The prize comes at the right time, when many are wondering about the future of the European Union, given the current sovereign debt crisis. It should remind all of us, Europeans citizens, what has been achieved since 1952 and what we stand to loose. And although the current rhetoric is only focused on financial issues, the prize should also draw our attention to the fact that the most successful peace project ever is so much more than an economic union. In fact, the European Union is the only credible collective project to overcome today’s serious difficulties in the spirit of dialogue, respect for differences and preservation of each member state’s dignity.
Pace salutes the memory of the “Founding fathers”, at the forefront of whom figure Konrad Adenauer, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman, whose visions and strong beliefs led to the anchoring of this culture of peace. It is our most precious common treasure, which should be defended tirelessly.
Yet through the European Union, it is not only inspired and determined leaders who are being honoured by this Nobel Prize. It is as much a prize for the European citizens, past and present. Their wisdom has helped them choose, by way of democracy, the course of dialogue and negotiation between states once enemies, rather than violence, in order to resolve disputes.
The PArty of the Citizens of Europe (pace) wishes to emphasise the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize creates moral duties:
– A duty to resolve the conflicts which continue to rattle the European Union and neighbouring regions (Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kosovo)
– A duty to actively contribute to the promotion of peace throughout the world, and notably around the Mediterranean
– A duty to fight the resurgence of nationalist and xenophobic ideologies, by promoting education, culture and exchanges, such as Erasmus
– And finally, a duty to find the right balance between debt reduction in member states and the protection of the most fragile citizens, in order to preserve social cohesion: an essential condition to maintain civil peace and carry the European project further
The PArty of the Citizens of Europe (pace) appeals solemnly to the president of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schultz, the president of the European Council, Mr. Herman van Rompuy, and the president of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Durão Barroso, to make these moral duties their own in the spirit of article 3, item 1, of the treaty on European Union which states that “The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.”
Brussels, October 26th, 2012
Translated from French by Thomas Preston