Reasons why I am happy for the EU winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize

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I start with declaring again that I am happy. I was happy when I first heard the news, and two days after, thinking over all the issues that cause doubt in others, I am still happy.

So, this seems to be a very controversial decision of the Norvegian committee, I read all the publications about how this is the worst possible time awarding the EU, when its future is really at stake.

It might be, yes. But the achievements of the past 55 years of integration and contribution to Europe’s and not just Europe’s development is unquestionable. 

There always were and always will be those who fear for their countries’ independence and souverignty and think that working for the common European goal equals working against their individual welfare. Recent economic difficulties and disputes over the common currency strenghten these opinions and I myself live in a country where the government likes to indicate that the EU represents all the bad things happening to countries like Spain and Greece, so we should distance ourselves as much as possible.

It wasn’t always this way.

For a country like Hungary – and I imagine all the CEE countries that joined in 2004 and after – joining the EU meant joining the modern world, joining “West” and leaving the undemocratic, degrading communist past behind once and for all.

Of course the ones who were expecting a miracle to happen overnight and thought they would wake up in a different world the next morning were disappointed.

This disappointment that keeps growing ever since and what is happening these days with the economic and financial community intensifies the “we said so” attitude of non-believers, resulting the increase of anti-EU groups and parties with ever growing support behind them.

One critic that I read says that this award is more for  future achievements of the Union than for past ones, sending a strong “you better solve this” message to EU leaders. Maybe it is true, but why would that be wrong?

Without forgetting all the work that still needs to be done to settle this crisis, I like to think this one is just a positive message that might be able to show that it is still worth working for the common European ideal. And we need positive messages now, more than ever.

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