The Nobel Committee awarded the 2012 peace prize Friday to the European Union, praising its work over six decades for “the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”
The announcement, coming during a period of stress among European nations struggling to handle the economic crisis, brought immediate criticism and expressions of disbelief.
“Pretty sure the NFL replacement refs are deciding the Nobel Peace Prize these days,” tweeted Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation.
Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted: “Europe awards Europe the Nobel Peace Prize for being Europe.”
And there was this, from satirist Tim Siedell: “So, basically the Nobel Committee just wanted to thank Germany for not starting a war in a while.”
The union issued a statement saying: “This prize is the strongest possible recognition of the deep political motives behind our Union: the unique effort by ever more European states to overcome war and divisions and to jointly shape a continent of peace and prosperity.”