On December 10, the Norwegian Nobel Committee will award its 2012 Peace Prize to the European Union (EU) for its contributions in transforming Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace.” After centuries of generating internal and external conflicts, Europe is now a force for global stability, especially through its peacekeeping, development aid and the strengthening of global governance. However, critics have claimed that human rights activists around the world are more deserving, and the American military presence in Europe after World War II should get the real credit for making reconciliation and unification in Europe possible. Moreover, the EU is currently gripped by an economic crisis that threatens its social and political stability.
On December 7, the Center on the U.S. and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation hosted a discussion on the European Union’s Nobel Prize, and war and peace on the European continent featuring Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Kagan and EU Ambassador João Vale de Almeida. Brookings Senior Fellow and CUSE Director of Research Justin Vaïsse moderated the discussion.