EU Nobel peace award sparks backlash

2012-10-12 14:00

Paris - The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the crisis-torn EU on Friday sparked a stunned Twitter backlash, many reacting with derision and anger, although some netizens came to its defence.

"Let's forget about #Malala & peers, brave community workers, prisoners of conscience, & give the Nobel Peace Prize to, drumroll, the EU," one person from Egypt named @RawahBadrawi said.

Malala is the 14-year-old girl campaigning for education rights who this week was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan, sparking worldwide outrage.

Explaining this year's prize decision, Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland pointed to the three wars fought between Germany and France in the past, which he said was "unthinkable" today.

"This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners," he said, adding the union and its forerunners had advanced democracy and human rights.

But many on Twitter wondered why the prize was given to a union of states currently wracked by a severe financial crisis, which has led to high unemployment and violent protests in some countries.

In defence

"Anti-austerity protests in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy & France, Nationalism, Fascism, unemployment and poverty. Yeah EU deserves it!" @AnonOpGreece said on Twitter.

Some netizens however leapt to defend the Nobel committee, including one netizen from the Maldives, which has been racked by political turmoil and violent demonstrations over the past year.

"Congrats #EU for the well-deserved #Nobel 4 championing democracy. Hope this emboldens your efforts to restore democracy in the Maldives," @shafeeu said.

"Today's #Nobel Peace Prize has the potential to move minds. Europeans may remember that it's not only the economy, stupid! [No offense Bill]," another named @jonashelseth said, alluding to a well-known phrase from former US president Bill Clinton's campaign.

On a more practical level, many on Twitter wondered who would be picking up the prize money and where the $1.2m would go.

"Does the prize money go to the EU? Perhaps they can use it toward the Spanish bailout," @jbarro said.

"Do I get a share of the Nobel Prize money and do I get it twice since I am bi-european now?" @ntlk joked.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-12 14:26

    So who exactly can pat him/herself on the shoulder and say "I am honoured to receive this prize"? This is ridiculous in the extreme. There are deserving individuals out there who really deserve the prize. If no one could be found, then the world is in deep trouble.

  • tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-12 14:29

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen.. Almost as dumb as giving it to Obama.. The EU is collapsing. Austerity will only make things worse.

      DSBennie - 2012-10-12 14:37

      it is not an economic prize you dimwit, it is a prize signifying the fact that Europe is probably the most peaceful region in the world when it comes to regional security and cooperation

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-12 15:51

      Peaceful? I recall quite recently member countries dropping a few thousand bombs on Africa. . Peaceful regional security? Cooperation? Hoo rah for them. All they do is talk about "peace" and democracy just because they talk about it doesn't mean its happening. Doesn't come close to deserving the prize. Get your head outa your ass.

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-10-12 18:55

      tom - the peace prize is not much of a prize. Nelson Mandela and De Klerk got it. For what?

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-12 14:36

    I do pity those who still don't realize that it's all just brainwashing. Nothing is more hated in Europe than the EU.

      nick.athinodorou - 2012-10-12 18:07

      Actually,ignorance of the benefits brought about by the EU is hated even more.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-12 18:02

    OK, OK, there is a lot of politics in awarding the Nobel prizes in toto, but the Third World, yes it still is the Third World, should rather concentrate on bettering itself instead of looking at prizes.

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-10-12 18:54

      If you are calling the EU the third world you must have got your education or lack of in SA.

  • eddy.deepfield - 2012-10-12 18:51

    The EU has done more for peace than any other entity. Going back to the end of the second world war. It made peace possible in most of Europe and the world at large. I think it is fair.

  • imam.madi.129 - 2012-10-12 19:52

    Standards are dropping for the prize, there is hope for Mugabe after all, he has not beaten up the opposition leader for some time now, so he must be considered for Nobel Prize.

  • sukie.tawdry.3 - 2012-10-12 21:22

    And here I thought the Peace Prize couldn't be trashed any more than it already had been. Guess I was wrong.

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