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Global Peace Network: 'Unlawful' to Award Nobel Peace Prize to EU

International Peace Bureau: EU not a 'champion of peace'

- Common Dreams staff

In a letter Monday to the Nobel Foundation, the International Peace Bureau said awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union was "unlawful" since the EU is not a "champion of peace."

The IPB, a global network of 320 peace organizations, argues that all five Nobel prizes are awarded in accordance with the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which stated that the prize would be given to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

"The European Union ... clearly is not one of 'the champions of peace' Alfred Nobel had in mind and described in his will as 'the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses,'" the letter states. "The latest prize to EU may even be seen as directly contradicting the purpose to reach demilitarized international relations, the purpose Alfred Nobel had with his prize."

The award was announced on Oct. 12, lauding the EU "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe".

The IPB asked that the Nobel Foundation withhold the $1.19 million prize— a request that the committee  immediately rejected, Agence France-Press reports.

Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told the AFP,  that the committee's objections have previously been presented "and won't impact the evolution of the prize."

The Centre for Research on Globalization, an independent research and media organization, today supported the IPB request, writing in a release, "The EU is not a peace project."

The CRG argued that "more than 25 million people across the EU are struck by mass employment," that countries such as Greece and Spain "are being battered with welfare cuts and misery to an extreme extent," and that the troika—the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF—threatens the "most crisis-ridden member states" with funding cuts for schools, pensions, hospitals.

The Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be presented on Dec. 10 to European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy.