Yesterday the European Community, today the European Union, an instrument of Peace and reconciliation distinguished as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.


This exceptional event, which must be celebrated with all due splendor at the December 10 award ceremony in Oslo, highlights the fact that since 1945 – a period of 67 years – no armed conflict has opposed France and Germany. Furthermore, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese democracy was strengthened in the 1980s, in part thanks to the entry of these nations into the European Union.


The same goes for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe since they became European Union Member States. They are masters of their destiny, while remaining vigilant as to the present and the future.


Croatia’s admission into the Family of Peace in 2013, the launch of membership negotiations with Montenegro and the candidate status granted to Serbia all serve to strengthen the reconciliation process in the Balkans.


Potential membership for Turkey has led that country to make progress in the realm of democracy and human rights.


Peace, stability and democracy must never be taken for granted. They are ongoing struggles, shared riches that may at times remain fragile, even in the EU. The political situations in Romania and Hungary provide a perfect example: would not these countries’ democracies be in greater peril were they not members of the European Union?


Let certain French political figures think what they may, that the Nobel Committee deserves the “prize for black humor” or that the Peace Prize “has become the Nobel War Prize!” Personally, I award them the prize for political stupidity!!!


There is more to the European Union than crises, finances, the economy or the euro. It also – and primarily – represents the values of peace, democracy and solidarity. These values must not be forgotten, as they transcend all the rest. This 2012 Nobel Peace Prize must encourage and motivate us to continue this commendable struggle pioneered by the Founding Fathers of Europe and their successors.


Jean-Pierre Bobichon
Former European civil servant, Administrator Ipse