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Germany hails EU Nobel Peace Prize win

The Local · 12 Oct 2012, 14:38

Published: 12 Oct 2012 12:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Oct 2012 14:38 GMT+02:00

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"I often say that the euro is more than a currency and we should not forget that in these weeks and months we spend working to strengthen the euro. The euro is more than a currency because at the end of the day it is about the original idea of a union of peace and of values," Merkel told reporters.

Kohl called the honour a "wise and far-sighted decision."

Kohl, a driving force behind European enlargement and integration in the years after the Berlin Wall fell and frequently mentioned as a possible Nobel laureate for his efforts, said he was "very pleased" with the choice.

"The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize is above all an affirmation of the European peace project," the 82-year-old said in a statement.

"It is also encouraging for all of us to continue on the path of a united Europe, which means to work toward ever-greater cooperation on our continent and to develop Europe despite difficulties and problems that still must be surmounted."

Kohl, who was also one of the founders of the euro single currency, said that Europeans had grounds to be "proud."

"I am, and I wish God's rich blessings for our continued path toward a united Europe," he said.

"We see it as affirming, encouraging the great peace project that the European Union spread across the European continent, which rarely knew long periods of peace," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Seibert said the prize was a "joy for all who live in the 27 member states".

"The German government and the chancellor (Angela Merkel) congratulate the EU, its institutions and all their staff on this year's Nobel prize," he said.

In a separate statement, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called the announcement "a great decision that makes me proud and happy."

Story continues below…

"European integration is the most successful peace project in history," he said.

"From the rubble of two horrible world wars, peace and freedom have grown and mortal enemies have become good friends and inseparable partners."

He said the Nobel prize would "spur" Europe "to now get down to solving our own problems, to make an example of our European model of cooperation and to bolster our European efforts for the world's peaceful development."


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Your comments about this article

13:06 October 12, 2012 by crm114
and there was I thinking that peace for our time might have had something to do with NATO, turns out it was down to the mandarins in Brussels all along.

In my opinion rather than "spurring" Europe, the EU is doing a damn fine job of splitting it assunder.
13:06 October 12, 2012 by Firmino
Ah what a joke!
13:53 October 12, 2012 by pjnt
This award is not for Brussels. It is for 60 years of repairing, helping and strengthening EU ties. The EC is different, although I expect some of the non-elected politicians in Brussels will be very quick to greedily claim some glory for themselves.
14:11 October 12, 2012 by dr.makni49
Very well deserved recognition at the moment when violence and conflict are execrable phenomena for Germany and EU. Europe deserves lasting peace including Balkans.
15:01 October 12, 2012 by mitanni
The only reason there has been 60 years of peace in Europe is because the US has occupied much of it and paid for Europe's defense while European nations developed their economies. Once US taxpayers tire of this (and they will), Europe will likely descend into chaos and war again, probably first driven by Russia's push into Germany.
15:07 October 12, 2012 by agbjr
Does the Nobel Prize for Peace really MEAN anything anymore? These are the same elitists who fawned over Obama and presented him with the Peace Prize for doing absolutely NOTHING other than saying nice things about European socialism and apologizing for America's strong leadership. The dream of a united Europe has proven a failure in practice and all the Nobel Peace Committee is only a full-of-themselves group of socialists praising another group of full-of-themselves socialists. These elitists need to frankly get off their fat rear-ends, face reality, and actually do something themselves if they think they can forward European unity and peace. Nobel Peace Committee = academics who can not function in the world that actually exists outside their hallowed halls.
15:48 October 12, 2012 by Major-Ji
Decision is surprising. Ensuring peace at home but wars all over elsewhere due to European Union/NATO and USA. Same is true for US President who was also awarded peace prize. Probably Hypocrisy has infested all the organisations of the world.
15:49 October 12, 2012 by yourkeau
European Union is the first economy in the world and the best thing ever happened to humanity. Those who critisize it simply don't remember the times of Cold War and take the possibility to travel from Munich to Prague without passport control as granted.
17:17 October 12, 2012 by michael4096
There are numerous reasons for a peaceful Europe after thousands of years of self-destruction. The abolition of an aristocracy that measured itself by military prowess is one. Pure fatigue after the first half of last century's fighting is another. And, yes, making countries economically dependent on each other is probably a third. Sure, Greece and Germany are staring 'daggers' but there is no talk of violence from even the most negative commentator.

NATO is most certainly a 4th reason - particularly the bit that says all members will defend another and they must promise not to squabble. However, I'm not totally convinced, as some are, that it is the main reason.

Whatever the real apportionment of peace among the different influences, the original architects of the EC certainly had it at the top of their agenda and that can only be applauded.

"The only reason there has been 60 years of peace in Europe is because the US has occupied much of it..."

Being occupied by the US doesn't guarantee peace. For some, just the opposite...
19:40 October 12, 2012 by Englishted
The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
19:48 October 12, 2012 by marimay
If gore and obama can win, why pay attention to this award at all anymore..
22:13 October 12, 2012 by smart2012
Europe concept is great, lets keep working on it openly, with no stobborness and as a big family.. Do not let nationalism to come back. Do not read Bild
22:18 October 12, 2012 by bolingo
All this people who are commenting here , you should thank yourself that you were not born in any kind of problems that makes you move from your country, AND BY THE WAY YOU ARE THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST OUTRIGHT SELFISH HUMAN BEINGS WHO CANT SHARE SOMETHING WITH A STARNGER- TERRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS- This guys are peaceful protestors who want to live a normal life and by the way I have lived in Germany for 10 years and i didnt come as a refugee , i am finance professional having studied in holland , but i cant even be accepted in my professional line because i simply look ASSYL TYPE LEUTE
00:05 October 13, 2012 by hawkeye ajustralia
I keep reading the anti American comments by readers such as Major-Ji and except for a few Europeans who have absolutely no clue as to how the "real" world actually is.The EU awards itself a "Peace Prize" when that prize belongs to the people who have actually done more for Europe than the Europeans themselves.

Thomas Sewell once said....

"How many times, in its thousands of years of history, has Europe gone 60 years without a major war, as it has since World War II? That peace has been due to American nuclear weapons, which was all that could deter the Soviet Union's armies from marching right across Europe to the Atlantic Ocean.

"U.S. military power has been in building and sustaining the present liberal international order.That order has rested significantly on the U.S. ability to provide security in parts of the world, such as Europe and Asia, that had known endless cycles of warfare before the arrival of the United States. The world¦#39;s free-trade, free-market economy has depended on America¦#39;s ability to keep trade routes open, even during times of conflict. And the remarkably wide spread of democracy around the world owes something to America¦#39;s ability to provide support to democratic forces under siege and to protect peoples from dictators such as Moammar Gaddafi and Slobodan Milosevic. Some find it absurd that the United States should have a larger military than the next 10 nations combined. But that gap in military power has probably been the greatest factor in upholding an international system that, in historical terms, is unique" Robert Kagan

And and the US stands almost alone in the fight against terrorism worldwide while the rest of the world does almost nothing except allow itself to be conquered from within.

The U.S. spends $100 billion p/a on the defence of Europe and stations around 80,000 servicemen there to ensure that Europe remains free.The US is the major player in NATO and anything NATO ever accomplishes is led by the US.-NATO could not even maintain a minor bombing campaign in Libya with America help, and all I hear from Europeans is anti American garbage every time I read a European newspaper.

Not a day passes in Europe when someone isn't making the wildest claims, hurling the vilest insults or spreading the most outlandish conspiracy theories about the United States. But there's no risk involved and it all serves mainly to boost the European feeling of self-righteousness.
07:45 October 13, 2012 by ChrisRea
Oh, yes, another anti-European comment from somebody who thinks he/she knows best how the world is running. The Wild West expansionist mentality that led to wiping out the Indians and now tries to justify invasions with lies like the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Somebody who indirectly suggest that NATO would be the same without the European countries. Ignoring that terrorism is actually fueled up by many of those who claim to fight it. Yes, that's nothing new, except for the username used this time. We witness these anti-European attacks everyday here on The Local.
09:02 October 13, 2012 by Englishted
@ bolingo#13

" i am finance professional having studied in holland , "

All I can say is no wonder we are in crisis if pros like you can't even comment on the right page .
12:48 October 13, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
The Euro and European unity are completely different themes! Whereas the co-operation between nations brings peace, a forced introduction of a poorly thought through financial system is not only creating divisions, but being misused to stabilise class distinctions. On the other side, it is not at all surprising to see how media in Britain reacts to the Nobel Peace Prize being given to the EU. This envy has constantly disturbed relations with the continental countries, since the Union has proved to be far more successful than the former British Empire.

Thereby it is strange strange, how all concerned seem to have forgotten, that it was Winston Churchill, ( Britain¦#39;s man of the 20th century), who first suggested ­ during WW2 - the idea of a future unification of Europe to the exiled general de Gaulle. The present British government would hardly be in a position to remind its own electorate of this fact, for the simple reason of their own current policies which ­ were it be given ­ would entitle them to the Nobel War Prize.

Nevertheless, to praise German politicians such as Kohl and Merkel for their part in European politics is just as absurd! They did not even have the courage to ask their fellow nationals whether the Euro currency should be introduced or not. As can now be perceived, a common currency, without the basis of common taxes and social systems, is doing more damage to international relationships, than anything else which the Euro sceptics could possibly bring as an argument.
05:53 October 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig
firstly, the EU was started in 1993. Not 60 years ago.

And the EU is a shambles. Complete joke.


Indians, wild west? What happened to the native residents of the Canary Islands, then?
08:59 October 14, 2012 by ChrisRea
What do you have in mind? The Castilian conquest of the islands? Yes, that was expansionistic too (of course, the scale was much different). And it is nice to see that Europe grew up and gave up this mentality. I guess that is what the Nobel prize is about (even if it might be a bit too early).
12:08 October 14, 2012 by crm114
is it the case that nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously? Perhaps that explains the urgent need to honour the EU great and good before the house of cards collapses, pity there is no god, now that we need our prayers answered.
16:36 October 14, 2012 by IchBinKönig

As I remember it, it was mostly Europeans, 1st and second generation that killed off the Indians in the wild west.
08:59 October 15, 2012 by ChrisRea
We can debate at what point the immigrants to North America formed the American nation. But it is actually irrelevant for the point in case. It is not about nations and it is not about a race between Europe and US. I am talking about the Wild West mentality (I like to believe that most Americans do not share it anymore).
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