We recieved a blog post from Lena Ag, the Secretary General of the Swedish women’s rights and peace organization The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, regarding the decision of giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU.
“Three distinguished, senior, white men will go to Oslo December 10 to collect the Nobel Peace Prize. European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy.
They reflect perfectly the power structure within the EU.
All Heads of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions are men, as are 73 percent of Heads of EU Delegations. Only two women have ever been appointed as an EU special representative. Just two of the Unions 25 member states have a female prime minister, and of 19 presidents only one is a woman.
The Swedish journalist Jenny Nordberg captured my feeling in her tweet yesterday: “Three white middle aged Western European men will go to Oslo to accept Peace Prize for Europe. That’s my modern, inclusive continent…” @nordbergjenny
Although you can call the EU the world’s largest peace-building project, the Union has a lot left to do to be a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.I wonder how the Norwegian Nobel Committee reasoned regarding the basic idea of the Peace Prize, that it is supposed to promote disarmament and non-military solutions. Within the EU there are major military actors, including nations with nuclear weapons.
At policy level, there are high aspirations for peace and human rights, but what counts is what is carried out on the ground. Especially considering that last year’s winners, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman was awarded for their peaceful struggle for women’s security and participation in peace processes. The Nobel Committee noted then that a sustainable peace and democracy can not be achieved as long as women are discriminated against.
Our partner organizations in the Balkans testify to how the EU work is a total failure at this point, despite the enormous resources spent. The EU has a shamefully low number of women in high positions, for example none of the EU’s common peace and security mission, like EULEX in Kosovo, is lead by a woman. And the list goes on. EU and the international community’s failure is evident when studying our latest report, Equal Power – Lasting Peace, that was presented in the European Parliament on October 11th. The report’s conclusions, and the discussions during the conference in the Parliament, show that there is a lot left to be done before the EU implements new strategies, worthy of the Peace Prize.”