Was the Nobel Prize Foundation wrong to award its prize to the European Union? Yes, argues David Price. The prize should have gone long ago to the European Community and Robert Schuman, its founder.
David Price is director of the Schuman Project, an independent research activity devoted to understanding the bases of Robert Schuman's thought and work.
"Was the Nobel Prize Foundation wrong to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union? Yes. The prize should have gone long ago to the European Community and Robert Schuman.
On 9 May 1950 he presented the idea and convinced the French government to initiate the Great Experiment in Peace. The present EU has distorted real supranational principles of peace.
If the European Community had not been created, Europe would have been broken again by at least one war, maybe two. The Community made war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.
The US Marshall Plan that gave generous aid to Europe did not do that. Instead US diplomats worried when it was coming to an end that this reconstruction aid was helping start the industrialization that would bring another war.
NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was signed on 4 April 1949. Its key article was largely fashioned by Robert Schuman. Yet NATO did not bring peace to Europe. Schuman made that clear. After NATO was formed US diplomats still foresaw war in Europe as inevitable.
Before the Schuman Proposal creating the European Community, the outlook for Europe was war. Perpetual war every generation, not perpetual peace, was the near unanimous voice of the most experienced diplomats and think tank analysts. They foresaw that the European Continent would remain a battlefield for the future.
Economic reconstruction does not bring peace. The Marshall Plan did not change the attitudes of hatred and the desire for revenge. It did not bring peace. It merely rebuilt national industries, many of them at the origin of national economic rivalries.
Tariffs were built up to prevent the entry of goods from neighbouring European countries. They preferred to trade with USA. These imports provoked a major shortage of dollars. The reconstructed industries merely provided the means for each country to build up their war industries.
That is not surprising as it may seem today. European countries had been doing just that for centuries: recovering from war, waging war or preparing for next war.
Industrial power merely reinforced economic nationalism and divisive ideologies. European had gone to war every generation since before the time of the Romans.
The Americans in early 1950 admitted that they could do nothing to prevent Europe becoming a war zone again and again.
Look at this extract from the US-based Foreign Policy Association report on "Europe and the United States". It was written and finalised March 1950 by Vera Micheles Dean, research director, FPA. She made an extensive tour of Europe speaking with government ministers and lecturing on US foreign policy around Europe.
"We realise... that the United states, no matter how generously inclined, cannot under the most favourable political circumstances re-establish the economy of the continent on the foundations of 1914 or even 1939.
Some of the foundations, as already noted, have vanished beyond salvaging; others are perhaps not a total loss, such as the resources of colonies of southeast Asia, but their intrinsic value is greatly diminished, and their future contribution to the continent's economy remains in doubt.
No power on earth can remedy Europe’s impoverishment as a result of two world wars. The only remedy one can recommend for the future would be the avoidance of conflicts so costly in terms of human values and material wealth. Whatever we do, Europe will sooner or later have to adjust itself to a radically altered world economic situation and face the fact that the singularly favourable position it enjoyed during the five centuries following the discovery of the Indies and the of the New World and the conquest of the colonies in Asia and Africa is now drawing to a close. While the Russians and the Communists have capitalised on the predicament of western Europe, they did not bring it about.”
She further observed that teenage Germans are 'strongly imbued with Nazi ideas and, at best, apathetic towards democracy, which for them is associated with the rule of conquering western nations.'
The same conclusion was reached by the annual conference of US ambassadors in Europe in 1949. They considered European solutions as ‘pipe dreams’ and their ‘golden goose’ of the Marshall Plan was being sacrificed to various forms of nationalism. They were keenly aware of Soviet designs on Germany especially the industrial Ruhr.
This is the conclusion of General Lucius Clay, US Military Governor of Germany in March 1949:
"I repeat what I said in a cable a few days ago. We have lost Germany politically and therefore it really does not matter except that history will prove why there was World War III. No gesture can we make to draw Germany westward so why do we spend money on Germany. Thank God I will be out of it soon… " (Papers of General Lucius Clay, vol 2, p. 1063).
The Supranational Community, the centre of the 9 May 1950 Proposal of Robert Schuman changed the whole future of Europe. It created a new destiny. Today the EU has the largest GDP at 17.5 trillion dollars, equivalent to USA plus Canada plus India.
Today Europe is living in the longest period of peace in more than two thousand years.
The supranational system provides a means to turn States on the brink of war into a prosperous and thriving Community.
The present EU has abandoned much of the democratic principles of the Community. As proof can be cited the fact that nowhere else in the world have European leaders succeeded in creating a system that ‘makes war not only unthinkable but materially impossible‘.
Do they know how it happened in Europe and apply it? Since the time of de Gaulle and his secret intergovernmental ‘package deals‘, Europeans have reneged on promises of European democracy. Instead they created a so-called ‘European Union’ that reduces the Community idea and places power in a closed-door European Council.
- The EU has not even established Europe-wide parliamentary elections under a single statute that was required in the treaty sixty years ago.
- It has not agreed to elections to the Consultative Committees like the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions. These are still the national playthings of the governments in Council, not European bodies. They should represent Europe-wide associations of enterprises, workers and consumers according to the original agreements with governments.
- The European Council makes its deals behind closed doors — just like the DDR writ large. The DDR, the German Democratic Republic was a pseudo-democracy, run as a puppet by the German Communist party and the Soviet Union.
- The politicians of the EU have hidden for sixty years the great Charter of the Community that says the Community should be developed on supranational principles and that no decision should be made without the full-hearted agreement of the people.
- Instead governments and eurocrats shamelessly ignore referendums that say the people do not agree with the fraudulent treaties such as the Constitutional and Lisbon treaties.
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize and the burgeoning financial crises of the intergovernmental method are a clarion call for all Europeans to reassess Plan D for Democracy."