A couple of hours ago, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union.

12/10/2012

olivierOn the one hand, it’s good news for the EU. As usual it’s quite a ‘political’ decision from the Nobel jury, coming at a time of when the EU is amidst of crisis.

Yet most importantly, it’s an acknowledgement of the long term peace building process that has taken place for more than six decades; young European citizens must not forget this. Furthermore, the Nobel Peace Prize can contribute to widening public awareness about the contribution of the EU to peace in our region. It may also hopefully contribute to limit the increase of ‘defensive nationalism’ within Europe.

On the other hand, this decision should encourage the EU to assume a position of increased political leadership vis-à-vis other peace processes across the world. Syria is a prime example. The Nobel Prize should also push the EU to apply in its entirety the Lisbon Treaty provision on Policy Coherence for Development in order to contribute more powerfully to existing local and national efforts to fight poverty in the so-called ‘developing world’. We expect the EU to pursue a ‘Do not Harm’ approach to other regions of the world.

Finally, the Nobel Peace Prize should also be an invitation for EU institutions to deepen democracy at the European level.

“There is no susta-inable peace without truly democratic proc-cesses”

And this includes to listen better and take on board what citizens and civil society organisations expect from politicians and institutions at European level.

Overall, it’s good news. But the EU now needs to build more inclusive societies within Europe and a better world for ALL at international level.

Olivier Consolo
Director of CONCORD

Links

Reaction from the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the Commission José Manuel Barroso

Reaction from the EU’s High Representative Catherine Ashton

Reaction from the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz