Kacper Lasota (22), IBCoM student (from Poland)

In my opinion, awarding the EU with the Nobel prize is a cheap attempt to (re)build people’s belief in the union’s greatness or importance. The EU has failed to establish itself as a common value among its citizens. So, nowadays when the Union is facing difficulties related to the economic crisis, one can hear numerous voices of criticism and calling for dissociation of Greece from the Union. Therefore, I call the attempt cheap because I feel that now the prizes are getting too much involved in politics and business, which make them loose the credibility and prestige. But hey, maybe awarding the Nobel Prize to the EU is will result in that all the Europeans will feel proud enough to start supporting the Union more than ever before!

In general, I support the EU since it makes my life much easier. With the current pace of life, it is hard to imagine living in Europe without the possibility to travel freely, live and work in any of the member countries. Arranging all the documents with any international collaboration would be such a hassle, many people would choose for local options, which would slow down the development of the European economy and culture. Also, I think as the EU, Europe can compete better with other powerful parties of the world, such as the US or China.

Zachar Tolmachev (21) IBA student (from Russia)

The EU is of course worthy of frequent criticism, but few people seem to appreciate that it’s done more to establish and maintain peace which was a major reason for its foundation. Also, it has ended some of the most bloody wars in history, more than probably any other organization of the last century. Pax Europaea may well be the most important achievement of our generation, and, the silliness inherent to the Nobel Peace Prize aside, I’m ecstatic to see it recognized and celebrated.

I consider myself pro-European. The union brings benefits far beyond being a huge ‘force’ that always needs to be taken into account. For instance, specialization and division of tasks/areas of operation between countries. So, the EU is a force for good in the world, showing how a combination of a social safety net, employee rights, human rights, environmental responsibility and military carefulness can pose a good example to others.

Richard Theemling (29) Media and Business master student (from The USA)

“I think the choice to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU only served to lessen the value of the prize.  It says more about the committee who chose to award the prize than the recipient.  At one point the prize meant something and was awarded to true champions of peace, to people like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa.  Now it seems more political or symbolic.  I mean, they gave it to Barack Obama in 2008, a man who was, at that time, about to become the President of a country who was engaging in two wars.  Once again, as in the case with the EU, that also served to lessen the value and prestige of the prize.    

I think the unification of Europe is great.  It promotes cooperation between countries, but which does not make it deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.  It also made it easier to move and travel throughout Europe.  I guess the only concern I have about the EU pertains to the preservation of national cultures, values, and languages throughout the continent.  The relaxed immigration laws between EU countries has resulted in a great diaspora – people are freely moving throughout and settling in new parts of the continent. To some degree, this may eventually erode some nations cultures, traditions, and values.”

Does the EU deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

Last week, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its performance during times of economic crisis. Moreover, it showed leadership and hold the Union together as a whole. These students tell us what they think about the EU winning the prize and explain how they feel about the EU in general.