Almost everyone went there. To Oslo, in Norway. More than 20 top EU leaders attended today’s awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union. The EU presidents, a lot of leaders of member-states. The EU sent three of its presidents ( van Rompuy, Barosso, Schulz) to collect the award at a ceremony in Oslo’s City Hall.
0.2 EURO CENTS EACH
The Nobel prize money of 930,000 euros ($1.25 million) will be given to projects that help children struggling in war zones, with the recipients to be announced next week. The EU has said it will match the prize money, so that a total of 2 million euros will be given to the selected aid projects.
That decision went some way to silence critics on Twitter and other social media sites who initially joked that if the award was for all Europeans then they should all share the prize money – which would equal about 0.2 euro cents each. (Reuters)
Critics said the EU’s win, coming amid the financial crisis, is inappropriate.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates defended the contested decision to give the prize to the European Union and promised it would emerge stronger from the ongoing social unrest and protests in its member states.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the EU the prize for its work representing “fraternity between nations” and acting as a “peace congress,” among the criteria for the prize in Alfred Nobel’s will. Critics, however, including members of Norway’s ruling government, have called the EU an unworthy winner because of member states’ weapon exports and the ill timing of the prize, given Europe’s current fiscal crisis.
Herman Van Rompuy, president European Council
“Parents struggling to make ends meet, workers recently laid off, students who fear that, however hard they try, they won’t get their first job: When they think about Europe, peace is not the first thing that comes to mind.” . (yahoonews)
A critical voice came from the UK, as expected. What next for the EU – the Nobel Prize for Economics?
“The self-congratulatory tone taken by the Euro-grandees as they received the Nobel Peace Prize was rude, arrogant and dangerous.”
I don’t know if the EU will win also another Nobel Prize, sure is the presidents and the leaders certainly lived happily ever after they didn’t decline to receive such an award, in a sudden attack of self-criticism.
Protest in Oslo
On Sunday, a protest demonstration in Oslo led by the Norwegian Peace Council, during which about 700 people marched by torchlight in the cold winter night against the worthiness of the EU as a peace prize recipient. The peaceful protest represented 50 Norwegian and international organizations, including members of Norway’s coalition government of Center and Socialist Left parties.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the prize in 1984 for his campaign against South African apartheid, said it was wrong to recognize the EU as it was an organization based on “military force”, and others have criticized the decision because the bloc is mired in economic and financial crisis, and because the EU is the biggest arms producings bloc.
Protesters marched saying the EU was not a rightful beneficiary under the terms Alfred Nobel laid down in his 1895 will.
Dimitris Kodelas, parliamentary member of the Greek leftist party Syriza.
“When we heard that the Nobel Prize for Peace would be given to the European Union, we first thought it was joke,” said Mr. Kodelas. “Especially because this comes in days when many of the peoples of south Europe are living with the results of the financial war, and these countries are turning into colonies of debt with deprived citizens and looted national wealth.”
“One-third of the society in Greece is below or at the edge of poverty. Is it possible that the initiators of this situation are given awards?” he asked.