Rome (AsiaNews) -
The Nobel Peace Prize awarded today to the European Union is perhaps only half deserved
given the many areas of shadow as well as of light in the history of the EU.
The head of the Nobel Committee, Thorbørn Jagland said the award was being given to the EU because of its helping to "transform most of Europe as a continent of war in a continent of peace." The honor falls at a time when many sections of the European population are concerned by the economic choices of their leaders, slaves of Europe's economic iron fist.
Jagland was quick to point out that the award is also being given because the EU has contributed to "six decades of advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."
But even for this, perhaps we should remember and beat our breasts for Euorpe's immobility and then slowness to move on the massacres in Bosnia, or the superficiality with which it intervened in Kosovo. What's more, we should remember the embarrassing EU attitude - at least for us Catholics and people of good will - in launching its "anti-discrimination" campaign in defense of de facto unions, reproductive health rights (which often also imply abortion); accusing the Vatican of "discrimination" over women priests, monastic vocations suspected of being forms of "brainwashing."
Of course, the staff and leadership of the EU is overjoyed by this recognition. EU Commission President Manuel Barroso, said that it "is justified recognition for a unique project that works forthe benefit of its citizens and the benefit of the world." It is also true that the political and economic relations of the EU with the rest of the world spread sensitivity on human rights and religious freedom. Work on the sidelines with Turkey, to push it to respect religious minorities, as a condition for its entry into the EU, has often been appreciated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The commitment of Europe to Central Asia also demands recognition, where demand for post-communist leaders to respect human rights and opposition views, with these improvements affecting economic relations. At the same time, however, we also have to mention the timidity with which these "conditions" are demanded of the Chinese giant, which continues unabated to arrest Tibetan monks and Catholic bishops, pro-democracy dissidents and artists. It must also be said that the EU's list of human rights, goes much further that the UN Charter, to include those "rights" of medicine and reproductive health, the result of ideological and anti-religious choices.
Somehow, this Nobel Prize for Peace is as controversial as the one awarded to Barack Obama three years ago, assigned to him on his "intention" to do something for the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian problem: an intention which was not followed by any action, indeed, arriving at a boycott of the recognition of Palestine as a UN member.
Perhaps the Nobel Prize this year is for Obama. After all, his competitor, Mitt Romney, has promised a tough stance toward Beijing and more interventionism in the Middle East. But this is not the policy desired by the EU. Could exalting the way the EU works "for peace" be just another way to suggest: "Vote Obama?".