x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

A peaceful union

The next European Union squabble: which official should be sent to Oslo to collect that Nobel Peace Prize?

On October 11 the five prominent Norwegians who award the Nobel Peace Prize each year bestowed the 2012 version on the European Union, a decision that elicited considerable humour, in light of the EU's current difficulties and the perilous state of the common currency, the euro.

Now the decision has aroused an altogether new European conundrum: when the award is presented early in December at a glitzy banquet in Oslo, who will accept it on behalf of the EU?

There is no shortage of officials who would cheerfully put the trip on expenses and draft an earnest speech: José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission; Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council; Demetris Christofias, president of Cyprus which holds the confusingly separate Council presidency; and Martin Schulz, speaker of the EU parliament, among others.

But isn't it ominous that all these people come from different countries? We hope this can be resolved, before anybody mobilises a resistance. And no matter who picks up the medal, we need hardly insist the EU should give the cash award - about Dh5.6 million - to Greece.