The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union for "six decades of work in advancing peace in Europe". The committee said that "the EU had helped to transform Europe 'from a continent of war to a continent of peace'. The award comes as the EU faces the biggest crisis of its history, with recession and social unrest rocking many of its member states. The last organisation to be given the prize outright was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which won it in 1999.(i)
The EU; a union of 27 countries, 500 million people and a small continent. There is definitely one Medecins Sans Frontieres but one has to wonder: How many pieces of EU do we have and which one of them is this prize for?
Is this Peace Prize for the EU, almost all of whose member states are actively taking part in the decade long brutal NATO-ISAF war and invasion in Afghanistan which destroyed the country and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?
Is it for the EU that has first starved the children of Iraq with international sanctions and then bombed them to pieces, leaving behind a horrible legacy of war and destruction?
Is this Peace Prize for leaders who lied, cheated and did everything possible to justify these wars in the eyes of their nations?
Or is this Peace Prize really for hundreds of thousands of anti-war campaigners who year after year, war after war, tirelessly fought very hard to stop these wars and extended a hand of solidarity to the victims of war?
Is this prize for an EU that smashed the Berlin Wall or is it for the EU that has been so complicit for such a long time in the apartheid/illegal wall in occupied Palestine that gets longer and higher day by day?
Is this award for the EU who would sit and do nothing when civilians are bombed in the biggest open air prison – Gaza - where people are forced to live in poverty and under daily threat of death? Or is this award going to the European civilians who aimed to sail to Gaza to bring the much needed supplies and the message of solidarity?
Is this Peace Prize for a Europe whose leaders have declared again and again that “multiculturalism has failed”, and that “jobs and education opportunities should be given to citizens rather than migrants?” Maybe it is for the wonderful job done by Frontex (ii) in protecting EU borders and keeping these “outsiders” out who are running away from wars, oppression and poverty.
Or is this award really going to thousands of hard-working anti-racist Europeans who defended the migrants, refuges and asylums seekers against inhuman treatment, deportations and unacceptable living conditions?
Is this prize for EU policies/sanctions that will punish the people of Iran and impose further misery and poverty upon them? Or is it for EU citizens who say “No to sanctions in Iran”?
Is the Nobel Peace Prize for the EU foreign policy, that for decades supported dictators around the world? Is it a “thank you” for keeping Pinochet safe, or supporting Mubarak or even Gaddafi - supporting them until the very last possible minute?
Is this award to recognize the very successful, billions of Euro worth arms business run by EU countries? Is it to say “well done” for various arms fairs attended by military heads of states and dictators to spend millions while the people in their countries are living below the line of poverty.
Or is it really for the ordinary, conscientious people in Europe who expose the dirty business of war...?
Is it for an EU that can close an eye to illegal nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction when they are in the possession of their allies, but that can start wars without hesitation if they have the slightest suspicion that some others may have such weapons.
Is this prize for the EU leaders who are collectively waging an economic war against millions of EU citizens, forcing austerity and poverty upon them while looking after the interests of bond holders and investors?
Is this recognition for the top 10-15 percent of EU population and their ever important “markets”? Is this for cutting public services, attacking social/economic conditions? Is this a “Go raibh maith agaibh” for sending thousands of kids with hungry bellies to school and getting rid of education funds?
Is this for an EU that can suspend political and economic democracies in member nations while imposing their “free-market” crisis measures?
Is this for riot police attacking ordinary citizens or is this for ordinary citizens surrounding the riot police and saying “enough”
Or, maybe, this is for hundreds of thousands of Greek, Spanish, Irish etc. people who are fighting for equality and better social and economic conditions?
Seriously, who is this Nobel Peace Price for? Which Europe is it recognizing? The states of Europe of war, austerity, market forces, racism and discrimination, or the people of Europe who are suffering in the hands of the these states?
When I look at Europe I don't see a single, homogeneous block. I see a Europe that causes suffering (home and abroad) and European people who are suffering,
Who is this Peace Prize for and which one is recognized, which one is celebrated? Causing the suffering or facing the suffering?
The answer lies in the responses and reactions to this award...
The answer also lies in who will be in attendance at the ceremony on 10th December. “The Nobel Laureates take center stage in Stockholm on 10 December when they receive the Nobel Prize Medal, Nobel Prize Diploma and document confirming the Nobel Prize amount from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.”
10th of December is only a few days after our “harshest” budget ever will be announced in Ireland...
Giving bureaucrats a prize for a job which they all are well paid to do and which they don't do well at all is not a joke, it is a modern-day tragedy.
(ii) European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)