EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


As the announcement of the laureate for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize draws near (Friday 8 October, 11:00 a.m. CET), we should recognise that the most successful promoter of peace, prosperity and tolerance in modern times might be the European Union as an institution.

The initial objective of the Union’s founding fathers – to prevent war between former adversaries and bring lasting peace to Europe – has been achieved. Since its inception following World War II, the members of the Union have co-existed peacefully.

All other developments that have taken place as a consequence have led to today’s prosperous European Union of 27 member states: an unavoidable and positive ‘peace dividend’.

The recent signature of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty has wide-ranging peace-related implications for Europe and even beyond. It also underlines the determination of the European Union and its member states to deepen their peaceful co-existence.

Furthermore, during the difficult – dare one say tumultuous – process of Treaty ratification, the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have provided valuable stewardship.
One must recognise that the main drivers of this great achievement fulfil the guidelines laid down by Alfred Nobel’s will for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize, which include to reward “…the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses”.

Given that the greatest political achievement for durable peace in Europe has been and is the European Union, we are of the opinion that the European Union Institutions together (the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission) would make a worthy recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. A long overdue recognition.

Dr. Gilbert Fayl & Ulric Fayl von Hentaller

Private citizens

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  1. Help yourselves. Henry Kissinger, Al Gore and Barack Obama have already had it. There’s only Micky Mouse and Bart Simpson left.

  2. I agree that the EU has a possible right to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize but where we have to look at the EU in its entirety to determine whether it is a true contender. There are pros and cons in this respect and where the EU did not stop wars in other countries happening when with enough political force it could have done so as the leading economic block in the world. Indeed, it stood back with only rhetoric being heard when the Iraq and Afghan wars were intimated (prior to military offensives commencing) and where hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died since. Is non-action a part cause and the reason why these deaths happened it has to be asked? That is debateable, but where for an institution like the EU to be awarded the peace prize it has to show first, global leadership in this respect. Indeed, all I have seen over the years in the EU is political intervention backed up by military action and not basically for humanitarian intervention per se.

    A far better candidate would be someone or some leader who through their direct actions created human stability and peace I would say. There are not many about but there are a few.

    But again, if the EU forged a new world order that provided a universal and an equitable future life for humankind, the EU would truly be a peace maker on a global scale. Unfortunately with EU politicians predominantly being interested in singularities privately and not the whole when it comes to Europe, this will never happen. The reason, the usual vested-interests of nations and where this blinkered outlook that is entrenched in nationalism is far more dangerous to world’s stability than anything else.

    As global natural resources diminish and those to preserve human life as we know it, major conflicts will ensue unless politicians remove this psyche of self-preservation above all else. For we are now moving towards a world that will either exist with humankind at its helm at the end of this century, or will not. It is as simple as that and where we have to find something more important to humans than the corporate wealth of nations – a clear recipe in this century it has to be said for human annihilation. For all wars are economic at their base and nothing else.

    Time is running out therefore and where our politicians, and especially the EU, has to see things as they really are and what future is emerging for us all. Therefore if the EU could forge a new all-encompassing paradigm of human change that was not based upon the accumulation of capital wealth but rather on the premise of preserving the human experience, it would certainly be at the front-runner for any peace award whether it was the Nobel Prize or any other. But again we are dreaming, when our political leaders just see things substantially from a single perspective even though they are all members of the EU. Change this mindset of deep rooted vested interests and then the EU would be worthy of the peace prize but unfortunately where presently universal self-preservation is king. Therefore is the EU worthy – yes for the people it is, but not with the personal and private mandates and mindsets of its leaders I have to say. Consequently, all this has to change for our own good and especially for the long-term socio-economic interests and wellbeing of our very young within the EU now. We have only three decades to change this if the truth be known.

    Dr David Hill
    Executive Director
    World Innovation Foundation Charity
    Bern, Switzerland

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