I saw the story first in the Washington Post, so I shall quote from it.
The Norwegian prize committee said the EU received the award for six decades of contributions “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
“The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace,” Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.
The EU rose from the ashes of World War II, born of the conviction that ever closer economic ties would make sure that century-old enemies never turned on each other again.Well, of course, as anyone who has looked at the history of this noxious institution knows, the EU did not rise from the ashes of anything. The EU came into existence in 1992 after the Maastricht Treaty, just about the time the war in former Yugoslavia was unfolding, with the EU and its egregious Ministers adding to the flames by encouraging the Communist apparatchik turned Serb nationalist Slobodan Milosevic to keep the federation together by whatever means possible.
Even the EEC didn't exactly rise from those ashes. By 1957 Western Europe was recovering from the war with the help of the Marshall Fund and their own activity (especially in West Germany) while Eastern Europe was left to its own far from peaceful devices.
Across Europe in that period there have been a few crises: the Berlin air lift, the uprising in East Berlin in 1953, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the various attempts to throw off Communism in Poland, the Prague Spring, the Berlin Wall, and so on. Where was the EU or its predecessors?
Then came the fall of Communism, achieved by the people of the countries involved with a little help from President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher (none of whom got the Nobel Peace Prize). Where was the EU? Well, at least, we know where it was when former Yugoslavia erupted.
As we look around at southern Europe in particular we find a curious picture of peace and democracy. But then the EU is not precisely democratic as any fule kno. In fact, its whole raison d'être is to surmount democracy and old-fashioned political accountability by managerial politics. One assumes that is why the Norwegian Committee has warmed to it.
I do not find it upsetting or insulting. Nor do I think as some people seem to that it makes a joke of the prize. It does not affect the real Nobel Prizes, that is the various science ones and the Peace Prize has been a joke for many decades. In fact, the last time a deserving candidate was awarded it was in 1906 when Teddy Roosevelt was given the gong for negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth NH between Russia and Japan, thus bringing an actual war to an end without (as in the case of the 1972 prize, divided between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho) unleashing a war by one of the governments against its own people. Since then? Well, have a look at the list.
One wonders, incidentally, whether there is now going to be a fight in Brussels as to who should go to Oslo to receive the Prize and the money and what will happen to that sum, which is not to be despised. Another question: when we have that famous referendum so many eurosceptics are screaming for, will the Prime Minister use this as an argument for staying in the EU?