October 18, 2012

Nobel Peace Prize to EU grotesque

Ashley Mote

October 17, 2012

Letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

Sirs -

Norway’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU was grotesque.  It was a gratuitous and totally avoidable insult to millions in the Balkans, and to NATO.

What short memories you have.

You had obviously forgotten – or chosen to forget – the most powerful reason why the EU should not have received the Nobel peace prize.

The Balkan wars started when Croatia declared itself independent in June 1991.  Croatia’s old ally, 

Germany, unilaterally recognised Croatia and then pressured the EU to do the same.

Despite vigorous international pressure not to do so, the EU caved in to German coercion and recognised Croatia as an independent country, outside the Yugoslav Federation.

To nobody’s great surprise, Serbia objected to Croatia’s independence and supported the Federal Yugoslav Army (JNA) in resisting it.  By September 1991, the tension had escalated into war.

The EU’s feeble decision had triggered a chain of events that devastated the Balkans for nearly a decade.  It was the worst conflict in Europe in 50 years and caused the deaths and homelessness of hundreds of thousands.  Peace it was not.

Indeed, restoration of Balkan peace under the so-called ‘European Peace Force’ had to await the arrival of US forces acting under the auspices of NATO (to which France remained semi-detached).

The Norwegians responsible for this award should tell us why they chose to forget the EU’s role in the Balkans when they decided to give this year’s peace prize to the EU.

They have brought shame on themselves, on Norway and on the Nobel tradition.

Ashley Mote

(Independent Member of the European Parliament, South-East England, 2004-09)

The Nobel Price Prize committee have not replied so far.

Slightly different versions of this letter went to several UK newspapers.  None published