I am interrupting my postaday QoL – Questions of Life series because I have something to talk about that affects everyone of us, EU-Citizens and non-EU alike. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize went to the European Union, which "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe". I first thought, “Yay!”, and then I did some browsing, and found this. If you don’t want to follow the link, it is a poll on whether the European Union deserves this award; I was positively shocked when I found that nearly two-thirds of the people who participated in the poll do not feel the European Union deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Since I don’t exactly have the time to analyze what kind of people were pro and con (well, I actually DO have the time, but if I did it, this post would be so ood when I finished), so I am just going to speculate on what people may be thinking who don’t agree with the Norwegian Nobel Committee, since the reasons for those in favor is a no-brainer, to my mind.
· The only thing the EU has accomplished is to make a free trade zone for the rich and flexible working conditions to reduce production costs, causing massive unemployment in formerly rich countries.
I can see where someone might get that idea. I happen to live in one of the beating cylinders of Europe’s economy, Germany, or, more specifically, Bavaria. Germany has somehow (well, I pretty much know exactly how) managed to reduce nationwide unemployment from a two-digit value in 1990, the 22-year anniversary we celebrated just 9 days ago, to a medium to high one-digit value. How did we manage that, you ask? A healthy mix of austerity and crisis financing, the crisis being the Neue Bundesländer (German: New Federal States), a.k.a. the XGDR. For Germany, they are still rather desolate, except for Saxony and Thuringia, which were industrial and cultural pet projects during the Russian occupation. I wouldn’t say we’re clockwork, but the proverbial German Efficiency is noticeable. Just after the turn of the millennium, Germany and France, the two economically most powerful Nations in the EU, had a small increase in the accumulation rate of national debt, which was nonetheless more than Maastricht allowed, and fought penalization; many people said they were setting a bad example. What most people, including me, didn’t know then, was that the PIGS were lying about their level of national debt and its increase in the first place to avoid mentioned penalization, and the heads of governments’ of Germany and France could have mentioned it, at risk of antagonizing their partners in the forming and expanding Union. Without the European Union and the devaluation of the Euro, tourism and export, the most important revenue generators throughout the Union, would have suffered greatly, and unemployment everywhere would be 5%-10% higher without the EU.
· The European Union is exclusive and prejudiced towards outsiders and culturally arrogant
Newsflash: The entire World is wary towards outsiders. While the EU is not a paragon of justice on that regard, we are actually trying to mend this. Europe is where Nationalism and Nation States started, along with Imperialism, but that’s exactly what the EU is not about. In a manner of speaking, the European Union is more Marxian than the Soviet Union ever was: National integration and cultural freedom, but economic unity and rule of law, but because hardly anyone reads Marx anymore because of the ideological taint, nobody knows that. Of course, this is not a perfect world by far, so we are not claiming a perfect system, but it is all about trying to make it work, right?
· The European Union is a proxy for American Imperialism, and profiting from that position
This is a hard one to crack, especially since many European firms are fused with US firms on the corporate level, and since the US are the global economic and military hegemon, they’re pretty much holding the strings, as we’ve seen during the War on Terror. Some European governments tried to reverse the tug-o-war, but gave in so quickly that it could be called alibi resistance, which revealed the true weakness of the European Union: There is no leadership. Without a leadership, that Europeans could agree on as a democracy, there will be no true Union, and the socioeconomic pact could well falter.
So, even if you feel that the EU doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, I think it is a necessary symbol to give, in order to strengthen the bond and keep/get us going in the right direction