No Prize Awarded
October 12, 2012 5:43 AM   Subscribe

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union.
posted by gerryblog (95 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
All we are saying / is give Greece a chance!!! #stolenfromtwitter
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:44 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


My favorite line from Twitter was one of my own, alas: "Nobel Peace Prize awarded to unopened box of bullets on NYPD shelf."
posted by gerryblog at 5:46 AM on October 12, 2012 [30 favorites]


When I lived in the European Union NYTimes editorials were not paywalled.
posted by srboisvert at 5:47 AM on October 12, 2012


It should've gone to anyone who has thus far managed not to slap someone of the opposing political party this election season.
posted by elizardbits at 5:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


so not me basically
posted by elizardbits at 5:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


Thank you Norway (which is not in the EU); this Nobel price is a friendly reminder of why the EU is there, and how we should behave as Europeans.
posted by - at 5:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


There was that little thing called Croatia, plus French and Belgian support for the genocidaires in Rwanda. But besides that it's all good.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:48 AM on October 12, 2012


Oh great, so in a couple of years the EU is going to start torturing prisoners, imprisoning citizens without a trial and eavesdropping on everyone TOO?
posted by DU at 5:50 AM on October 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


In fairness, six decades without a continent-spanning war is pretty good for them. But I wouldn't give Uwe Boll an Academy Award for not directing anything in 2012 (yet) (fingers crossed).
posted by Etrigan at 5:54 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


DU- don't forget about making a kill list!
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:55 AM on October 12, 2012


Oh, wait, here's one on Twitter that's my new favorite: "It's great that the EU won its peace prize before it died."
posted by gerryblog at 5:57 AM on October 12, 2012 [32 favorites]


Wait!, political entities can win awards for abstract concepts ("peace") and corporations are people....I'm so confused...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:57 AM on October 12, 2012


Well, this is the same Nobel committee that gave Obama the prize for......um......uhhhh..........
posted by Thorzdad at 5:59 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


...being cute and not flubbing his lines....
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:00 AM on October 12, 2012


Aside from the prestige, Nobel prizes also come with an award of about 1.2 million dollars, which should fix the Eurozone's economic crisis, right?
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:00 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't decide if this one is worse than the Obama one. Obama hadn't done anything yet when he got his; it was purely aspirational, and there was at least a doomed hope that he might be different than previous US presidents. But the EU more or less *is* the war-making apparatus, as such. You might as well award it to the Air Force, or (as I say above) a gun that hasn't been fired in a while...
posted by gerryblog at 6:02 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Wait!, political entities can win awards for abstract concepts ("peace") and corporations are people....I'm so confused...

Religions can win too. Think about the Quakers in 1947.
posted by - at 6:03 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, who gets to say they're a Nobel Prize winner, everybody in the EU or just the bureaucrats making rules about banana straightness?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:03 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


don't forget about making a kill list

mine is in a txt document on my desktop
posted by elizardbits at 6:03 AM on October 12, 2012


...being cute and not flubbing his lines....

To be truthful, I think the Obama award was really an award to the US electorate. Sort of a "Holy shit!!! You guys actually elected a black guy President!!!!111!" attaboy.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:05 AM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


You know, whoever wins it, I've never been able to understand how the inventor of dynamite bequeathed a Peace Prize.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:05 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


We already passed beyond parody when Kissinger won. All the more recent absurdity is just the status quo.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:06 AM on October 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


My favorite from twitter: At least the EU didn't win the Nobel Prize for economics.
posted by Runes at 6:07 AM on October 12, 2012 [23 favorites]


That's next.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:08 AM on October 12, 2012


So economic war or class war doesn't count?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:14 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, they already won Time's Person of the Year, maybe this is an attempt at economic stimulus by spurring new construction of trophy cases?
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:15 AM on October 12, 2012


This is nearly as bad as my winning Time's Person of the Year in 2006. That reminds me, I need to put that back on my resume.
posted by yeolcoatl at 6:15 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Curse you, T. D. Strange!
posted by yeolcoatl at 6:16 AM on October 12, 2012


The EU ended military conflict in Western Europe, is dangerously close to doing so in the Balkans, and helped strengthen human rights and stability in Eastern Europe too. Europe is now too economically codependent to make war viable. It's hard to see many winners that have as good an institutional or personal record.
posted by jaduncan at 6:17 AM on October 12, 2012 [26 favorites]


So economic war or class war doesn't count?

Or actual war. I think I saw on Twitter that every nation in the EU has participated in the Afghanistan War except Malta.
posted by gerryblog at 6:17 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, whoever wins it, I've never been able to understand how the inventor of dynamite bequeathed a Peace Prize.

Because his obituary was accidentally published (upon his brother's death), and it called him "The Merchant of Death." He wanted a better tag line.
posted by Etrigan at 6:18 AM on October 12, 2012


EU must be kidding me.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:18 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


In related news, Greece has won the Nobel prize in economics.
posted by phaedon at 6:29 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Absolutely deserved. And I speak as someone who was once a hardcore Maastricht Treaty protester.
posted by kariebookish at 6:30 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The European Union must be feeling pretty good about itself today, but it still hasn't been chosen as Time's Person of Year, the way I was.

Yeah, whatever.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:33 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, outside of the Euro, the EU is a raging success. No state wishes to leave, and new members and still joining. Millions upon millions of folk now have the right to live and work anywhere in the world's biggest single market. A war between EU states is about as likely as between your two hands.
posted by Jehan at 6:36 AM on October 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Curse you, T. D. Strange and yeolcoatl!

That joke never gets old. Or old enough. Yet.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:38 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, outside of the Euro, the EU is a raging success. No state wishes to leave, and new members and still joining. Millions upon millions of folk now have the right to live and work anywhere in the world's biggest single market.

It's a neat process even for Western Europe and the newish EE members. New countries enter and

a) hard workers come to the rich countries, work cheaply, save up, move back to their home (or stay and continue to work) and then become export markets.
b) some industry builds out to where the cheap labour is, and provides an economic boost that also provides newly rich export markets.
c) new countries enter, subsidies are provided, industry moves, labour comes out, the previous periphery sells to them.
d) rinse and repeat.
posted by jaduncan at 6:43 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yo EU, I'm really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation was one of the best intergovernmental bodies of all time
posted by threeants at 6:47 AM on October 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


You know, the thought occurs... there are a whole bunch of six-year-old children that will have to live with the eternal tragedy of not being named Person of the Year.
posted by Malor at 6:59 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


A war between EU states is about as likely as between your two hands.

Yes, civil wars never happen. Political and economic alliances never crumble.
posted by Flood at 7:01 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I think the Peace Prize tends to be pretty symbolic and hopeful (like peace itself) and, when you think about it, the EU has done a really good job of putting some crazy old animosities aside in the name of prosperity. As much as I hated living in France for totally different reasons, you have to admit that the EU really has a handle on treating their citizens like human beings. How many other governments do that at this point in history? I will guffaw out loud if you try and make a case for the U.S. No governmental body in existence today is not doing totally evil things to someone somewhere, but this one actually does seem to be setting a relatively good example for the rest of the world.
posted by Mooseli at 7:03 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Peace Prize gets the press, but to the War Prize belong the spoils.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:06 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, outside of the Euro, the EU is a raging success.

I'm going to be contrarian and assert that the Euro too is a raging success. It is being blamed for an economic meltdown which actually has little connection with it. Hungary, for instance, is emphatically not in the Euro, and yet in even deeper financial doo-doo than Greece, for very much the same reasons. Stupid and/or criminal national economic policies carry that punishment, with or without the Euro.
posted by Skeptic at 7:09 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


A war between EU states is about as likely as between your two hands.

Isn't the question really whether that's the case because of the European Union or other factors?
posted by lullaby at 7:12 AM on October 12, 2012


Here's some perspective: my grandparents, born in the early 1900s, grew up in a world where old and new European feuds were sending millions of people to their death in "fresh and joyful" wars. Germans, Brits, Frenchmen, Spaniards (and some non-European guests) etc. would righteously disembowel each other every 20 years or so. This was normal and expected, because, to use a French expression, they were "ennemis héréditaires", i.e. the French (for instance) were supposed to naturally hate their neighbours and vice versa. There's a patriotic song from 1882 called The son of the German that tells the story of a French woman refusing to nurse a starving German child because her "teats are French" ("Ma mamelle est française"). When my grandparents honeymooned in Northern and Eastern France in the 1920s, the postcards they sent home were pictures of the WWI ossuaries they were visiting. Life prospects of a European born before 1945: to be killed gruesomely in the next war. That's pre-EU Europe, dancing between coffins, some already closed, some wide open and waiting for you.
Founding the EU put an end to millennia of internal warfare. That was the point: create durable peace through economic and cultural integration. This goal was attained, incredibly enough. The Balkans crisis was a dreadful reminder of what Europeans are still willing to do to each other when nationalism runs unchecked. So yeah, the Nobel Committee just crowned one of most important achievements in human history. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most underrated and least understood.
posted by elgilito at 7:14 AM on October 12, 2012 [46 favorites]


I think that's where I'm more sympathetic to what @zunguzungu says in this tweet: "This just in: White Race wins Nobel Peace Prize." Whatever the merits of the EU, and I'm absolutely in favor, I don't see it as an agent for peace generally. Europeans just aren't killing each other anymore.
posted by gerryblog at 7:20 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is being blamed for an economic meltdown which actually has little connection with it.

Further, to the degree that the EU has refused to use monetary policy to bail out bad government decisions, it's improving the overall health of Europe. Printing money to bail out bad decisions compounds the original errors. Things feel better for awhile, but the pain is the economy signaling that things need to change, that bad ideas need to go away. Printing money suppresses the pain, but it also suppresses the correct response to the pain, which is to stop doing what hurts.

In a world being flooded with dollar liquidity, the EU's policies have less of an impact than they otherwise would, but all this pain that's happening in all these countries is not a bad thing. It's the result of years of bad decisions and resulting economic maladjustment. Fixing stuff like this is not easy or fast. But it is required.
posted by Malor at 7:23 AM on October 12, 2012


Maybe next year America will win! We haven't had a civil war for like 150 years! Take THAT, EU!

you have to admit that the EU really has a handle on treating their citizens like human beings

It doesn't really seem to me that the EU member states are particularly praiseworthy in this regard. Many states have criminal justice issues. The UK follows US's lead on violating human rights in the name of terrorism prevention. Don't even get me started on France's anti-immigrant 'secularist' policies.

Whatever the merits of the EU, and I'm absolutely in favor, I don't see it as an agent for peace generally.

Yeah, exactly. This isn't anti-EU sentiment, it's Anti-Peace-Prize sentiment.
posted by muddgirl at 7:25 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sure this will come as a great comfort to the millions of people eating out of the trash in Spain.
posted by elizardbits at 7:27 AM on October 12, 2012


Yes, civil wars never happen. Political and economic alliances never crumble.
Well, you know, the US has had 225 years and one civil war. If you want to liken that to what Europe has been up to since 1787, I think you'll agree the European Union is for the best peacewise.
posted by Jehan at 7:28 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The history of Europe might as well double as the evolutionary history of warfare. Europe has through its history been an incredibly violent place. That this isn't the case anymore is really remarkable. This was brought home to me the other day by an off-hand comment by (if I'm remembering correctly) Troy Goodfellow, a war and strategy gaming expert. He was talking about how it was really hard to make a wargame about modern Europe because you'd need to model just how unfathomable it is for, say, Austria to invade Italy in 2012. It's become hard to imagine a war in Europe, even from the point of view of moving chits around a gameboard.

Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, war was always a likely eventuality. In the years since WWII, this has become increasingly unlikely, to the point of ludicrousness. In fact, you can only use the possibility as a metaphor. Austrian tourists invade Italian beaches. Dutch football fans invade England. Swedish art lovers invade Norwegian museums. Whether the EU is a root cause or a symptom (and I'd argue it's more of a cause than a symptom) that Europe isn't constantly at war is definitely worthy of a shiny medal.
posted by Kattullus at 7:30 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm sure this will come as a great comfort to the millions of people eating out of the trash in Spain.

Malor's comment sounds better in the original German, admonishing the wimpy kid on the playground to stop hitting himself.
posted by fleacircus at 7:33 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Many states have criminal justice issues. The UK follows US's lead on violating human rights in the name of terrorism prevention.

Yes, but in both those linked articles, the human rights violations are being watched and both articles involve an appeal to the EU to bring their member states under control. So, explicitly, the EU is being asked to act to bring peace and justice. It can do so because its members are bound by treaties which they enacted in self-interest. Pre-EU, you just wring your hands, I suppose.

No, the EU hasn't solved world peace. It hasn't stopped all wars in the world. I am sure you can cherry-pick bad things about the EU. But, as a whole, the EU has advanced the goal of peace. That is why the prize is well-deserved.
posted by vacapinta at 7:42 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


> Maybe next year America will win! We haven't had a civil war for like 150 years! Take THAT, EU!

Mars rover finds surprising rock, nuzzles it and shoots it with lasers. Don't worry, we've got the rest of the universe.
posted by jfuller at 7:45 AM on October 12, 2012


It hasn't stopped all wars in the world.

Aren't EU nations currently at war in Afghanistan? I don't expect any country to 'solve world peace.' I would expect the winner of a peace prize to not be currently engaging in a war.
posted by muddgirl at 7:50 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aren't EU nations currently at war in Afghanistan? I don't expect any country to 'solve world peace.' I would expect the winner of a peace prize to not be currently engaging in a war.

Yeah, NATO is. The EU isn't. It's an important difference.
posted by jaduncan at 7:55 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


The last 60 years in western Europe have been more peaceful than any 60 year period in its history. Western Europeans spent centuries killing each other, getting more and more effective at it until the horrors of the WWs. The EU was their plan to end it, by uniting economically.

And they have been astonishing successful. No, the EU members don't all get along - but (as noted above) they now fight with words and policies rather than machine guns or bombers. Has any other region succeeded so well with peace without full political unity?
posted by jb at 7:59 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


as a whole, the EU has advanced the goal of peace. That is why the prize is well-deserved

I don't disagree that the EU has done some top peacing, but the EU has sufficient resources to blows its own trumpet, and doesn't need the money (Greece notwithstanding).

Giving the peace prize is itself a political act, and greater political value could result from giving the prize to a less powerful organisation or an individual who could use the money and publicity. There are sufficient prisoners of conscience, individual peacemakers, resisters of oppression, etc in the world whose work the peace prize could encourage and thereby strengthen the cause of peace.

So - in that context - shouldn't the Nobel Committee have voted #1 quidnunc kid? It's been AGES since I last got banned from MeFi - I haven't called ANYONE an asshole since last Tuesday. Just think about how peaceful I am, you fucking ASSHOLES.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:00 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, NATO is. The EU isn't. It's an important difference.

So the EU can prevent member states from engaging in human rights abuses against their own citizens, but can't prevent member states from going to war against other countries?

This is an honest question - my understanding is that the EU was basically (at this point in time) an economic union, not a political one, so statements like "you have to admit that the EU really has a handle on treating their citizens like human beings" are very confusing to me. Are Europeans 'citizens of the EU' or aren't they? If countries are members of both NATO and the EU, are their soldiers not EU soldiers?
posted by muddgirl at 8:03 AM on October 12, 2012


This is an honest question - my understanding is that the EU was basically (at this point in time) an economic union, not a political one, so statements like "you have to admit that the EU really has a handle on treating their citizens like human beings" are very confusing to me. Are Europeans 'citizens of the EU' or aren't they? If countries are members of both NATO and the EU, are their soldiers not EU soldiers?

There's an economic and (to some degree, it depends what's on the national and EU level) a legislative union but not a foreign policy and defence union. Very few EU countries went to Gulf War II even though the UK and Poland did, for example.

The EU provides rights and common laws regarding many matters, but is supranational rather than a nation state. Member states of the EU have considerable freedom of action and use it; it is rather as if Mississippi and Massachusetts had the ability to independently deploy troops and sign international treaties, and one might expect that Massachusetts might have a different attitude to the International Criminal Court, for example. If Alabama undertook a military action, one wouldn't say that the US had done so.

TL;DR? NAFTA with a supranational common legislature and Bill of Rights, I guess.
posted by jaduncan at 8:14 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


muddgirl: If countries are members of both NATO and the EU, are their soldiers not EU soldiers?

The issue of common defence and common foreign policy are complicated and sensitive issues in Europe, soldiers of EU states are emphatically not "EU soldiers" be default - although there have been moves towards more cooperation. Personally I see what you mean, it's a little odd that the state is constrained in its actions w.r.t. citizens of the EU domestically but seems to have free reign militarily in an international sense, but there would be very major constitutional barriers in some member states (my own included) to a real "federal" army for the EU along the lines of the US military.
posted by nfg at 8:17 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The recent peace in Europe may owe something to the EU, but I think it mainly stems from the fact that Europe is relatively weak and European states can no longer throw a big war without larger powers intervening.

But congratulations anyway.
posted by Segundus at 8:20 AM on October 12, 2012


The last 60 years in western Europe have been more peaceful than any 60 year period in its history. Western Europeans spent centuries killing each other, getting more and more effective at it until the horrors of the WWs. The EU was their plan to end it, by uniting economically.

Though, wasn't a large contributing factor for that peace was the fact that for the first 45 years, western Europe had a powerful external military threat to stare down? Any intra-western-Europe war in that situtation would have been extremely unlikely to end in victory.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 8:22 AM on October 12, 2012


As far as I'm concerned, it's well deserved; having had family members participate in the 2 x WW, anything that bridges across borders and help us be more sympathetic to others rather than view them as the Other is good.

Also, they should win the Nobel Prize for Love, thanks to the ERASMUS programme, I met my wife while studying in Paris. So yes, I'm pro-EU.
posted by arcticseal at 8:27 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm sure this will come as a great comfort to the millions of people eating out of the trash in Spain.
posted by elizardbits at 7:27 AM on October 12


Being Spanish myself, I'm very well aware of the hardship in my own country (which can mostly be blamed on home-grown problems, not the EU). I'm pretty certain, though, that there aren't "millions of people eating out of the trash" in Spain.

Jeez, one single picture in the front page of the NYT, and some New Yorkers start assuming that it is representative of "millions of people". Guess what? There are people eating out of the trash in New York too!
posted by Skeptic at 8:30 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


but there would be very major constitutional barriers in some member states (my own included) to a real "federal" army for the EU along the lines of the US military.

Looking at American history, a powerful external threat will go a long way towards breaking down those barriers. It's sort of telling that the EU formed after the fall of the Berlin Wall - since then they haven't really had much external pressure.

As far as I'm concerned, it's well deserved; having had family members participate in the 2 x WW, anything that bridges across borders and help us be more sympathetic to others rather than view them as the Other is good.

Again, I quite like the EU. I just think the concept of the Peace Prize is very silly, and has been for a long time.

Guess what? There are people eating out of the trash in New York too!

Who's saying there aren't?
posted by muddgirl at 8:33 AM on October 12, 2012


Are Europeans 'citizens of the EU' or aren't they?

Well, since the Maastricht Treaty, yes.
posted by Skeptic at 8:34 AM on October 12, 2012


Personally I see what you mean, it's a little odd that the state is constrained in its actions w.r.t. citizens of the EU domestically but seems to have free reign militarily in an international sense, but there would be very major constitutional barriers in some member states (my own included) to a real "federal" army for the EU along the lines of the US military.

The ex-imperial member states in particular would go crazy about any proposal that limited independent right of action; aside from anything else the national interests of EU states directly oppose each other in several geopolitical areas (see Gibraltar, the Falklands/Malvinas and the UK and Spanish stances, for example).
posted by jaduncan at 8:36 AM on October 12, 2012


"No Prize Awarded"
whatever, dude -
this is an awesome gesture by the Nobel committee


Also, they should win the Nobel Prize for Love, thanks to the ERASMUS programme, I met my wife while studying in Paris. So yes, I'm pro-EU.
posted by arcticseal at 8:27 AM on October 12 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


hey everyone , let's watch L'Auberge Espagnole
posted by Bwithh at 8:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


"My initial response was to burst out laughing. Because this Nobel Peace Prize committee, basically run by clapped out former politicians in Norway, never fails to amuse and disappoint,” Ali says. “To give the prize to the European community, at a time, effectively, when economically, it is promoting unemployment, creating real class divides in virtually every country in Europe, where it has led to enormous violence on the streets of Greece, because of the policies being pushed by the EU ... it is a complete and utter joke."
Tariq Ali's reaction on Democracy Now!
posted by RogerB at 9:12 AM on October 12, 2012


Wow, I'm really sorry for gerryblog's comments like "No prize awarded" or "white race wins the peace prize". So sorry for everyone who wanted to toast and celebrate the Noble Peace Prize and instead had to read that sorry crap.

This is a very long overdue and very well deserved prize. Everyone who labored in any small way to contribute to the European dream should feel proud of themselves.

The Committee's rational is perfectly set out in this morning's official press release.
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who
were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality. The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.

In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the EU. The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership. The fall of the Berlin Wall made EU membership possible for several Central and Eastern European countries, thereby opening a new era in European history. The division between East and West has to a large extent been brought to an end; democracy has been strengthened; many ethnically-based national conflicts have been settled.

The admission of Croatia as a member next year, the opening of membership negotiations with Montenegro, and the granting of candidate status to Serbia all strengthen the process of reconciliation in the Balkans. In the past decade, the possibility of EU membership for Turkey has also advanced democracy and human rights in that country.

The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.

The work of the EU represents "fraternity between nations", and amounts to a form of the "peace congresses" to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.

Oslo, 12 October 2012
posted by ruelle at 9:39 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


There was that little thing called Croatia

There still is. What about it?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 AM on October 12, 2012


Croatia is set to become the 28th member state of the European Union on 1 July 2013.

(You can read more about the negotiation progress here.)
posted by ruelle at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2012


Yes. And? KokuRyu seemed to be objecting to Croatia's accession. (There was that little thing called Croatia, plus French and Belgian support for the genocidaires in Rwanda. But besides that it's all good.) I would like to know why.

Is it because they defended themselves (and others) from Milošević and co.?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 AM on October 12, 2012


They aren't even trying to make this award meaningful anymore.
posted by Intrepid at 10:45 AM on October 12, 2012


They should give the prize money to the Greeks, Irish and Spaniards and the Germans should get the actual medal. The French can host the party and everybody else potlucks a native delicacy.
posted by Renoroc at 10:52 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


The 2013 Nobel Peace Price will no doubt go to inanimate carbon rod.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:54 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damn, and doesn't Twitter take the fun out of making Simpsons references
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:56 AM on October 12, 2012


The 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature will go to the "abstract concept of ennui" for its continuing contribution to the arts.
posted by justkevin at 11:14 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there seems to be a bit of confusion in this thread between what the EU does and what its member states do here....?
posted by Bwithh at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2012


The thing is, outside of the Euro, the EU is a raging success. No state wishes to leave, and new members and still joining. Millions upon millions of folk now have the right to live and work anywhere in the world's biggest single market. A war between EU states is about as likely as between your two hands.
posted by Jehan at 6:36 AM on October 12 [8 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


In the (almost) totally ridiculous 21st century political intrigue airport novel thriller-with-a-twist with a possibly semi-happy-ish ending speculative version of the Euro crisis narrative, the Euro was deliberately designed to be deeply flawed, in order to create conditions for a "shotgun wedding" series of locked-in crises that set the scene for true "ever closer [political & fiscal] union" as a EU federal superstate.
posted by Bwithh at 11:49 AM on October 12, 2012


I'm pretty certain, though, that there aren't "millions of people eating out of the trash" in Spain.

I can't find the link atm, but that story has been pretty thoroughly debunked
posted by Bwithh at 11:51 AM on October 12, 2012



I think that's where I'm more sympathetic to what @zunguzungu says in this tweet: "This just in: White Race wins Nobel Peace Prize." Whatever the merits of the EU, and I'm absolutely in favor, I don't see it as an agent for peace generally. Europeans just aren't killing each other anymore.
posted by gerryblog at 7:20 AM on October 12 [+] [!]



BREAKING: there are actually quite a lot of non-white citizens of the EU.

The multinational/supranational institution of the EU is a weighty counterpoint to the threat of parochial white nationalisms in its member states actually. If you ever come across an extreme rightwing racist white nationalist in the EU, they are almost certainly very anti-EU. (The EU also creates an environment where non-racist, non-extreme rightwing local nationalisms can better express themselves - e.g. Scottish nationalism)
posted by Bwithh at 11:56 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


In the (almost) totally ridiculous 21st century political intrigue airport novel thriller-with-a-twist with a possibly semi-happy-ish ending speculative version of the Euro crisis narrative, the Euro was deliberately designed to be deeply flawed, in order to create conditions for a "shotgun wedding" series of locked-in crises that set the scene for true "ever closer [political & fiscal] union" as a EU federal superstate.
I see you're a cynical "neofunctionalist".
posted by Jehan at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bwithh, I'll take that pushback. You're right of course. As I said, I like the EU. Just not for the Peace Prize.
posted by gerryblog at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2012


Next year's prize should be awarded "To all the haters."
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:38 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The War of Words Over the Nobel Prize
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on October 12, 2012


>Maybe next year America will win! We haven't had a civil war for like 150 years! Take THAT, EU!

>Mars rover finds surprising rock, nuzzles it and shoots it with lasers. Don't worry, we've got the rest of the universe.


Er, you know, that laser? It's French...
posted by Skeptic at 2:35 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


While some have claimed that political satire died with a Nobel Peace Prize the sadder idea is this.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:12 PM on October 12, 2012


The War of Words Over the Nobel Prize

Meh - is the Nobel prize what Nobel set up or does it include prizes 'in memory' of Nobel?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:17 PM on October 12, 2012


Maybe next year they should award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Nobel Committee.
posted by FJT at 10:23 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it because they defended themselves (and others) from Milošević and co.?

I can't speak for KokuRyu, but my guess is because they were working with Milošević when they agreed to split up Bosnia, when they invaded it, when they destroyed a World Heritage Site, engaged in ethnic cleansing, etc.

I'm not an expert on the subject, and I don't want to start a fighty derail. I think that Croatia had a right to defend itself against Serbia. I think that in the conduct of the various Yugoslav wars that Croatia behaved in a more peaceful fashion than Serbia. But I also think that "behaved better than Serbia" is not exactly a high bar, and that Croatia's hands are not exactly sparkling clean.

Back on topic, Alfred Nobel lived through the time of the Austro-Prussian War (100,000 killed), the Crimean War (500-600,000 killed), the Franco-Prussian War (800-900,000 killed) not to mention three Italian Wars of Independence, three Carlist wars in Spain, two Schleswig Wars and various other uprisings and revolts in Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Greece, Estonia, Crete, and others. If you told him that there would be a 60 year period of peace in most of Europe, and that the idea of a war between any pair of France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, England would be unthinkable, he damn well would give a prize to the folks who made it happen.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:25 AM on October 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


the Americans?
posted by clavdivs at 8:06 AM on October 13, 2012


The War of Words Over the Nobel Prize

Meh - is the Nobel prize what Nobel set up or does it include prizes 'in memory' of Nobel?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:17 PM on October 12 [+] [!]


The Economics prize was set up in memory of Nobel. all the 5 others were part of Nobel's original legacy. Nobel didn't explain, at least publicly, why he set up a peace prize but some think he felt guilty that some of his inventions (like dynamite) became major weapons of war
posted by Bwithh at 9:56 AM on October 13, 2012


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