At a glittering ceremony in Oslo in December 2012, leaders of the European Union accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the EU, which it had won in recognition of more than 60 years of contributions ‘to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe’. The award seemed to confirm the dream of the founders of the EU, that the countries of Europe needed to work harder and more closely together to avoid the kinds of conflicts and wars that had blighted the region for centuries. There have been no interstate wars in Europe since 1945, and the EU has grown into the one major actor on the global stage that relies on opportunity rather than threats to advance its cause. Thus, it seemed to be a worthy Nobel laureate.
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