MANY EYEBROWS were raised yesterday when it was announced that the European Union had been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, for its work in seeing historical enemies “become close partners”.
The citation from the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the EU had helped to eliminate the barriers between east and west Europe, and virtually guaranteed that there would be no further wars between the major military powers of Western Europe.
At the same time, though, the EU is facing what many see as the greatest threat to the European project – the debt crisis which has seen major social unrest in many European countries and threatens to create a two-tier Europe, undermining the EU’s broader goals.
Though the EU has done plenty to avert the threat of military conflict between its members and in the wider world, for some its popularity has never been lower. So – should the European Union have won the Nobel Peace Prize?