Did the Nobel 'Jump the Shark' With EU Prize?

Reactions range from approval to derision
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2012 9:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Nobel committee has made some strange choices over the years, but awarding its peace prize to the European Union "may be the most bizarre decision in the history of the award," writes Dashiell Bennett at the Atlantic. So naturally, it's got people talking. Here's what they're saying.

  • Bennett thinks the decision makes sense in the long run. "However, as many people are pointing out, awarding the prize to the EU in 2012 seems odd," given the economic and societal turmoil plaguing it.

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  • The award "is a classic example of an organization jumping the shark. Quite how anyone could suggest this with a straight face I am not sure," writes Tim Worstall, a self-proclaimed "extremist" against the EU, in Forbes. He points out that it's bizarre to praise an undemocratic organization for promoting democracy, and says the continent's peace is more NATO's doing than the EU's.
  • "Who did the Nobel Prize committee actually call to inform the European Union it won?" wonders Bernd Rigert at Deutsche Welle. Still, he thinks the organization is a "worthy" winner. "The European Union is a peace project," he argues. "People who talk and trade with each other do not shoot each other."
  • "In the broad scheme of things, the EU has been a force for good and it seemed to be in need of a pep talk," agrees Matthew Yglesias at Slate. But there's an elephant in the room: Norway itself isn't part of the EU, and "they've built an amazingly free and prosperous (albeit small society for themselves." Rich and natural resources and with a responsive democracy, it wants no part of the bureaucracy it's praising.
For more reactions, see our original post on the award. (Read more European Union stories.)

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