Swoboda welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for European Union

The Nobel Prize Committee today awarded the internationally renowned Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union for its achievements in fostering peace and reconciling eastern and western Europe.

Speaking at a Dublin Conference on ‚Ways out of the crisis‘, Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group in the European Parliament said:

„It is great news that the European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The founding fathers of the EU were guided by the principle of creating and maintaining peace, after two atrocious world wars that shook Europe and the world.

„The European project is not only a guarantee for peace in Europe and among the current 27 member states, but reaches further, among Europe’s neighbours and candidate countries applying to join soon.

„The European Union is also a single market uniting 500 million people, a continent in which citizens can travel to almost all states without borders thanks to the Schengen agreement and – above all – a society in which solidarity and cohesion are valued.

„In these times of crisis, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union is an important and courageous step by the jury in Oslo. Today, we do not need less Europe or a step back towards nation states, but more Europe.

„The way forward is through stronger integration, with a real economic union and in the long-term through political union. With unemployment – and especially youth unemployment – growing steadily, this is one of the key issues we must tackle to give citizens back hope and confidence in Europe“

He continued by emphasising the need for a strong and socially just Europe:

„What we need is a different, more socially just Europe. Besides the fiscal pact and growth pact, we need a social pact to ensure that the citizens are the focus of all our efforts. Relations between member states and citizens of the European Union must be built on solidarity and equality.

„The Nobel Peace Prize is at the same time a recognition of our achievements and a new challenge. It means that the European Union must further strengthen its commitment to peace. Despite legitimate criticisms of the current problems in the EU, it is a peace project in a double sense: securing peace within the EU without becoming complacent and continuing to work to promote peace in other regions of the world.“