What did European leaders accomplish?

Resentment, Europe's old enemy, is being resurrected under the leadership of Van Rompuy, Barroso and Schulz. Do they get the Nobel Peace Prize for that?

The European Parliament had the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony on display on a big screen in front of the entrance yesterday in Strasbourg. Three complacent gentlemen - Jose Barroso (European Commission), Herman Van Rompuy (European Council) and Martin Schulz (European Parliament) - listened intensely to all the praise. Three gentlemen with a distinctly above-average income, who never took one single physical risk in the quest for peace. Three gentlemen who reside safely within the Brussels' bubble, in their ivory towers. It was laughable, if not a reason for tears.

The Nobel Prize Committee decided to award the Peace Prize to the EU because of its role in maintaining peace in Europe. This is the daily job of those three gentlemen, something that earns Barroso and Van Rompuy a monthly remuneration of over 30,000 Euros. They simply have to do their jobs. Compare that with Nelson Mandela, who was in prison for 20 years, or Andrej Sakharov, who was under house arrest in Gorki, like Aung San Suu Kyi was in Burma. Or Lech Walesa, Mother Teresa, or Doctors Without Borders. These people deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. They risked their lives and often ended up in the fringes of society. This is something that surely cannot be said of the troika of Barroso, Van Rompuy and Schulz, basking in the glow of power and the accompanying privileges. They employ people who open doors for them, who make sure elevators are waiting for them so they can avoid unwanted contact with 'ordinary people'. The only thing they have to do themselves is sleep and go to the bathroom. They should have sent three 'ordinary' Europeans to the ceremony in Oslo: an unemployed Spanish youth, an impoverished Greek and a struggling Flemish running a small business. They deserve the prize. Not the Trinity of Complacency.  

The scary thing is that these three gentlemen claim the term 'Europe' to be theirs. They are right, and everyone who has a diverging opinion is wrong. That is why they sit there as a mutual 'congratulation-service'. Yet what did European leaders actually accomplish? Officially, the prize belongs to 500 million Europeans, but they get to watch the ceremony on TV. The leaders have done very little. Europe is sinking in a recession and no one knows how long it will last. Mediterranean Europe has only shrinking economies and soon even Germany, anchor of the European economy, will slide into recession. In Spain, unemployment is 25%, or even 50% for under 25s. The same is true for Greece. A whole generation of youths is left without a future in Europe. The Nobel Prize Committee picked this exact moment to award the Peace Prize to European leaders.

Those very same leaders kissed and hugged the Libyan leader Gaddafi. They gave Ben Ali's Tunisia no less than 60 million Euros of budget support in 2009. The Egyptian regime of Mubarak received 100 million. Rwanda, too, received EU budget support, which brought the financial means to support rebels in Eastern Congo. Murder, rape and displacement thrived. No problem, Europe sends emergency aid.

By now the Trinity of Complacency has closed its ears to criticism. First they created a Euro zone without growth and now they are working on transforming it into a European transfer union of immense size. That is not the recipe for peace, but for resentment and unbridled fights over money. Resentment, Europe's old enemy, is being resurrected under the leadership of Barroso, Van Rompuy and Schulz. They are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for it. Congratulations!