The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union is a deserved tribute that provides timely encouragement to the troubled organization.
The hundreds of years of bloody warfare that characterized relations among European countries before 1945 makes the case for the prize. Prior to the creation of the EU, Europe was damaged by wars that destroyed the countries that fought them and spread to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America.
Since the EU formed, there have been no wars among its 27 member countries. Peace and democracy have spread across Europe as the union has expanded.
The troubled Balkan countries that emerged from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s are being folded into the EU. They are dealing with each other in a civilized fashion, healing wounds, and enjoying stronger economic development.
As the EU tries to bring prosperity along with peace to its member countries, there is an internal conflict between its more well-to-do members, led by Germany, and the poorer tier that includes Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Italy and Spain are hovering outside the door of the European Central Bank, while France and Germany look worried.
Still, the EU should take pride in the Nobel committee’s recognition. The challenges will continue, but the union’s assiduous leaders should eventually prevail.