Lauder welcomes Nobel Peace Prize award to European Union

The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Ronald S. Lauder on Friday welcomed the decision by the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union. Lauder declared: “The committee may have made controversial decisions in the past years concerning this very important prize, but this one cannot but be warmly welcomed. European integration has been the main reason why the European continent has become a haven of peace, freedom and prosperity nobody would have dreamt of 60 years ago.”

Lauder went on to say: “When the Iron Curtain was brought down and the dictatorial regimes in Central and Eastern Europe swept away, it was the EU that provided a perspective for the new democracies and restrained chauvinistic temptations. Today, despite the economic and financial crisis, the European Union continues to serve as an example for other regions in the world that reconciliation is possible if there is the political will for it.

“Jews and members other minority communities have been among the main beneficiaries closer European integration, and although anti-Semitism and racism continue to worry us, the European Union is - and will be in the future - our main ally in overcoming these scourges,” the WJC president stated, adding: "On the international level, the EU should take this prize as an encouragement to take a more proactive and energetic stance on the important issues the world faces today, including the Iranian threat, the rise of Islamism and the worrying developments in the Middle East.

“I congratulate the EU leadership on receiving this prestigious award,” Lauder concluded.

Photos: Ronald S. Lauder with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in New York in May 2012 and with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels in January 2011.

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