It must be 1st April or something? No? Well, then it seems the European Union has actually been given the highest possible accolade for brokering peace. The Nobel committee secretary, Geir Lundestad, has wanted to give it to the EU for a long time. He reckons the institution ‘helped to consolidate democracy in Southern Europe’ after various fascist regimes, as well as easing along the transition of Eastern Europe after Communism.
But, in case Geir needs a reminder, the criteria you must meet in order to win the prize are thus: ‘[To have] done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.’
Now, let’s see. The EU-created euro currency has spent the last four years fostering abject political turmoil in both Spain and Greece, where strikes, riots and countless demonstrations have shown the world that the people are pretty unhappy with austerity. Needless to say, this has not done much to cultivate feelings of ‘brotherhood’ with richer nations such as Germany and France (the ones insisting that austerity continues).
Earlier this year, some commentators even flirted with the idea that the European debt crisis has put the continent on the verge of civil war. Certainly a Nobel Prize winner choice to fuel debate, eh chaps?