The European Union was given the Nobel Peace Prize last week, receiving the award at a time when many say it is starting to break apart.
The Nobel Committee decided to award the EU for maintaining peace on the continent since the end of World War Two.
“Today, war between Germany and France is unthinkable,” said Thorbjorn Jagland, the committee's chairman, who is also the head of the non-EU Council of Europe which is a human rights watchdog.
Patrycja Sasnal, an expert at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), told WBJ.pl that she is happy to hear that the European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize.
“I think that it is a great decision, as the EU is the best mechanism for stabilization and for resolving conflict,” Ms Sasnal said.
She added that not only has the EU maintained peace since World War II, it has also helped and continues to help countries that are trying to resolve conflict.
“The EU has proven successful in terms of giving support to Palestine when it comes to developing its autonomy,” she said. “The ongoing economic crisis hasn't stopped the EU from giving money to help countries which are in need,” she added.
Leszek Jesien, an expert at European Union affairs at Collegium Civitas University, told WBJ.pl that he also thinks the committees’ decision to award the EU the Nobel Peace Prize is a good one.
Mr Jesien said that the committee’s award doesn’t necessarily change the outlook for the EU.
“It neither prevents it from falling apart, neither does it encourage it [to stay together]. The award is symbolic,” he said.
When asked how he sees the EU in the next 20 years, Mr Jesien said that these will be very turbulent and very interesting years for the EU but that he doesn’t foresee the union or the euro zone falling apart.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs congratulated the EU, saying on its website that as Poland's representatives, they are proud that the committee has noticed the EU's work in transforming Europe from a continent of conflict to one of peace.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Izabela Depczyk
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