Nobel Peace Prize to the EU upon its formation. But honoring the EU for attempting to recover from an economic over-indulgence hangover is absurd.

    Why do we celebrate recovering addicts but never those who resisted becoming addicted?

  85. It would probably clear up your mind, if you delved into the history of the Continent, and the remarkable achievement that the EU is. Perhaps more knowledge would make you a more intelligent commentator.

  86. Just, maybe, the Nobel Prize for Peace should not be awarded annually. Perhaps it should be awarded only in rare and limited circumstances to a truly outstanding candidate where the results achieved are readily tangible and apparent and not subject to realistic dispute in advancing the objective of peace in the world.

    Otherwise, giving the award is like handing uut a trophy to every child on the team who shows up - simply a gesture that cheapens and dilutes it's meaning and honor, and the intentions and memory of Alfred Nobel.

  87. The EU has made these significant achievements which are appreciated through the Nobel Peace Prize through 2 principles:

    Building neutral institutions and common rules enshrined in treaties.

    Ironically, these two principles have never been so vulnerable as they are today.

    I would take particular issue with the man in Greece quoted: Why can't he see that Greece is in trouble because it broke the rules? People like that who only look for a foreign scapegoat represent the Europe of the past. If this is the mainstream opinion in Greece, the country should take a time-out and reflect on what makes the EU work and what doesn't. Hint: Living at the expense of others is not helpful. Insulting them even less.

  88. Having lived in the US for some 30 years, I am not surprised about the comments from American readers: they are so utterly uninformed about the European Union –or the rest of the world, for that matter! By contrast, when travelling all over the world, I have noted an amazing amount of interest and knowledge about the EU in countries where I would not have expected it. More importantly, I have learned from many leaders as well as ordinary citizens what amount of admiration and hope the European Union inspires. In these countries, the EU is seen as a successful experiment in multilateralism and solidarity. This has not only resulted in the achievements the Nobel Committee quoted, but has also been seen as a model for the world, in contrast to the mostly unilateral political inclinations of the US and its preference for solving conflicts with armed interventions rather than diplomacy –usually keeping its own interests ahead of other considerations. This was particularly shocking under George Bush and has cost the US an incredible amount of good will in the world. While the EU is still struggling with a multitude of issues –about which nobody should be surprised, given the fact that agreements have to be reached among 27 nations- progress is steadily being made even, or especially, as a result of crises. Compare this with the complete stalemate in Congress, which has rendered American politics nothing less than dysfunctional.

    KlausWRiechel

  89. Mr. Riechel, you should be reminded that many nations in Europe supported U.S. action to oust Sadaam Hussein, with troops and funding. Meanwhile others did nothing. This is typical. The U.S. spends lives and money to protect the rest of the world and Europe from one tyrant or aggressive nation after another while the Europeans sit back, spend nothing and criticize. Many of us here in the U.S. say let Europe protect itself and see how much it costs them for a change. We are tired of carrying your water, as we say here in the states.

  90. Some very interesting thoughts from someone who does indeed actually know something as opposed to someone who merely has an opinion! What a relief! Yes, I am in full agreement with your statement in regard to how the oil and gas industry under the guise of the Bush regime has poisoned the well for America and put us in the dog house of world public opinion.

    I see our present moment as quite similar in some ways to Germany as it lived through the madness of the Third Reich only this time the tables are turned and it is the US that has essentially in many ways become an international pariah.

    I see no way that this conundrum can be cured by war. The masters of war can only be defeated on a different moral, spiritual, and social plane than the one that they have chosen to operate on.

    The EU may indeed have some important and pivotal role to play in regard to the emergence of the new common global culture that will certainly have the imprint of the West upon it. I don't believe that the EU can have meaning or stay relevant if it fails to understand culture as the determining factor in all things despite the relevance of economics and history.

    The important one recognizing that an emerging world culture is on the horizon and that the key to this may be one common language so that we can all communicate successfully with each other is an aspect of reality that may be hard to accept for many who are champions of the EU project.

  91. The EU was and is primarily a political project begun in the post WWII era that can not stand up in time against something much more organic such as the kind of cultural product that the Anglo-American project has created over time owing to the importance of a common language.

    It seems so simple and basic and that is why the importance of the Anglo- American bloc is so poorly understood and/or appreciated by so many.

    Language is the tool that has enabled humans to evolve to a higher order of consciousness so that they can master their physical environment and the establishment of one global common language is a task of the utmost importance for the future of humanity. That is not to say that other languages are not important or valuable because they are and always will be.

    The point is that the Tower of Babel known as the EU will never be able to progress beyond its present paralysis until it fully comes to terms with its own limitations. Chief amonsgt these is the lack of a common language even though one can speak of a common European or Western culture that would include all of the Americas.

    The EU project is bound to fail if it refuses to recognize the essential importance of the Anglo-American achievement and decide to work with it rather than against it. Such willingness to accept the obvious will determine if the EU has a future.

    Looking East to both Russia & China may be of value but such value will be short lived an ineffective for doing what is required.

  92. Having grown up in Europe and listened to the stories of devastation from my parents, this is completely deserved. There was hardly any institution in world history that has done more for peace and has brought more people like me a secure life in freedom and peace. Ofcourse there are other contributers:e.g.: the US has stabilized Europe and helped to keep it free. I just hope Europe will not fail. Without the US it would not have been possible. The politicians in Europe have to find a solution for the current crisis, otherwise history will judge them as a complete failure. And, honestly, the crisis is not that big that it could not be overcome. Others like the US and China have issues too.

  93. "Congratulations to our European cousins, who've kept their continent from exploding for almost 70 years. The naysayers on this comments board need to read their history books."

    The institution of the European Union of course has had nothing to do with this.

    If you want to thank anyone for this achievement, thank the US for the Marshall Plan, and later, Nato.

    Clearly, a transparently political decision intended to entrench the EU federalist project, which Europeans continually vote against at every referendum they are given the chance. Suffice to say, the EU apparatchiks don't like referenda much.

    Disgraceful decision that only debases the Nobel Peace Prize even further.

  94. What is it with the ideal of a peaceful, effective and relatively united Continental Europe, that drives the Anglo-Saxon world so mad...? These achievements are not mutually exclusive....NATO won the cold war and guarantees the external security but the economic and political framework of the European Union won the peace and offered opportunity and perspective for dozens of Central and Eastern European countries and protected them from fears of domination and nationalistic hegemons. The economic support and development provided by the money the EU is transferring from its wealthier countries to the poorer newcomers is significant and a great example of solidarity as opposed to darwinistic policies. While the Anglo-Saxon countries are definitely much more capable at waging actual war winning the peace after the wars proves to be the real challenge as Iraq and Afghanistan have shown. The European Union definitely has contributed to winning the peace in Europe first after World War II and then again after the fall of the Iron Curtain. I think in the end even Britain will recognize that times have changed since the Napoleonic wars and World War I and II and that Britain's relevance is NOT threatened by Continental Europe at peace with itself rather than at war with itself (the preferred state of European affairs by England for centuries).

  95. Good choice. Europe is not perfect but it has a lot of right ideas and is in contrast to the wholehearted selfishness and nastiness that the USA has become. And yes I agree it was the USA whose squandering of its golden legacy by Republican greed and fear mongering unfortunately spread to Europe. The big lie went on until the house of cards finally collapsed, taking the honest players down and leaving the cheaters on top. We need institutional safeguards, I hope the Europeans can model that for us.

  96. As a German who is married to a wife from Poland and both of us living in the US for the last 10 years I cannot remain silent on many of the comments on this board. To my dear American friends, whose country I respect and like for many reasons (after all we live here and pay taxes here), do not use the European crisis as a tool for your upcoming elections in which Europe is used as symbol of the so much vilified "federal government". Debate and analyze your own problems without shortchanging Europe to an economical political argument. Despite the current crisis Europe is SO MUCH MORE to the young European generation like us. We grew up on different sides of the Iron Curtain separated by barbed wire living in different worlds like North and South Korea. Today you can travel from Munich to Warsaw freely on fantastic new highways, visit Poland and all its sites of historic drama. Despite German historic crimes there is friendship and cooperation now between Germany and Poland, between Germany and France. There are also tremendous gains in living standards and prosperity all over Eastern Europe, due to their hard work and a common market and fast rising trade. Even the Southern countries so much in crisis now have risen during their 30 years in the European Union from dictatorships (Spain and Greece) to, in case of Spain, one of the 10 biggest economies in the world and functioning democracies. All in all Europe and its Union is a tremendous success and deserves the prize !!

  97. Very condescending and inaccurate comment from another of the uninformed commentariat. For example, Spain, in case this poster hasn't looked lately, is thoroughly in the dumpster.

    rh should attempt to speak for himself. What hogwash. Poles making nice with Germans is such a stupid remark; prosperity all over Eastern Europe?

    Europe, organized in any political/financial configuration, sucks.

  98. Well put rh.

    @ Thus Spake the Dancing Scorpion:
    Funny, you realize that the USA stood by while Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist murdering and starving his citizens? If you go to Eurobarometer you will find that on average Spaniards are in support of the EU and what it represents. The collapse of the domestic economy in Spain does not negate the extreme social, political, and yes ECONOMIC progress over the past 50 years.
    But then what could someone from Arizona understand about the value of open boarders and international unity? You inhabit the state the insists on patrolling its boarder to Mexico as if it were Korea's demilitarized zone.
    I can support rh's comment regarding improve relations between Poles and Germans from my own personal experience. A good family friend lives in Görlitz - a German city on the boarder to Poland. Well actually half of the city is in Poland. And there is free movement of people, workers, goods, etc. over the river that separates the two halves. The bridges that connect these communities were financed by the European Union. The laws that allow for the free passage of people and goods were drafted by the European Union. The EU has accomplished much and more and cannot be considered solely on the basis of a economic collapse catalyzed by the unraveling finance industry in America.

  99. One can travel from New York to Florida to California, no fear of wars.

  100. I have nothing against the EU. It has both good aspects and bad and as a citizen of the EU I find that the advantages for me personally outweigh the disadvantages. However, I think there is something really bizarre about giving a prize like this to a collective entity such as the EU. Will I wake up tomorrow morning and discover that it was all a big joke after all?

  101. Surely no one Stateside believes this story about the EU creating peace in Europe.

    The EU did not come into existence until recent decades and in its "Iron and Steel Community" embryonic form it was clearly not capable of keeping peace even between its few members then.

    It has been democracy in Europe, enforced by NATO and the presence of Allied troops on the ground which have enabled peacable attitudes to replace the belligerence of Germany and the weakness of France. Together with the decades long threat from Russia and the US aid programmes, the development of pluralist (albeit statist) nations has avoided conflict.

    The EU is not a force for unity and friendship in any event. It is anti-democractic, authoritarian and a bloated bureaucracy. It issues Directives the title of which tells you all you need to know about it. Decisions of the ECB, Commission and Council of Ministers are all taken in secret, no agendas or minutes are published and the votes of member states are not made public.

    The "Parliament" cannot initiate or amend legislation and when (rarely) they decline to adopt the legislation drafted exclusively by the non-elected Commission, the laws come back in another form (Regulations, opinions, decisions of the politicised EU Court).

    Please will the people in the US wake up to the monster your State Department has encouraged - it cannot be in your interests to have a "post democratic" supra state running a bureaucracy over 500 million people.

  102. well, i googled one of your "facts"

    "The Council used to meet primarily in secret, yet changes made in the Lisbon Treaty mean that all legislative deliberations undertaken in the Council must now be made public."

  103. Andrew Smith, very good points.

  104. And the EU along with Europe demonizes and marginalizes non-Europeans and non-Christian immigrants and nations while the European nations are rapidly aging and shrinking.There is no room for Turks, Arabs or Africans.

    That Roman Catholic and organized crime ridden Italy with it's imperial and fascist past is leading this race to the socioeconomic educational political demographic time bomb is altogether fitting proper and enlightening.

  105. Okay, so this Nobel prize is a warning to the EU institutions and to the EU member governments: United Europe is too much of a good thing. It brought peace and prosperity. We wouldn't be faring the economic crisis better alone (this is true notwithstanding structural problems of the euro). And, if we lose it we may never get it back.

    I am from this generation that witnessed the opening of the borders, the opening of currency constraints, etc. We have indeed made great progress. Euroscepticism is just plain wrong.

    Oh, and for next year's Nobel Peace Prize I nominate Nicholas Kristof of the NYT, for his exceptional coverage of women's plight around the world. Please pass the word to Stockholm.

  106. Whilst I would prefer this prize to go to an individual or an organisation rather than a block of countries I find many of the comments here coming from the natives of such a war-happy nation as the USA a bit rich. Yes, we had a war in Yugoslavia in the 90´s and I for one am very grateful to Mr Clinton for clearing that mess up. But apart from that we´ve had nearly 70 years of peace for the first time in our history and that has amongst other things has to do with the EU.

  107. Easy to say when the U.S. carries your water and protects Germany. That way you can criticize without any cost in lives or money.

  108. Woke up this morning and have been in disbelief ever since I read this news. Awarding a Nobel Peace Prize (any peace prize for that matter), to an oligarchy that watched a massacre in Yugoslavia for five years and did nothing. Well, nothing to help. But they have done plenty to fan the initial ethnic skirmishes into a full blown war by aligning with their former "allies" from WWI and WWII. France and the United Kingdom versus Germany, Austria and Hungary, splitting the region into their interest spheres again while allowing and instigating urbicides of Vukovar, Dubrovnik, Mostar and Sarajevo and endless smaller towns. And directly aiding genocide in Srebrenica where 8,000 men and boys have perished in a week. Every citizen of EU should be ashamed of herself and himself on this day. Or maybe I am missing the point. The prize was awarded as the "ethnical cleansing" in the region was kept under six million. Endless thanks to the United States of America, its noble citizens, President Clinton with his administration and last but not the least the military and their commanders for their selfless effort to stop the war and bring the lasting peace in the Balkans. A true lesson of peacemaking to European Union. I am disgusted to a point that I may cancel my business trip to Europe next week. What a joke.
    Former citizen of Sarajevo now leaving in New Jersey.

  109. I (a proud citizen of the EU), visited Sarajevo last month and saw the terrible photo exhibit on Srebrenica as well as the 800m tunnel under the airport.

    While I do understand your grief, and have cried myself for Sarajevo, I would just suggest you to replace names of countries and cities by "Bagdad", "Iraq", "Lebanon", "Palestine", "Bengazi", "Lybia", "Vietnam", and then ponder on the noble traits you attribute to the citizens of your new adopted country.

    Please feel free to cancel your business trip to Europe if you believe this is the moral thing to do. Perhaps I would also advise you to move away from genocidary America, Europe, Asia, Africa, to peaceful Greenland (not yet stained by history).

    For the info, my grandfather died in Auschwitz. Today, you can drive from Auschwitz to the Champs Elysees without having to show your passport. Perhaps that deserves a Nobel peace prize after all.

  110. Perhaps the reason why many Balkan states have not been allowed to join EU has more to do with their feelings of ethnic superiority than their rejection of the principle man's equality. It is true though that the Balkan war continued only as long as there were people willing to bankroll the army.

  111. This is a great choice for the Peace Prize. One reader on this board has commented "Why didn't they give them the peace prize when the EU was formed, instead of now." Well, it's easy to have a rosy day on the day of your wedding, with everybody throwing rice and such; but the actual tests occur later on, and it's then that the relationship is truly defined.

  112. Outstanding choice. More deserving the vast majority of past recipients. For anyone who knows the history of the modern world, he/she would understand why EU deserves this prize. Monnet and Schumann's vision of unified Europe free of war has been recognized as having succeeded.

  113. Let's give the next peace award to husbands who no longer beat their wives.

  114. Sorry, but this award is Orwellian. Europe is in financial catastrophe at the moment. People from Portugal to Greece are carrying out protests that have become violent in places. Many people are living a Les Miserables existence. There is nothing peaceful there.

  115. well, that's because PIGS are corrupt countries with useless politicians. Those people get what they deserve (and voted for). Frankly they get more than they deserve if the rest of EU bail them out.

  116. Well, the peace in Europe has more to do with America/England and is not a result of European good will. We learned our lesson after leaving Europe's WWI . . . never leave European people with the ability to rebuild their armies. The NPP should go to the Americas and England.

  117. It is completely unjustified and political. While the EU has refused to admit Turkey, a NATO country, it has admitted Eastern European nations with terrible human rights records. Also, at present EU is involved in imposing inhumane, immoral, and illegal sanctions against the Iranian people even going as far as stopping certain food items and medicine especially those needed for cancer from going to Iran. No, EU, like NATO is NOT for peace. It is for the dominance of the West over the rest of the world.

    Finally, Noble Peace Prize is not only a joke, but also an insult to the rest of the world.

  118. Another immature Obama nobel peace prize..

    Well, rule number one on how to win the nobel peace prize... Completely screw up the system from the beginning... than completely botch the solution... before we know the true outcome.

    The peace prize seems to be for expectations... not game changing results.

    At least in Science they wait to analyze the impact a game changing idea has impacted society.

    Notice I did not capitalize for a purpose.

    ron hansing 10.12.12

  119. This makes as much sense as lutefisk. I think you have to be Norwegian to find it palatable.

  120. I can;t think of anything the EU has done but create friction and illwill and generate a hatred of Brussels among the citzenry.

    The only people who seem to think well of the organization are the Brussels Bureaucrats and the Nobel COmmittee.

  121. I believe you´re wrong. I happen to be living in a EU country and I am very proud of being a part of the EU-project and I am not alone...

  122. I'm sure the Greeks and the Spaniards are ecstatic.

  123. Yes it is, I advise you time to time you should visit Europe. There are many many beauties over there one is human rights.

  124. Yep, can see why so many Americans are upset at this prize, because it's in small part a big middle finger to the Anglo-Saxon world, including those (such as the NYT's own Paul Krugman and his ilk) who have been lobbying to destroy the euro for a couple of years now.

  125. That didn't come out right (comment at 7:16 pm). It's in small part a big middle finger at those in the Anglo-Saxon world and elsewhere who have been recently attacking the European project , including those (such as the NYT's own Paul Krugman and his ilk) who have been lobbying to destroy the euro for a couple of years now.

  126. Is Norway even in the Euro zone? how ironic

  127. Mr.Quinn, we are not in the Euro zone. Neither are Sweden and Denmark, but those two are EU-members. My fellow countrymen voted No by a slight majority to membership.

  128. Norway is in the European Economic Area. All directives except one are accepted. Trade with Europe is going fine. Europe needs oil and gas and fish. Norway suffer no economic crisis....as lucky as North Dakota.

  129. Okay. I would like to remind all these people who blame Europe for the world´s economic slowdown that it was the irresponsability of your banks which brought the world to its current situation. Now I would like to remind you Americans that you can't talk badly about Europe regarding to this subject because your country has been the worst example of peace and the most hypocrite democracy in the contemporary age. It's true that Europe is not going through its best time right now but it has been an example of peace. democracy and solidarity. I could tell you Americans history of how this Union started and how it has been growing and developing throw the years but it would be a waste of time because you Americans don´t like history and don´t like to read. You are the most ignorant regarding to the world and you like to talk about things you don´t know. You are arrogant because of your wealth (unevenly distributed by the way) but you Americans don´t know any languages but english and you ignore everything that happens in any part of the world that is not the USA. I had no intentions of talking bad about the USA but reading all the comments made me extremely upset. If my English is not perfect is because I´m spanish and I´m 18 but I would like to see any Americans reading foreing newspapers and writing in any other language their own opinion. Have fun watching trashy TV.

  130. Ok, much of what you say is true, but before you become to smug - quickly tell me the State Capitals of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. I say this because I, as an undereducated American, can tell you the capitals of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. And it happens the four U.S. States I mentioned are both larger in size and population than the four European Countries. It is true that my European History is weak and your knowledge of U.S. History is better; unless you are asked about the history of the various states, in which case I bet you don't know very much, even though California for instances has the Worlds eighth largest economy. It is true that Americans need to talk less and do more foreign travel, but it is also true that I can drive hard for three straight days and still be in the U.S., while if you do the same you will be in half a dozen foreign countries that speak several different languages. And by the way, I do envy your bilingual ability. I struggle with Spanish, but I haven't given up.

  131. As an American who knows French, German, and Dutch, and both American and European history, including EU law and history specifically, it is always the case that the most powerful "democracy" is the most hypocritical.

    Before the US, it was the UK. Before the UK it was...um...having trouble coming up with a powerful democracy before the late 19th century...but definitely not France or various incarnations of Germany.

    No, those two motors of the EU spent centuries beating each other senseless over the residue of Lotharingia every chance the got. There's a reason why the various EU organizations are located in Brussels, Strassbourg, Geneva, and it goes back to Charlemagne, erm, Karl der Grosse giving his weak heir the middle slice of his empire.

    But no nation having their turn as top of the heap, not the French, not the Spanish, the Chinese, the Persians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Russians, no one, has made it to the peak of power without killing millions of people and enslaving millions more. Call them serfs or peasants or indentured servants if you want. They know what they are.

    Even the Swedish ravaged Pomerania when they had the chance to be a player in the Baltic. The Danes and Norwegians assaulted everyone they could from Greenland to Baghdad during their heyday of power.

    So find me a democracy with any power on the world scale that hasn't committed atrocities within the last 50 years. Peace depends on troops on the ground, from the Roman Legions to NATO.

  132. Going by their logic, let me predict the next year's peace prize winner... Nuclear Bomb!!

  133. I wish I could be more interested in the Nobel Prize, but I just cannot.

    It has been awarded to too many losers.
    It is a Political Animal, used by world wide politicians.

    Those Scientific awards, are ok, but just ok. Nothing more.
    ===
    As I read histories about Afghanistan this morning, I was shocked to find
    that we held inside 2 airport prison-stockades, less than 900 prisoner pow's.
    This, after spending a $Trillion dollars on WARs..

    I know that Lockheed's and others in this vast world-wide
    ARMs manufacturing complex needs to be used by countries doing WAR.
    But the amount of monies being spent by the United States -vs- the results
    just does not make sense.

    Today, run from Afghanistan with our tails between our legs, having
    accomplished nothing but to make ARMs manufacturers rich beyond belief.

    While our current and prior Leaders: Having won their Nobel Prizes,
    such as "photo op" Obama, and "hands on" Gore, preen for their followers.

    It is truly a sick world we live in.

  134. Well deserved.

    I really like the idealism of EU which is under sever threat of disintegration.

    EU is the final sublime and long maturation of European struggle past 2000 years of history.
    As much as recently in 20th century Europe ( I hope it is like that) very well understood what peace and prosperity means. After cataclysmic two world war and simply erasing the humanity, humane values , wealth, freedom from the surface of europe lessons learned.

    Europe moved theough the world most admired ideals of EU. I always carry an EU emblem on my car as a charm. It shows long struggle of human dignity.

    As always one of the most threatining lesson repeating itself in europe today, how do you proceed in dark economical conditions. starngling your neigbours neck , fueling shovenistic blood spillage, and blaming everybody or solidarity until the hardship overcomes to struggle.

    Nobel peace price is well deserved for this multinational , humanities most admired organization.

    CONGRATULATIONS.

  135. Even as I saw the"Comment" box, I anticipated a slew of cynical comments, not unlike the jaded views that would be similarly voiced if the U.N. had been awarded the peace prize.
    Personally, my reaction is: "It's about time!" This is certainly a tribute to Jean Monet [the "Father" of the EEC.] I think it's a great day for the EC & the world should follow this example!

  136. "Even as I saw the"Comment" box, I anticipated a slew of cynical comments".

    You can't beat the EU itself for cynicism. I am thinking in particular of the comments Barosso made following the defeat of the EU Constitution referenda in France and the Netherlands.

    His response: "We'll keep asking them until they give the right answer".

  137. Congratulations to the European Union for this well deserved honor! They deserve it.

  138. This is embarrassing. Let's give an award and a pat on the back to ourselves for not trying to murder the entire world for a 70 year stretch, as Europe had somewhat successfully been trying to do for the previous 500 years before that.

    I also find it amusing that whenever an article about the EU comes out all the top comments on the NYT website are things like "Americans know so little about the rest of the world" or "Europeans are so peace-loving, cosmopolitan and sophisticated". I would bet that the vast majority of people recommending these comments have not spent a significant time in Europe. As someone who has lived all over the world (Paris, Singapore, Seoul, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Jakarta, DC, LA, Portland, etc.) and spent about a decade in Europe, I can tell you that it is a fantastic place to live, filled with wonderful people, history, and culture. However, this fantasy that is perpetuated by liberal Americans that Europe is some type of socialist utopia is completely off base. Europeans are far more racist than Americans (I'm of mixed race and know this well), and the younger generation in Europe has essentially been thrown under the bus by European baby-boomers with their hands in the government's pocket (in some European countries youth unemployment approaches 50%). Europe has significant structural economic and size of government issues it needs to address ASAP - this award seems premature considering that old continent is very much still staring into the abyss

  139. The Nobel Prize Committee for me reached bottom when it gave a prize to Marti Ahtisaari for his contribution to peace regarding Kosovo. They truly got it wrong for honouring peacemakers that had indecent motives or backers. I cannot judge the prize for Arafat as I was too young then but it seems to me that as a party of a long protracted conflict willing to sit at a table with his enemies was far more deserving of a peace prize than being a stooge and an enforcer of the powerful in achieving their strategic agenda in the Balkans. The EU, I guess won the prize for surviving for so long. How scary is the thought that now they achieved what they could and this was the crowning achievement for them. Are the best days of the EU behind them? Would a prize be given to the American founding fathers for making peace among the colonies? It is too general in the peace area and too controversial. I think the Nobel Prize has had its better days and they have strayed in first giving a prize to entities rather than people (It is O.K. perhaps for a magazine such as TIMES) and secondly for giving prize to someone or something that has done nothing very remarkable not to speak of outright immoral such as giving it so someone such as Ahtisaari.

  140. History demands this. The EU deserves this peace prize for its work in uniting many countries which history shows will keep potential wars at bay.

    It is an insightful choice to publicly recognize those who seek a peaceful world by such an astute jump start for universal peace in the world.

    Congratulations to these "better angels of our nature", whom Steven Pinker lauds as he reason why violence has declined.

    They deserve the world's encouragement and gratitude.

  141. When Europeans pat themselves on the back, Americans get jealous. To deserve peace prize, Nobel or otherwise America must start more than a half dozen wars in a 50-60 years period, and using a few nukes in few major metropolitan areas will make the medal solid gold. Let's see: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan (and little baby wars in Central America) Not good enough to deserve Peace Prize.

  142. I am a Virginian living in Barcelona, Spain for 6 months . I have followed the financial an political news here in Europe and Catalonia, Spain closely. If only Americans at home could understand what is really happening here. Sadly they are mostly preoccupied with remaining divided. What has happened here in the EU is massive. Spain in particular is one of the most tense players. Culturally they do not work or live like the French or Germans or Northern Europeans, but even though Spain, Italy, and Greece live "the laid back life" the rest of Europe understand that the Federation of Nations is too important to let fall apart.

    Meanwhile at home, two hors from my zip code the politicians in DC are working as hard as they can to break our country and send us back to the civil war era thinking (from The GOP). Romney was quoted as saying, "America should never become like Europe". Well, I can tell you first hand that these people here in Europe understand that they need each other regardless of the differences. Even here in Barcelona where 51% of the Catalon people want to break away from Spain, they understand that Europe as a whole must be United or have a Federal Union.

    So I say, American brothers and sisters, take note: Europe with all of its faults is also leading the way. The division in America will be it's undoing.

  143. Not really. the EU is modeled after the UNITED States of America. I think you're confusing political rhetoric in an election year with your perceived notion that America is in a civil war.

    Sorry but it's America that is leading the way. The EU wants to be more like America than America wants to be like Europe. To suggest anything else is obviously a biased opinion on your part.

  144. This is a very interesting perspective thank you for sharing.

    @ Bob

    Who is really bias in this instance? Zack Worrell is witness an acknowledge in Barcelona that Europe stands stronger united despite the differences amongst its member states. In a sense this is a conclusion the United States reached at its conception. However, instead of patting ourselves on the shoulder for an accomplishment of our ancestors I agree with Zack that we should take the struggles in Europe to heart. America is threatened not only with growing differences amongst its member states - not in the least in terms of economic inequality. If Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are continued and entitlements cut I expect the suffering will be felt disproportionately in red states with a lower median income... does that undermine our national unity?

  145. The Nobel Peace Price no longer serves as an award for successfully fostering peace, but rather as an encouragement for political allies in tough straits to "stick with the cause."

    For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, Barack Obama in 2009, and the European Union in 2012. Whether or not they have noble intentions, which of these has actually succeeded in fostering peace in the world?

  146. What genius thought this one up?
    This is a desperate measure to try and prove that the European body is “something very precious.”
    In the meantime.......oil and gas costs for the average european explodes ever higher because it's buffoon leaders insist on shooting themselves in the foot by going along with American pressure to enforce sanctions on Iran......a country that has every right to process it's own nuclear fuel...... a right Israel and the US refuses to accept.
    Stick a medal on the european union's chest..... that will make up for the pain.......and the people pick up the tab without question.
    Good luck in finding peace when you insist on crushing and ruining other countries

  147. Whose peace are they talking about? It´s not about Greeks, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Middle East people.... It´s shameful. The only peace that EU has garanteed is that of banks and financial companies.

  148. The Peace prize to the EU is well deserved for what they have accomplished since WW II. When viewed from the broad perspective of where the EU was then, and how far it has come, it has to be regarded as one of the most impressive collective achievements of our time. That said, the award also serves as a call to meet the challenge that much more needs to be done. Above all it is a message to Angela Merkel and to Germany that they have a responsibility - to whom much is given, from them shall much be required. The EU is at a critical juncture and in that sense the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in a very timely manner, not only for what has been done in the past, but also as an encouragement for the future.

  149. Congratulations to Europe for keeping peace among a population with strong sense of nationalism. On the whole, EU has maintained peace while allowing pride of formerly oppressed ethnic groups.

  150. Is it another joke? It reminds me of the last Peace prize that went to Barack Obama, for doing nothing?

  151. who would be the laurate in that case?

    China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Libya, Uganda etc

    Or

    Mitt Romney, newt gingrich , Mitch mc connel, dick Cheney, Wolfovitz etc.

    really who.

  152. Is this like in the USA where a corporation is now absurdly regarded as a person for political purposes. How ridiculous to award a failed political entity, a block of countries habitually controlled by ignorant, self-aggrandizing politicians, anything but a hard smack across the face. The EU was organized for the singular benefit of government and corporations from among financially ailing economies. Its absurd and doomed attempt at horizontal integration was forcefully pointed out by Goldsmith and others and they were correct. Nothing has improved over the years. The EU deserves an "F" for its lies and deceit and failed attempts to improve the lives of its citizens. It's encouraging to read that many others from the commentariat on this thread agree.

  153. The E.U. came into being primarily to bring European states closer together in order to avoid war. And given it's past, it's been a success. There maybe financial and political problems but at least they can be addressed without resorting to war. It's a complicated undertaking and it's still a work in progress.

  154. The Nobel Committee in awarding the Peace Prize to the EU sound like Neville Chamberlain claiming that there is "peace in our time".

  155. have ever asked your grandfather or grandmother who went through the WWI or WWII.

    You people are talking wars and regional conflicts, and there is no peace. there is a peace in substantial part of the world.

    Did you watch Ken Burns War documentary, Listen to people what they witnessed.

    Yes we are living in peace time, We are living in a time which wars finally give way to peace without annihilating entire continents human and superstructural dignity.

    Yes some places are in constant conflict, Middle east. Roman werent there for oil.

    Middleast conflicts written on stome tablets with cuneiform letters to , bible and modern wikipedia. will be eternal. Rest yes we are enjoying the peace.

  156. Maybe it sounds like that to you, but at least I find your comparison to be more than a little strange. The comment simply seems to lack all reasonableness and all nuances; in short I find more emotion than reason in your argument. Could you not come up with some reasonable argument, or comparison, instead, e.g. that there is tension in southern Europe, due to the crises, or that many EU-countries are engaged in America's adventures. However, you would also have to take into account that the EU is a peaceful place, in which former enemies (in WWI, WWII and the Balkan conflicts) are merging their economies in a close and peaceful partnership.

  157. "There is a great danger." Even under the guise of the EU, the younger generation is being culled. It's who you know, not what you know. Does anyone really believe that Europe picks its best and brightest? Give yourself a Nobel Peace Prize? Such aggrandizement usually leads before a fall.

  158. Your comment is somewhat flawed -- the recipient of the Nobel Peace Price is selected by a committee appointed by the parliament of Norway, country which is not a member of the European Union, and where a majority of citizens are opposed to join the E.U.

  159. Norway is not a member of the EU. Therefore the Nobel Committee did not give "themselves" a Peace Prize.

  160. Incredible, but no surprise, when Arafat, Obama, Gore et al receive the same award. My question is who's going to pick up the award for the EU. Europe is doomed as is Greece, Spain, Portugal can not be saved, so massive defaults are in the offing. When in doubt deflect.

  161. In 2001 the Nobel peace prize was awarded to the United Nations and Kofi Annan. This year the prize has been awarded to the European Union. Brussels is facing a huge headache in deciding who will collect the prize. Jagland left it up to Brussels to decide, who should fly to Norway to receive the prestigious gong. Instead of dispatching one of those pretenders like Barroso or Van Rompuy, the former German chancellor Helmut Kohl would be an appropriate figure. But the architect of the new Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain suffers from poor health. Perhaps Angela Merkel should go in his stead. This would cement the EU's support for her austerity measures.

  162. No doubt as a political union, the EU has secured peace. Yet out of economical point of view, the currency union had been too hastily formed without checking thoroughly whether certain member states were fit enough to join.

  163. The Norwegian Nobel Peace Price Committee is also known to have the courage to make controversial decisions. On one occasion the decision was so hotly disputed that members fell out with the Committee. The prize that went to Henry Kissenger and Vietnam's Le Duc Tho in 1973 sparked a tumult. Tho refused the prize - the only person ever to have done so. Kissinger didn't come to collect it in person and two members of the committee withdrew.

  164. Is this a joke? Or may be that real folks who work for peace are no longer there.

  165. Same reaction I had when I read that Obama was awarded the Prize and had, and still has, done nothing to promote lasting peace.

  166. It is awarded by norwegian politicians. Norway has declined to become a member.Odd. Perhaps next time they will give it to whale defenders.

  167. I'm from Eastern Europe. Having read the explanation for the award, i think it's a nice and justified gesture. Someone pointed out that this year, it's the 60th anniversary of the European Coal and Steel Community. Amid the wrangling over the crisis and the way forward, it's important to remind everyone, as often and as emphatically as possible, how far our countries have come since the post-war era, and how much we all benefit from the Union, despite the tremendous challenges we face.

    Besides, the Nobel Peace Prize has, at least of late, also been as much about potential as about achievements. If it wasn't for the EU (and the promise of accession) you wouldn't be seeing Kosovars and Serbians sitting at the same table, negotiating. The potential to keep fostering peace (and democracy) is significant, and this, in addition to rewarding accomplishments so far, is what the committee wished to encourage. Big picture. A political gesture, but a worthy one.

  168. I was very pleased with this decision.
    The EU has gotten a lot of bad press recently, and in the times of economic crisis, it's easy to forget the fundamental idea, countries intertwining their economies to create lasting peace.

    And it has achieved much. When Mitt Romney is saying that the US doesn't want to become like Europe, I can say the feeling is mutual. The economy may not be the best at the moment, but there is so much that have been achieved. We are a mixed EU/US couple and I can truly say, that though we'd have the choice to do otherwise, we prefer living in the EU.

  169. OK, now next year please award Europe the Nobel prize for economics for the absolute financial mess they have got themselves in!

  170. This just doesn't make much sense.
    But on the other hand,.. it makes MORE sense than awarding it to Obama !

  171. Let's go back to bombing anyone we don't like?

  172. No it makes less sense. The EU is concerned primarily with economic matters and does little to settle differences between any entity engaging in hostility that is not economically driven.

  173. Congratulations are truly worthy to the EU, and with thanks to wisdom of
    The Noble Committee for this important recognition.
    Let's be reminded of the EU song "ode to joy" EU is working heroically in its depths and enlightening soul in its part in the human drama - its efforts are broad and deep in: educating, social modernization's and indeed keeping a right vision that's at its true core motto: "United in diversity.”
    Every region on the planet can learn from the EU’s model in continuing accomplishments and ongoing efforts; that need to be studied and understood for moving all history forward in terms of our human and evolutionary pragmatics for sharing: space, times, and history with neighbors - as well for the light of unity underlining its earned historic maturity, liberty’s grace.
    Again national regions unions should want to have their own ability to share with respect common humanity on earth's fragility. So someday a Union of Middle East will evolve and will not have to live in a world where in today's news massive causalities are overwhelming hearts and minds.
    We must not ever repeat World War 1 or other ancient bleeding's in delusional questing in aberrant divisions for illusion's in avarice’s lack of healthy awakening vision healing souls of all times.
    Let's work for all to say and sing its own Ode to Joy - on earth - for our brave men, women, and children as living is worth unity in one human family working in peace ongoing and for all faithful and pure.

  174. The same European Union that last year bombed Libya into a theocracy and destabilized Mali? The same European Union that fought so hard against independence movement in Algeria, Vietnam, Congo and Ireland?

    And I thought the Peace prize is only for work done in the past one year and not a life time achievement award. That's how the organizer explained when Obama was awarded.

  175. The EU has (unfortunately) no common foreign or military policy yet. None of the interventions you criticise (with some justification) were initiated or supported by the EU.

    As for Obama, any reasonable person coming into the u.s. presidential office (which would of course have excluded all of the republican candidates) probably would have been considered for the prize. This was mainly an expression of relief about the change of policy from the Bush years, after that man had brought more death, suffering and destruction to this planet than any other politician in recent years.

  176. The EU has done some nasty things lately as you mention but only at the behest of a far nastier Country (the US) who's influence they should eschew.

  177. I bet that many people don't know that Norway is not part of the European Union. So Norway is not involved and teh Nobel Norvegian Committee made an honest assessment. Yes, the European Economic Community created in the '50s was not primerely for economic aims. Economic cooperation was just an instrument for peace. To keep together first of all the Germans with the French and the British and some others. Not an easy task at all. They did wars with huge armies, artilleries and warships for centuries. In the 17th century an average of 20% of European citizens died in one single war. Some countries lost more than 50%. The war became a fine art in Europe and wouldn't ever stopped without the EU. The Norvegians had a smart idea. It was useful to teach history to those who had forgotten od hadn't ever known.

  178. I'd rather see them give out 2 Nobel Prizes in Physics each year instead of any more Peace Prizes.

  179. The 2012 Nobel Peace Price goes to the European Union. Does this mean that anyone living in the European Union can add "2012 Nobel Price Recipient" to their resume?

  180. Dear non European friends, I am overly surprised at the resentment and hatred in many of the comments. YES, EU is not a perfect project, but it works out in the medium-long term, as the most powerful promoter of peace in this continent, at least. Can you say that about any other regional power, including the US? YES, the nobel peace is taking new directions, but there are good grounds to think that the EU deserves recognition other than as the biggest trade bloc in the world...etc. Mind you EU is not like the US. we are not a nation, we did not go through a revolution to get wher we are now, we got through two World Wars. Luckily we ended up on the right side, thanks to the sacrifice of many US citizens and allies. Let me just remark there was no World war on the US soil. We are a multiform variety of cultures, different political perspectives, food, etc, but still, we managed to make partners out of enemies based on many common interests. Let's look at it beyond the narrow scope of the mediatised economic crisis.

  181. Hmmm...Roughly $1.2 million split 27 ways - that will go a long way toward settling the EU debt crisis.

  182. i absolutely agree with this award for the EU. It does not state the EU is perfect and of course, looking at the current economic crisis, it's not.
    But we need to consider how conflicts in Europe were solved in past centuries... not only 2 world wars- but centuries before that, many, many many wars to solve conflicts.
    It is a tribute to the "enlightenment" of modern civilization that diverse counrties with different cultures can band together not only for common economic interests, but also to prevent armed conflict. Finding alternatives to war to solve conflicts on a continent that had been in sporadic war since the Roman empire is truly worthy of the Nobel Pece Prize. I salute the EU!

  183. EU is just a first step, UE (United Europe) will follow, by the next generation or so. It took 7.000 years to understand the value of peace, no matter if it takes a couple of decades more for us to go a bit further and the rest of the world to understand.

  184. I was gladdened to read a number of references to NATO. It was the formation of NATO that lead to the eventual formation of the European Union. I have lived and travelled throughout Europe and can say Europe is probably far better off with the EU than it would be without. It is nice to be able to travel from country to another without having to stop at borders. Barbs being thrown across the Atlantic as who caused the current economic crisis are pointless and only serve to delay any resolution. As an American I cannot profess to know every nuance that goes on Europe nor can any European profess to know every nuance that goes on here in America. I truly think the EU has the mighty goal to continue the peace and increase the economic standing of the union and for this they are to be congratulated. I shudder to think what Europe would look like today without the presence of NATO and the EU.

  185. Don't think anyone has mentioned the EU's part in helping create the climate for more peaceful conditions in Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom and therefore part of the EU itself. Since early 1980s and subsequently through "peace funds" Europe has put money into community development in cities like Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, which has meant giving leadership jobs to ex-paramilitary activists in both the nationalist (pro-Irish) and unionist (pro-British) communities. The member of the European parliament who pushed this initiative was John Hume, himself a joint winner, with David Trimble, the former Unionist leader, of a Nobel peace prize. Providing a positive and political role for paramilitaries led to the main protagonists, the IRA and the UDA/UVF giving up their guns and turning to politics. Membership of the European parliament also meant that nationalists and unionists could combine for the good of Northern Ireland. So for all its faults the EU has had no small part in creating today's peaceful conditions. The walls separating the communities in Belfast are still there, but the former paramilitaries are in social work, politics -- or ordinary criminality. Nothing is perfect.

  186. Both my grandfathers, Republicans, served in WW2 for a free Europe. Conservatives now make me sick and I thank heaven they aren't around to hear your pathetic spew.

  187. Whether European Union should have got the Nobel Peace Prize or not can be debated. There can however be no doubt that it needs the money.

  188. Well, it clearly didn't work to give it to Obama.

    Incredibly, his was given a priori, affirming a belief in things to come. It still turned out to be ineffectual.

    Perhaps the EU can do better. They could hardly do worse.

    But, seriously folks, why not give it to the U.N.? Aren't they the organization entrusted with promoting peace in the world?

    Or maybe we should all get the Prize? After all, as Merton reminded us: peace begins with each of us.

  189. The Nobel Peace Prize (and to some extent the Literature Prize) is blatantly political and not to be taken seriously. My advice to the European Countries is to get out while you can before you bocome part of a bureaucratic dictatorship run by Brussel Sprouts with an army.

  190. Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union is more than deserved: it signals a historical intelligence that is rare. The European Union has succeeded remarkably well in two amazing historical challenges: keeping peace within a continent that was a hotbed of wars, and counter-balancing the two hostile external forces of the Soviet Union on the left and American imperialism on the right by a delicate balancing act that has preserved something of European culture and social democracy.

    One might hope the rest of the world grasps, not just the honor of the Nobel Prize, but its intelligence.

  191. On September 28, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a Spanish member of the European Parliament, made incendiary declarations on a television program threatening military intervention against Catalonia when the new government that will emerge from the November 25 elections calls a referendum on Catalan independence. He then repeated this threat in a letter addressed to his fellow members of the European Parliament. A Spanish general, with the tacit approval of the Spanish government (which has threatened to send security forces to Catalonia to "withdraw the ballot boxes" in the event of an independence referendum), took up the cry, saying that Catalan independence would happen only "over his dead body." Within 48 hours, an avalanche of letters landed on the desk of Martin Schultz, the president of the European Parliament, noting that Mr. Vidal-Quadras' evident nostalgia for the Franco dictatorship discredits the European Parliament as an institution grounded in democratic values and demanding either an apology and retraction, or Mr. Vidal-Quadras' resignation. Mr. Schultz chose to do nothing. If the EU wishes to justify this surprising award, it should start by making certain that the people of Catalonia are able to vote on their national future in a climate free of saber-rattling.

  192. The role of NATO was protect Western Europe from the Warsaw Pact countries, it is basically a military alliance. Since the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s there has been less of a need for NATO. The threat of war has gone away, or at least receded. Over the last 20 years the EU has brought 27 countries together who now work together peacefully and they have, for the most part, put their old animosities behind them. The EU plays a role in their everyday lives. It has been a tremendous achievement.

    Reading some of the comments and the Times' Editorial I was struck by how little many American commentators seem to know about Europe. Many seem to be living in the Cold War era.

  193. This makes as much sense as giving the award to Obama before he took office and after just 2 years as a US Senator. The Nobel Peace Prize is meaningless

  194. At this rate we should not be surprised if the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Peace prize to itself in the near future.After all,the committee is in Europe.