The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of six decades of work dedicated to advancing peace in Europe. While countries in southern Europe are currently being compelled to surrender their self-determination and democratic legitimacy, it does seems a little odd, to say the least.
But then, the history of the Nobel Peace Prize is a sad litany of botched awards. Along with some notorious snubs, such as the Committee declining to award a prize in 1948, the year of Mahatma Gandhi’s death, on the grounds that “there was no suitable living candidate”, it boasts a string of astonishingly controversial awards. One such was the prize awarded jointly to Henry Kissinger, U.S. national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Le Duc Tho, North Vietnamese diplomat, for negotiating a ceasefire between North Vietnam and the United States in January 1973. Unfortunately, both sides were still engaging in hostilities when the award was announced, and Tho, who refused the prize, was convinced that Kissinger, who accepted it, was actually responsible for widening the war. Other controversial laureates include Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Andrei Sakharov and Barack Obama. There have been some truly staggering nominees, including Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
This whole thing makes a little more sense when you consider that the man responsible for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize is Thorbjørn Jagland, a man who, curiously, also serves as the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. Now isn’t that strange!
Peace in Europe was secured by the defeat of Nazism in the Second World War and by the fall of Communism at the end of the Cold War era. The EU cannot take credit for either.
Indeed, according to Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, there is “no automatic guarantee” that Europe will not disintegrate into conflict if the problems associated with the failure of the Euro are not quickly resolved. “We tend to forget, until we were reminded last week of that Nobel Prize, the European project was constructed in order to rescue Europe from extreme nationalism and conflict,” he said last weekend. “There is no automatic guarantee that won’t return.”
Well, one thing’s for sure – the debt crisis in Europe must preclude the EU from receiving the Nobel Prize in Economics!
Britain has been particularly badly served by the EU. Unfettered immigration from Europe has had serious consequences for us and our legal system has been undermined time and time again by European judges of dubious authority. Our fishing industry faces ruin because of EU quotas and we are still funding a corrupt system of agricultural subsidies (CAP) that is desperately in need of revision.
The population of the EU is just over 500 million people, and each and every one of us, as a European citizen, is a de facto recipient of this Nobel Prize. I, for my part, intend to decline the award on the basis that my current warlike antipathy towards the EU disqualifies me.