Three Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have said the European Union does not deserve the award because it depends on military force to underwrite its influence.
In an open letter to the Nobel Foundation, Archbishop Tutu of South Africa, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina demanded that the prize money not be paid out this year.
The EU “clearly is not one of ‘the champions of peace’ Alfred Nobel had in mind”, when he created the prize by including it in his will in 1895, they wrote in the letter. “We ask the board of the foundation to clarify that it cannot and will not pay the prize from its funds.”
They said the EU condones “security based on military force and waging wars rather than insisting on the need for an alternative approach”.
Archbishop Tutu won the prize in 1984 for his non-violent struggle against apartheid. Ms Maguire was cited for seeking a peaceful resolution to Northern Ireland’s troubles in 1976, while 1980 winner Mr Esquivel was honoured for work in advancing human rights in Argentina.
The Norwegian Nobel award committee chose the EU for promoting “peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights” in Europe for six decades following the devastation of the Second World War.