The EU has won the Nobel Peace Prize for "having contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe." One UK politician called the choice "slightly eccentric." The European Union, with its roots in the European Economic Community (EEC), was started as a peace project aimed at ending war in Europe forever by uniting nations and their people, but is that what it accomplished? And what is it now? Here's one answer:
"Daftest of all is the notion that the EU itself has kept the peace. It was the Allies led by the Americans, the Russians and the British who defeated and disarmed the Germans in 1945. The German people then underwent the most extraordinary reckoning, transforming their country into an essentially pacifist society. The EU had very little to do with it.
Throughout that period it was Nato, led by the Americans and British, which kept the peace in Western Europe. The American taxpayer picked up most of the resulting tab, and the British paid a significant part of the bill too.
Under this defence umbrella, the federalists who wanted to reconstruct the notion of Carolingian Empire which dominated 9th century Europe, created what we have come to know and love as the EU. Of course there are advantages in what they constructed – the single market and easier travel, making the South of France and Tuscany more accessible.
But they also built an appallingly designed single currency, a horlicks of an agricultural policy and rapacious bureaucracy determined to stifle the nation state in the name of utopian, unachievable continent-wide homogeneity. And at every turn those driving it looked for ways to outwit the democratic will."
Some people have called the prize a "confidence boost" at a time when the merits of the union are being called into question. Isn't that a bit like giving a gold star to a student who is failing? What are your opinions? Here's a pro article from Die Zeit (German language) and a con article from The Telegraph (cited in part above). And here's a longer article on the EU crisis from Foreign Affairs if you're interested.