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Understanding the EU – does it really deserve the Nobel peace prize?

European ParliamentThis isn’t a political blog but after hearing that the EU had ‘won’ the Nobel Peace Prize I thought it would be worth writing about the reactions to this. The timing itself is somewhat bizarre (or not, depending on how you think the Nobel committee operate), with the EU in so much strife over the Euro.

Here in the UK where many people are not only skeptical about the EU but are still actively wanting to get out, the reactions to the news was mixed but mainly ridiculed, especially from the right.

In Germany the reactions were far more positive, with Chancellor Angela Merkel describing the decision as ‘wonderful’.

What the EU has done for us

The EU may well have deserved this prize because we are more or less at peace here in the EU. We may not all get along but we’re not actively fighting any more, which has to be a good thing.

Of the course this news in the UK has once again stirred up the in/out of the EU debate and although there are many negatives to the EU, such as it costing us £118bn a year, there are also many benefits, many of which as individuals we do not see e.g. trade.

One area that is a real benefit and makes this blog possible is that fact that as EU citizens we have freedom of movement, meaning that we can move around the EU as we wish. We can live and work in other countries without needing visas or jumping through hoops. Of course, even in this regard we are not all equals, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens still require work permits in many EU countries but for the majority of us the opportunities are endless.

Whether or not the EU deserves the peace prize, or whether it wastes money or is corrupt is endlessly debatable, but one thing is for sure, without the EU we wouldn’t be able to be as free as we are in this continent nor have such an opportunity for a greater quality of life, whatever that may be to each of us.

What do you think? Will the peace prize bring us closer together or is it a joke? How has your country reacted to the new? Is the EU a good thing?

Image courtesy of Matt Banks /

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